Experienced GERD Sufferers Please Help Me!

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/23/2008 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, this is my first posting on here, but I have read many posts on a daily basis for about a month now. I am a 19 yr-old overweight male, and about a month and a half ago i suffered a panic attack, and have been in a downward spiral ever since. I have always had poor eating habits, always reaching for what tasted best than for what was best for me, I believe that I have had GERD for about a year and a half on and off. It has gotten so bad in the last few weeks that I have basically just stopped eating. Everything that i eat, be it big or small; healthy or not, makes me feel like i have eaten way too much, and have to burp non-stop which i have to lean forward to do, and that i have a ton of trapped gas. After all of the gas passes, I have horrible acid and regurgitation in my esophagus which is lessened slightly with Zantac 150. The reason I am very worried about my GERD is because it feels like now on a daily basis I am having trouble swallowing. and having pain in my esophagus and this makes me feel super anxious to the point where i just feel like crying. I feel super-anxious because i am very scared that i have barrett's esophagus, or the incurable cancer that results from not managing barrett's esophagus. I have felt very lethargic lately and am just wallowing in despair because everything i eat makes me sick and gives me reflux, which in turn i think is damaging my esophagus and killing me. It sounds silly that i should be saying such a thing, but i am scared to death. I am thinking of meeting with a gastroenterologist and discussing having an upper endoscopy done. I am also having tightness in my neck and some numbness on my right lower cheek/jaw and have had green pebbly stools lately. I am so scared that i am living my last few days on earth, not knowing what is going on inside of me. Please offer any help that you can!

Southern Star
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 11/23/2008 5:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi ajc123, and welcome. First off you need to set up an app. with a GI and tell him or her whats going on. I think they can help you the most. It definitely sounds like you have GERD and panic attacks. Please see a dr. soon and let us know what's going on. But you really do need to make that app. soon and don't keep just wondering "what's wrong with me?"

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 11/23/2008 11:36 PM (GMT -6)   

I agree with what Souther Star told you.  Get to a doctor and get it checked.  Trying to self diagnose yourself can drive you crazy.  I know because I am guilty of that myself.  I look my symptoms up online and start thinking worse case scenario.  Get myself all worried then go to the doctor and find it is not as bad as I led myself to believe.  Your symtoms sound like you could have GERD.  Make the apointment with the doctor, write down when you have your symptoms when and what you eat. 

I also have difficulty swallowing, chest pain and the feeling of food gettng stuck.  My GI is doing somemore testing and setting me up with a surgeon.  I do have a Hiatla hernia and have verty strong esophageal spasms.  It can be scary but many GERD sufferers can be treated with medication  Alot of the symptoms you describe most of us in this forum have.

The best way to put your mind at ease is make an appointment with a GI and let them figure out what you have and how to fix it.  I know not knowing what is going on can be a scary thing but worrying about the worst case scenario will make things worse.  When I went to the er I with my chest pains I knew it was my GERD but I let the symptoms scare me and when I was life flighted to another hospital I panicked and stressed myself out even though I knew it was GERD not a heart attack.

Try to relax and wait until you have a chance to talk to your doctor, make a list of your concerns and discuss those with them.  Take everything one day at a time and talk to you doctor.  Let us know how you are doing and remember we are here for you.



Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 81
   Posted 11/24/2008 9:38 AM (GMT -6)   
Dont freak your self out Make an APPT to see the doctor. Stress can cause you to have acid reflux that your experiencing along with a bad diet. I know its hard to stop stressing when you dont feel well its a circle. Seeing the doctor will make you feel better and get the ball rolling to feeling better. A doctor told me remember your not from Mars they will figure out whats going on. In addition if the doctor orders tests with names you have never heard of before do not freak out. The tests are normal as they figure out what is going on and they are no big deal. Many on this post have gone through them and will tell you the same. Stope eating greasy, spicy foods it will not only help you now but in the future. I am not doctor but in my case they told me to avoid citrus,caffiene also.
Relax you have come to the right place there is a lot of support here. Please keep us informed as to your progress its good for you and any others that see your posts.


Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/27/2008 8:23 AM (GMT -6)   
You are young enough to be helped, I think. Go to the doctor - completely change your eating patterns. There may still be time. I had a period where I was eating healthy for 5 years and felt great - then I gained 70 pounds, ate lousy, and ultimately had gallstones and had my galbbladder emoved. Which leads me to now --
You could wind up like me. I was diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus this past August. For a year prior, I never felt like I had acid going up into my esophagus at all, but for the year I'd suffered with a sour taste in my mouth and gunk on my tongue, every day. My throat finally began to hurt after 1 year of all that - and from what I'd read online I feared it could be Barretts - and I had an endoscopy with a biopsy, and it confirmed my fears. All of this began in 2007 when I had to take a medicine to relieve diarrhea caused by not having a gallbladder. It stopped the diarrhea, but gave me these other problems. Before I developed the sore throat I'd tried every so often to wean myself off the diarrhea meds... I couldn't go out without them, so I was stuck taking them.

I am now on Panatprazole (generic of Protonics) and Carafate for the past three months even though I hate pills --- and I am terrified every day. My throat still hurts. Taking these types of PPI's longterm is not healthy, but what is the alternative? Esophagus cancer or stomach cancer? Just lovely -- what a choice. I've never smoked my whole life, I don't drink. I'm in my mid-40s, and it feels like it's Over. I know that negative thinking is not really a good thing, but I am a realist. When something is awful, it's awful. Where's the way out of this? I've learned there is no "cure" for Barrett's, but they also say your esophagus "can heal itself". Sounds like double-talk to me.

I want to read all the online boards more often for help, but every time I read about Barrett's somewhere I inevitably see the "C" word that goes right along with it (like even within your original post) and it makes me really feel scared and like giving up. People tell me to get counseling -- but the realist in me knows it's a waste of time. For me, it is good physical health, or bust.. no concessions, no "accepting" the problem. And what can a counselor who hasn't ever walked in my shoes tell me?
And to think that today is "Thanksgiving"....

Post Edited (Joe9) : 11/27/2008 6:44:12 AM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/27/2008 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   

Probably the hardest thing to do for people who do not feel well is to actually take their minds off of their health issues. I know in my case, whenever I felt "off" for more than a day or 2 I would start to dwell. Dwelling leads to overreacting. Then, it becomes like a self fullfilling prophecy, you actually start to really feel sick. It usually takes a doctor to tell me that all is good and that what I have is minor and will pass before I can move on.

We are all destined to have one condition or another in our adult lives that will alter they way we live. We are all nostalgic for our youthful existance. Truth is if we weren't so careless when we had our youth, we'd have fewer health issues as adults.

Joe9, I totally sympathize with the way you are feeling now. Its a natural process to go through stages of acceptance with changes that occur in our lives. Try not to despair over what might happen later on in life. Fear of the big C won't do you any good. I would be thankfull for the knowledge that you have a condition that is manageable. Imagine the people who have symptoms for years and never do anything about them.... until its too late. Feeling better is often not much more than a state of mind. If your energy is channeled constructively, you tend to forget your woes. When you are blue, like I sense you are now, you can't stop thinking about it. I know when I have felt like that in the past, I can't even read or watch a movie. The internet can be a big help. Leave the forums for a while and head off to ebay. Its so easy to get lost there for an hour or two.... or three.

ajc123, I think that after you have been seen by qualified doctors, you will start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 11/27/2008 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
mtjbob, thanks for your post. When I found out I had Barretts back in August I really went into a deep depression.. I come out of it now and then but I occasionally dwell on it... and how do you not dwell when symptoms are always there and you always feel bad?

Since August I have purposely tried to avoid these boards, because there are so many differing points of view and case histories. But at the same time it's comforting to talk with people who sympathize, and maybe they can even help with their own experiences -- so what to do? But this morning I have finally spent an hour or more reading back many year's worth of talk about PPI meds, Reflux, and so on. What begins to happen is there are SO MANY different points of view that I don't know what to believe! Which posts are right? Which are wrong? 

I am sorry, but I just don't trust doctors. If you go to 10 doctors they'll each tell you 10 different things or treatments. Mine has me on a generic of Protonix since August, but is this the correct route to go? Who knows? I have read so many varying things right here -- from these PPIs possibly causing cancer on their own with longterm usage, to the fact that they could actually stop working at all after awhile, or that they may actually CAUSE REFLUX instead of STOP IT... and on and on and on... So who is right??

It's all guesswork, and that's very frustrating and hopeless. . Personally, I am seriously thinking of going OFF all medications -- no more PPI's, no more Carafate, no more Blood Pressure Meds, no more of the bile sequestrant drug which helps my post-gallbladder diarrhea... I cannot really make it without taking the anti-bile diarrhea stuff, but at this point having to run to a bathroom or risking going in my pants is better than the risk of esophagael cancer!

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/27/2008 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning to All,


Welcome to HealingWell and the GERD and Heartburn forum. We are very glad to have you with us.

I completely agree with the members who have encouraged you to see your own GI asap.  Of course your firghten by the sx and you have read to much into the sx withouy  getting your physician's opinion.

Cancer is a scary word.  Try not to assume the worse and if it should be you will deal with it. 

To me it appears you may be experiencing anticipatory anxiety.
Common Anticipatory Anxiety Reactions

Feelings: anxious, fearful, angry, confused, hopeless, losing control, numb, sad, moody, irritable, guilty.

Behaviors: withdrawal from others or activities, disrupted routines, startle reactions, easily crying

Cognitions: preoccupation with possibility of trauma, concentration difficulties, self-doubt, worry, indecisiveness, memory difficulties

Physical complaints: muscle tension, headaches, gastric distress, sleep and appetite changes, fatigue

Talking usually helps. Share your feelings with friends, family, on here are all good ways to work through the anxiety.

Relaxation techniques: Try deep breathing, muscle relaxation, visualization (imagining peaceful scenes), and/or listening to soothing music.

Realistic self-talk: While we can't always control what happens to us, we can always control what we say to ourselves. It's important to keep things in perspective. Talk to yourself in reasonable ways. Ask yourself "how likely is my fear?" Remind yourself that you have coped before during other challenging times. Don't just dwell on the negative but consciously look for things you can appreciate every day.

Make an effort to stay focused on what's happening now. What do you see, hear, and smell? How do you feel? Truly be 'present' in the moment! That will help you keep the anxiety down.

When reading through the threads remember that each person's disease process will be unique to them. Use good judgement.  NEVER rely on information or opinions exchanged via the forums or chat rooms to replace necessary, personal consultation(s) with qualified health or medical professionals to meet your individual health or medical needs.  Remember that what's right or has worked for one person may not be what's right for you. 

I also agree that sometimes we get so fixated on what others are saying we get confused............that may be the point where you stop reading everything and just take a break. 

Hope your Holiday is going well.  Give thanks for all the good in the world today.




Kitt, Co-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

Post Edited (stkitt) : 11/27/2008 12:15:24 PM (GMT-7)

New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 12/2/2008 8:01 PM (GMT -6)   

I was diagnsosed with Barretts in 2001 and am still living.  Barretts is not necessarily a death sentence.  Please see your doctor and take your medications as prescibed. 

In 2003, I had a nissan fundiplication to fix a hiatel hernia.  At that point, my surgeon took me off of Nexium because I wasn't having any reflux symptoms.  September 2007 I had a severe cough that I couldn't get rid of.  My family doctor ran several tests and gave me antibiotics and steroids for the cough.  Nothing worked.  In March 2008 I had my yearly endoscopy and it showed my Barretts Esophoagus was worse.  My surgeon told me to come back in a year for a repeat test.  I mentioned the Barretts to my family doctor and she immediately prescribed Nexium.  My cough improved and it was determined I had silent reflux.  My family doctor sent me for a second opinion for my Barretts.  My second opinion resulted in an appointment with a surgeon specializing in Barretts.  In Ocober 2008 I had an esophagectomy to remove the damaged portion of my esophagus.  Even though the surgery was more than I had planned I am doing great now.  I am not on any medications and don't have to see the surgeon again until May 2009, at which time I will have an endoscopy to ensure the Barretts has not come back.


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