New here - hoping to find answers

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heini
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/17/2008 9:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Everyone,
 
I just joined and can relate to the frustration of a lot of the people here.  I've suffered from GERD for about a year now.  I don't get the 'heartburn' feeling, but I get an acidic buildup in my throat after meals and when I wake up.  My doctor (ENT) told me I don't fit the typical profile of someone with GERD because I'm only 21 and not overweight.  He put me on Nexium twice a day and said it would make me feel like a new man.  I felt little to no difference.  I also tried following all the other instructions the Dr gave me (waiting 3 hours to sleep after eating, no pop/coffee/juice/alcohol,etc) to no avail.
 
The biggest problem is that the acid reflux seems to be taking a toll on my throat.  It always feels like I have to clear my throat, and my voice gets so hoarse and worn out to the point that I have to strain my voice to have a normal conversation with someone.  If there's any kind of background noise, people can barely hear me talking, even when I feel like I'm yelling.  Now the doctor says he thinks its causing a problem with my lungs and its causing my voice muscles to spasm.  I know my lungs are affected too because I start wheezing even after mild exercise, and I wouldn't consider myself out of shape.  Is it possible for the acid to spill over into your airways and cause that kind of damage? I've tried puffers and they don't help either.
 
Anyway, I'm not expecting anyone here to know the answers, but I just needed a place to rant to people who can understand.
 
Nathan

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/18/2008 2:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Nathan,

Hello and welcome to HealingWell. First of all patients with this condition can be found in all age groups. Weight loss may be necessary if extra pounds aredisplacing gastric contents.

Refluxed acid from the stomach can be aspirated into the airways and lungs, making breathing difficult and causing the patient to cough. A triggered nerve reflex causes the airways to narrow. This will then cause shortness of breath.

Nathan, I would like to suggest you see your physician and discuss your new sx in depth with you Doctor.  GERD is a complicated disorder and the more you work on your plan to keep your disease in control the better outcome you will have.

Take care and keep posting.

Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


heini
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/18/2008 4:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Kitt,

Thanks for the welcome and your reply. I'll try to follow your advice. My ENT is referring me to a chest specialist because of the impact this is having on my lungs. But I don't see how this will help treat my heartburn. The doctor suggested I keep taking nexium and said sometimes it takes a while to kick in, but I've been on it for two months with little to no results. Has anyone else noticed it taking a long time to have an affect? I'm getting tired of doctor's that just want to prescribe pills to treat symptoms, without getting to the root of the problem. Hopefully the lung doctor can shed some light on what's wrong with me.

Nathan

LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 9/18/2008 7:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hoo boy, does this sound like me!!!

Hi Nathan, I'm Janice. I have GERD, LPR, Vocal Cord Dysfunction, Bronchiolitis caused by aspirating the acid from my stomach, etc. I had heartburn for years, but never that bad, I did, however, have an asthma like condition that could never be specifically diagnosed.

For years I had flares of pulmonary issues, each time getting longer and worse. I had so much trouble breathing and then suddenly I would get better. I lost my voice all the time, I coughed, I cleared my throat..on and on. My asthma/allergist Dr. did a scope of sorts and found "cobblestoning" in my throat and diagnosed LPR, my other A/A Dr suspected Vocal Cord Dysfunction, but no way to prove it. The pulmonary guys in my town were ineffective and unable to think outside of the typical COPD, Emphysema, asthma stuff so they couldn't deal with me. My a/a Dr put me on Protonix twice a day (I was already on it once a day).

Before I go on, yes, it is unusual for the med to take this long to work...Nexium may not be a good fit for you; I went through all 4 PPI's before finding that Protonix was the right one...

So, on with my story. Eventually, my Dr.'s sent me to National Jewish Hospital in Denver to find out why my breathing and other issues were getting so much worse. Among other things they found my reflux was very serious. When I came home and back to my gastroenterologist and family Dr. they decided to send me to Cleveland Clinic. After testing they determined that I was bad enough and a good surgical candidate for a Nissen.

I had the surgery on July 16th...no picnic, but I am getting better.. I have no more hoarseness, coughing, throat clearing. My lungs are permanently damaged, but now that the valve is repaired the acid is no longer getting in there to burn them and damage them any further.

So, the short answer to a very long story, is that yes, the acid could very easily be the culprit behind what you are experiencing and the nexium does not seem to be a good fit for you.

Janice

Ryanpi
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/21/2008 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Janice,

I cannot believe the similarities in our condition. I too have GERD and had no idea I did until I experienced an irritation in my throat. I was put on Nexium 40 mg 2x/day and then within months I experienced shortness of breath. At first the Dr.s thought I had asthma until albuteral did not help me in a PFT. Since then, I have been diagnosed with bronchiolitis obliterans at none other than National Jewish in August 2008. The Dr. never alluded to the fact that the acid could have been the culprit. Are you on any medication? Did it help? Did the Dr.s give you a prognosis or life expectancy? They told me 10-15 years and a lung transplant. I am hoping that if I can just keep my GERD under control that I can outlast that expectancy. I meet with a surgeon this week to see if my GERD warrants surgery. Any advice? Hope that you are feeling well. I wonder if you are as devasted as I am?

Ryan

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/21/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, this is Kitt and Welcome to HealingWell.  I am so sorry to hear of the severity of your disorder.  I know you will get some great advice from the members.
 
Perhaps you would like to start a thread of your own so everyone sees your post.  Just click on new post, and write you concerns and share you story with all.
 
When you are done with your post be sure to click on Submit.
 
I want you to have the chance to get you questions answered.
 
Again Welcome
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


LdyJane
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 903
   Posted 9/21/2008 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Ryan, I am sorry to hear your diagnosis, certainly it is much more serious than mine. Saying that, the reflux had a profound impact on my breathing. By chance did you also see Dr. Cott?

My bronchiolitis is mixed and mild; it is by no means as serious as yours, nor, do we expect it to become so. Mine was caused by the reflux, the alveoli is fibrotic and it was starting to spread to the larger airways. The Dr.'s there have yet to be updated with the surgical news from Cleveland; however, at Cleveland they Dr.'s felt that the surgery was necessary to prevent me from becoming disabled pulmonary patient. My prognosis is good and my life expectancy is normal.

I went to NJ as such a puzzle that the Dr.'s there were looking for anything and everything and because I already had a history of reflux, they decided to have an evaluation by a GI at Rose Medical Center; it was there that we learned the reflux was very severe.

In my mind...and I am no Dr., it would be well worth a thorough GI work up to determine how to aggressively treat the reflux (while be ultra sensitive to the pulmonary issues). Since there was such a strong link between the two for me and because the change in my pulmonary issues has been so dramatic since the surgery, perhaps it would be beneficial for you as well.

Janice

Ryanpi
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/22/2008 8:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Janice. No, I saw Dr. Good. My FEV1 is 43%. Was your FEV1 impacted by the GERD? Did they ever put you on prednisone to help with the inflammation of your lungs? Did it work? I did not realize that there was a difference between bronchiolitis and bronchiolitis obliterans, so I assumed that we had the same condition. I am however convinced that my GERD is the culprit responsible. So, I intend to treat it very strongly to see if I can at least remain stable. I did do the PH probe at NJ and was found to have moderate GERD.

I will keep you posted on how it goes at the surgeons on Wed.

Take care,
Ryanpi

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/22/2008 9:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Ryanpi
 
I am glad you got great answers and please know we are here for you.
 
Please do let us know what happens at the surgeons on Wednesday.
 
Bless you
Kitt
 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety/Panic & Depression
& GERD  Forums
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


Ryanpi
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/22/2008 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Kitt,

Thank you for your words of kindness. God Bless you as well.

Ryanpi

heini
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 9/22/2008 7:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Janice and Ryan, thanks for your sharing your stories. It has definitely helped shed some light on my situation and is comforting to know I'm not alone. It's scary to think something like could cause such long term damage, but I'm glad to hear you're recovering well from surgery. Looking back, I've probably been suffering from 'silent reflux' for quite a while, because as long as I can remember I had the constant throat clearing and hoarse voice problems. It's just in the last couple years that I've noticed the acidic taste in my mouth and the problem has escalated. I'll ask my doctor to prescribe me a different PPI. I'm also thinking of seeing a Naturopath. If anyone has any experiences with Naturopathic doctors/herbal remedies for GERD I'd love to hear them. I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Nathan
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