GERD and Hiatal Hernia

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Jimtc
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/5/2008 12:41 AM (GMT -6)   

Here is my story.  I am 38 and since I was a teen can remember having sporadic bouts of heartburn which I treated with antacid.  I almost always had heartburn after nights of drinking.  I have always felt very good and been relatively sick free until about 3 years ago.  3 years ago I came home from a month long business travelling spree and felt very worn out so I had a few drinks hoping to relax but instead I got very anxious and long story short I had an anxiety attack.  I was prescribed very low doses of Xanax and fought  my anxiety with Xanax for a good month till I was able to get it under control.  My anxiety I believe stemmed from my having the feeling of a rock in my stomach at all times.  I was worried that I might have stomach cancer or something else bad.  Soon after my doctor had me do a barium (sp?) xray where I drank a thick fluid as they filmed with an xray the fluid going to my stomach.  From this they concluded that I had a Hiatal Hernia and gave me a prescription for Omeprozol to take for a little while.  They basically said that there was no need to fix the hernia.  From there I probably dropped the ball and didn’t follow up much.  I kept taking the Omeprozol on and off and rarely noticed the heartburn.  Since the anxiety attack it seems as if I am always sick  even when I was on the omeprozol. 

 

My symptoms:  I am tired a lot, I get sick a lot, I clear my throat a lot, I have mild chest pain (very healthy cardiovascular), always seem to have some degree of a stuffy nose, mild to moderate nausea in the morning and sometimes throughout the day, mild back ache, feeling of a pit in my stomach, some joint pain but not bad, a feeling that my airways are congested, Tinnitus, sometimes a feeling of floating.

 

Bottom line is I am sick of feeling this way as it leads me into anxiety attacks when I start to get really worn out.  Luckily I have the Xanax to catch me when I start to feel them coming on. (I only need to take a ¼ pill of a .05 doze to do the trick and am very cautious to not get hooked on the drug).  Still this is just a way to keep from being totally miserable.  about 6 months ago I started taking the omeprozol every morning and the other day I realized the I always felt a little nausea and dizzy in the morning  so I have stopped taking the omeprozol for the  last week to see if it helped but it doesn’t seem to change anything and only makes me take tums to counteract the acid.  Last Friday I went out with my wife and had a few drinks too many and woke up with one of the worst nausea hangover ever and it did not go away for a couple days.  I went to my doctor and he said that it can take a week for the stomach to heal itself.  I had a long talk with my doctor about my stomach issues and that I wanted to try to get off omeprozol to stop the side effects (I am not sure it was the cause).  We talked about my hernia and options that I have, and decided to get some bloodwork to check for H Pylori and to check my liver function.  My tests came back fine, so H pylori is not to blame.  We talked about scoping my stomach and I am ready to go that route.  He also said that they can go in and fix my hernia and tighten my sphincter (sp?) at some point however he feels that they can take care of this with diet and drugs. 

 

As it stands now I have resorted to pretty much everything they say to do to fight GERD.  I take 40mg of Previcid twice a day, I don’t drink caffeine (haven’t for 3 months now), never smoked, I have lost weight (I am 5’9, 163lbs),  I exercise regularly (ride really steep mountain bike rides 3 times a week and do karate 2-3 times a week.)  I avoid spicy, fatty and acidic foods.  Last week I changed from Advil to Tylenol and am going to stay away from alcohol for a while (have not had a drink for 9 days).  I used to take Advil a lot (4 to 6 a day) because of pains from karate and cycling.  I have lifted the head of my bed 6 inches.  I pretty much kicked the nausea, thank god, and the pit in my stomach doesn’t seem to be there anymore but now after I eat most meals I will get an early feeling of fullness and sometimes it lasts for about 2 hours and is fairly uncomfortable.  I have yet to feel any better cutting out the above foods and am not real hopeful that the switch from Advil to Tylenol (I really am not taking either much) or cutting alcohol (I really like a couple drinks at night and hope to be able to resume sometime) will help so I am wondering what I should do next.  I am tired of feeling this way and want to change from a reactive treatment to a proactive one to get rid of this hopefully forever.  I just started taking Dannon Activa Probiotic tonight and hope this might help. One other thing of note is that I seem to have a very pale face during Karate and have had others comment on it.

 

Anybody have any clue what i should be doing different?  How long does it take to feel better?

 

FYI after reading some of the posts I feel almost lucky that this is all I have.

 

 

Jim  


twin2jfr
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/10/2008 9:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jim,
 
I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia last fall. I had an endoscopy done.  They took biopsies of my esophagus, duodenum and stomach.  All were negative, thankfully.  After a few years of having severe heartburn, chest pain and gerd. Have they done an endoscopy?  It's a lot easier than you think and it's not as uncomfortable as the barium swallow, I think...
 
I too, have been taking prescription strength Prilosec. The over the counter kind didn't do a thing for me.   I took it for over 6 months. All I needed was 10mg once a day.  I recently noticed a little bit of discomfort in my throat so I increased it to 10mg twice a day.  They did another endoscopy and found I still have mild esophagitis so she wanted to up the dose to 20mg twice a day to see if it would completely heal.  Now have been having symptoms like lethargy, and a really heavy fatigue when I work out.  I have developed a vasculitis on my legs too.  I was almost constantly clearing my throat and felt like there was something in the back of my throat.  I stopped the Prilosec and couldn't believe how much better I feel.  I told the doctor about it and she agreed that I should stop it.  I still have some of the feeling of something in my throat, but we'll see what happens.
 
Keep asking questions.  I gave us my daily glass of red wine.  I still have the caffiene in the morning, but we'll see.  Since I've needed to lose about 30 lbs. I've started Jenny Craig and I'm sure that will help too.
 
Good luck....
 
J
 
 
Joan


Jimtc
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 8/10/2008 10:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply.  I think prilosec gave me a little stomach pain, either that or the reduction of acid allowed some bad bacteria to colonize (not H Pylori, i was negative for that).  My doctor and I have figured it out we think and my treatment seems to be working.  I have a non bleeding ulcer either in my stomach (gastric) or in my (Duodenum).  I am taking 40mg of Famotidine
(Pepsid) twice daily and I am taking probiotics twice a day.  I started out eating a restricted GERD diet but as the days have gone by have introduced more fatty foods with no issue.
 
I now know what is the most likely cause as i was reviewing my past habits.  My family and I started Karate about 4 months ago and I begun to ride my Mountain Bike, with these activities came muscle pain which stupidly i started taking Advil for about 800mg at a time. I have used Advil for pain ever since High School and used to take 9 at a time to treat shin splints and it never seemed to do anything to my stomach so i never connected the two.  Well finally it caught up to me and helped to cause my ulcers.  I always thought that when they said that Advil can cause stomach issues that it would be something like an immediate reflux or upset but i now have read that it actually hurts the stomach in a very scary way by getting into the blood and suppessing the stomach's and Duodenum's natural defense against stomach acid).  I have obviously stopped taking all pain meds except Tylonol if i absolutly need it.  I just finished my 2nd week since my flareup and still am getting the morning sickness and getting pain 1/2 hour after meals but this is tapering off everyday.  I think I am on the mend and when my ulcers are gone I will concentrate on seeing what my GERD limits are, do i need to take meds or not, can i eat heavier foods, etc...
 
Jimtc

twin2jfr
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/10/2008 10:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I think we all have to look at our lifestyles once in a while and re-evaluate. I'm a bit older than you are and it's great to hear how physically active you and your family are. I wish I had started in my 30's. I now exercise regularly but wish I had done it earlier. I, too, use to take Advil on a regular basis, but I noticed I would bruise easily. I'm a nurse and know better. Now I just take an Aleve once a day when I need it and it does the trick.

Take care of yourself....no one else can do that for you! Enjoy the rest of your summer.....
Joan


ShaunW
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/20/2008 11:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Jimtc,
I also have a hiatal hernia and my gastro Dr says that is what's causing my severe acid reflux. I've been on Nexium or other forms of the drug for 8 years or so now. I've been getting sick a lot in the last 3 or 4 years. I never thought that my acid reflux medicine coiuld be causing this. I learned it from a health magazine and started doing a little research. I have a lot of the symptoms that you are showing. I feel like I'm always tired and I'm always getting sick it seems. I always feel like something is in the back of my throat.

I don't know if that is any worse than having acid reflux though. I'm going to attempt a diet to help my acid reflux and stop taking the medicine once I stop that stuff and see what happens. Acid Reflux is no joke though. Causes me a lot of pain.

I'm 31 at 6'2" weighing 225 so I could probably lose 15 lbs but I'm pretty active and in decent shape. But being sick and tired all the time keeps me in the house watching tv. I get bored so eat more junk which causes more acid. I'm from the south and I'm going to have a hard time getting away from fried food. I like to have a couple of drinks with my buddies. I don't know how I'm going to watch football without the beer. I'll do whatever it takes to get healthy though.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/21/2008 9:15 AM (GMT -6)   

ShaunW

Hello and Welcome to HealingWell. I am gald to see you are advocating for yourself by planning to change your diet.  It takes a lot of will power to stick to it so I will be cheering you on.

We have a forum for new members if you would like to post a bit about yourself.

Also feel comfortable starting you own New Topic for advice and support.

Again welcome and we are glad you found us.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
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