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.