new here: rough gerd case, aggravating asthma. solutions?

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jonny5_is_alive
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/19/2009 5:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone. Im new here to the forum,actually posting, but have been reading others comments and posts for a little while now. I do not like to feel like I am complaining about my situation and I hope it does not come off that way. I do feel very blessed in my life and know so many people who seem to have trials far greater than mine. Just hoping to connect and to get some advice, perspective or ideas as to where I can go with all of this. I've had a tough time with my case of gerd with a hiatal hernia for the past 8 years. At 27 the doctors tell me I am pretty young to have it this bad. they told me that the percentile i am in, of how bad the reflux can be, is in the high 90's. they said it is extremely uncommon for someone my age to be rated that highly for it (after the egd and bravo tests). that was several years ago when I first had it checked out at age 23. dealing with the gerd is one thing, its effect on my asthma is another issue altogether. Lately my asthma has gotten quite bad because of the constant barrage of my stomach contents into my lungs. wondering if anybody else is having now or has had difficulty with gerd inflamming asthma. my asthma was rough when i was pretty young but tapered off into more of a minor exercise induced form as I grew into adolescence. the combination of the two has been quite limiting. i used to sing quite a bit as well but that has all become almost non existent these days. seems like i am lucky if my voice lasts through the day just speaking regularly. as much i would like too, i cant really exercise or play any sports anymore. seems like anything i do starts the cycle of reflux/asthma. can barely even sleep anymore. waking up gasping for air constantly. it just really concerns me because i am so young and it seems like the nissen or other procedures all have had long term viability issues. have been looking into it for the last several years since my doctors first strongly recommended i get the surgery. been looking and hoping for another good alternative. seems like the esophyx procedure may be promising. then again, for how long? meanwhile i have pretty much tried every ppi. aciphex seemed to keep more reflux down than the others, although it seems to contribute to more stomach pain/discomfort. moved to another state for my job and the insurance switched so the aciphex isnt a preferred drug for them. kind of odd how that all plays out. taking prilosec now, because they decided they didnt want to cover aciphex anymore. it seems to be pretty similar to nexium, which i guess it is supposed to be close to chemically. want to switch back though because i find myself still refluxing a lot more. even though it maybe less acidic, my lungs still do not appreciate it. with my asthma increasingly worsening i know i must soon choose a more aggressive option. any advice?
seems like i have had a real spike in anxiety over these issues. anybody else feeling increasingly anxious when dealing with the gerd? is that common? i never really had much social anxiety or other but anywhere i go i feel so nauseous all the time because with everything constantly coming up, it seems to trigger that "i feel like im about to puke" gag reflex. lol. just always feel uncomfortable. its hard to feel good in public when you are feeling so terribly nauseous. i try really hard not to let anybody else know about it but sometimes i think the nausea or stomach/other pain kind of shows up on the face. the asthma thing has kind of thrown a wrench into it all lately. really tough time with it coming back so intensely. it seems it was much easier dealing with major gerd symptoms than the recent constant asthma attacks. feeling like you cant breath just can be so terrifying. maybe even more so for my wife though. i can get through it, even if i have to go to the hospital for it, but i think it is really hard for her to watch me go through it even though i try not to let her see how scared i am or how much it is really bothering me. but just been worried about it all a lot, maybe more so because my wife and i are expecting our first baby here in a few months. trying to not let it get to me but hoping to find a procedure that is effective pretty soon. but for now... need to keep working. need to keep breathing. need to keeping hoping. and... i guess i should probably attempt to go back to sleep again here soon. haha. sorry for ranting about it all. guess it just had to come out at some point. hard to explain it to anybody who doesnt really understand, especially the doctors lol. i mean, no offense to doctors, i think they can sometimes intellectually understand what you are going through, but its hard to truly understand on an emotional/spiritual level if you haven't been there yourself. if anybody actually made it this far, thanks. apologize for writing this much. i'm kind of shocked that i did i guess. it was pretty therapeutic though. lol. wondering how everybody else is coping and what tricks or strategies you've picked up. what have you found to be an effective treatment? if you had asthma before: how has the nissen or espohyx played out for you? has your asthma(if your have it) and/or over all health improved with your procedure of choice? any comments or advice would be much appreciated. thanks again!

crystal143
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/19/2009 11:21 AM (GMT -6)   
hey im new to this too!
i posted a forum on panic attacks and asthma. because i cant figure out which one is it!!! but as i keep reading every body forums i get a better idea of what might be going on! now i was diagnosed with acid reflux when i was 16 and i always had asthma since i was like 7 .. i grew up in a hawaii and all the volcano sulfur caused it for me :(
now i am 19 and been to the hospital at least 20 times this month for asthma but everytime i go they say my oxygen was at 100% buti feel like i cant breath all the time. half the docs say anxiety half say asthma. they put me on a massive amounts of asthma meds that made me feel like an elephant is sitting on my chest. i stopped the meds and that feeling went away. they asked me what have done different this month that might be making all this stuff happen. i could think back to about 3 weeks ago ... when i felt normal... i was going to chillis and chipolte every single day!!! and i did notice my acid reflux getting worse. i would have to gasp for air sometimes and i would wake up in the middle of night having to burp . now i saw a polmonologist and they perscribed me alot of different meds i didnt start taking because i feel scared im gonna get an allergic reaction. or there gonna make every thing worse. they perscribed me a acid reflux medicine that starts with an o ( dont know the name off hand ) but maybe i should take it huh? one major problem tho is i dont know how to swallow pills...lol i know silly. my question to you is that could this gerd get so bad if i dont take the meds that i could possibly die from an asthma attack? or is it just a feeling of not being able to breath?

somethings that help save visits to the er or calling 911 for me....
1. ive been starving myself a little more... not sure if it makes it worse tho :(
2. ive been using my inhaler more
3. trying to burp more gives me relief
4. i sleep kinda in a weird angle like side ways up right slanted hahahaha i know crazy
5. no spicy food! and i only drink water no soda coffee or even juice.
6. when i wake up gasping for air i walk around for a little put on a movie and do my inhaler then i try it again. it took 2 times of that for me to go to sleep normal with out gasping for air.

im always trying new things with my boyfriend to get relief with all this asthma and gerd problems... dont worry your not alone and i have developed such bad anxiety from all this that i sometimes i cant tell if its asthma attack or panic!:( the human body is crazy.and if you knew what type of person i was before all this you would be amazed on how something so bad could happen to such a normal people.i would appreciate it if you did reply to my question.hope you feel better!!!!
idea

crystal143
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 4/19/2009 11:31 AM (GMT -6)   
oh and i forgot to tell you! im a singer too! and i havnt sang in a month! i used to go to a karaoki bar like 3 times a week and now i wont step foot in there because im afraid the smoke will cause an asthma attack! :( now mind you ive been going too this bar for 4 years and i worked in a bar for 3 years... never had a problem with asthma till i started eating spicy everyday for like 40 days days straight.... so the gerd might be 100% to blame for all this, i even gave away my dog :( and cats :( away. i grew up with animals my whole life.. never had a problem. and alot of other fun things because of "asthma." but it seems to me gerd is the secret monster behind all of this.
smhair

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/19/2009 12:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Jonny5-
I've posted extensively on this site about asthma problems I've suffered as a result of GERD. I have been hospitalized with uncontrolled asthma brought on by gastritis and GERD. Please check through posts with my name on them to get my story. I can't see any point in reviewing it here, since I've posted extensively. I'll be glad to talk to you about anything you're still worrying about.

If your doctors want you to get the Nissen, I would urge you to go for it. Even if it doesn't last a lifetime, you can get it redone. If you read many posts here, you'll find others who have happily gone for a repeat Nissen because of the relief they've had.

I can't say that my asthma is completely cured. It never will be. I have allergies, and even with the GERD surgery eliminating an assault of acid that kept my lungs in a constantly inflamed state, I am having some asthma issues at the moment. However, even with bronchitis brought on by flu, my lungs are still better than they were pre surgery.

So, I invite you to read through my old posts. If you have any additional questions for me that haven't been answered at that point, I'll be very happy to try to answer them.
Best wishes in making your decision. The Nissen surgery is great, provided you have a very competent surgeon.
From a fellow asthma sufferer,
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/19/2009 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
Crystal,
I think the med they gave you is Omeprazole--the generic form of Prilosec. If you can't swallow a pill, you can get different formulation--granular, which is mixed with applesauce and taken that way. You're not supposed to chew or crush the capsules, so that could be a problem for you. Just call your doctor and get them to call in the other formulation.

You should definitely take the medicines they prescribe. They can't help you get better, if you don't try to take those things. It sounds like you really got your stomach and GERD going with some spicy foods. (for me it's always antibiotics or meds)

Call them about your concerns, but try to follow their directions, so they can help you feel better.
I wish you lots of luck feeling better!
As a fellow asthma suffer, and previous GERD/asthma sufferer, I definitely know what you're going through. Whenever my GERD flared up, my asthma would get unbearable.
Good luck, and feel better!
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/19/2009 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Jonny and Crystal,
Voice problems are common with GERD. In my case, I lost my ability to sing with my class (I'm a second grade teacher), and my voice has troubles making it through the day. Right after surgery it was better, but now that I've had the flu/bronchitis, my coughing has sent my voice away again. Some people lose their voice due to reflux, but in my case, I think it's caused by constant coughing--brought on by reflux exacerbate asthma.
Good luck with all of it!
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/20/2009 4:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Crystal,
about the oxygen saturation...even when I was in the hospital with asthma that was life threatening, I was getting about a 99% oxygen saturation. There was no doubt it was asthma.
Was just thinking about your 100% oxygen comment.
Good luck!
Denise

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/20/2009 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello Jonny,

Welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartbrun Forum.  I am so sorry to read of your extensive disease at such a young age but I am here to tell you that I am the Anxiety Queen so letting out all that you wrote here is to me a positive.  You did it, you wrote it down and you shared it. You have GERD but you have Anxiety and you have every right to it.

I am not a professional but I would venture to say you have a generalized anxiety disorder that your dealing with that has  intensified second degree to your GERD.

One of the best remedies for anxiety is to talk about it. Here's where good friends and family can come in. The old adage "A problem shared is a problem halved" comes into its own here, and while you may dismiss it as nonsense, it may surprise you how anxiety alleviating it can be to just talk to someone. Your talking to us and I hope that is making a difference.  You see your not alone, there are many of us with GERD and a whole lot of people with anxiety.

Obviously when you're feeling at a low ebb, the last thing you tend to think about is the things that are good in your life. But to do this is a sure fire mood lifter and anxiety buster.

Another trick is to find yourself a diversion that pleases you. Sometimes all we need is a diversion, or a hobby that we enjoy to ignite the pleasure in our lives By challenging yourself and enriching your life with interests outside of your daily routine, you not only participate in a rewarding and pleasurable pastime, you can bring back the zest into your life and divorce yourself your anxiety.

Try not to worry about what others think, if you have GERD and it is bothering you just excuse yourself from the situation and walk away or if your comfortable, just explain that your not feeling well and excuse yourself.  If your feeling ill it is not conducive to enjoying the company of others or being out in public.

Please do keep advocating for yourself and stick with us as we are a caring and supportive group.

I wish you peace,

Kitt


 

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sparkydc
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 4/22/2009 5:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jonny5!

I was diagnosed with asthma at age 4. I've been admitted to hospital countless times due to the disease, and had a couple of stints in intensive care. I've had GERD for at least 15 years, maybe more - it's difficult to remember a time when I didn't have symptoms!

I have spent many years trying to get to the bottom of the GERD problem, but never really made the connection with asthma. Of course, all the other GERD symptoms - lumps in the throat, hoarse voice etc - caused me a fair amount of stress, which just made the asthma worse. I had the Nissen procedure 3 weeks ago, and I'm now starting to notice a significant improvement in my breathing. I'm using inhalers less, and my peak flow has been steadily improving this week.

I'm going to keep a very close check on this over the coming weeks, but it definitely looks like more than one bird has been killed with this particular stone!

Everyone's different - what worked for me might not work the same for others - so I can only pass on what I've experienced. So far, absolutely no GERD symptoms, and an improvement in my breathing!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 4/24/2009 3:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sparkydc!
I'm so glad to hear that the Nissen has helped your asthma! I'm surprised that your doctors didn't make the connection for you. I finally had the Nissen because my doctors (asthma and family) kept after me to get it. My asthma was out of control.

I definitely think it has helped me, but I have some lung issues that are unrelated to the GERD. (I had a lung infection before surgery that hadn't totally resolved, so I've struggled with that, and three weeks ago I got the flu, and now I'm struggling with the lung issues that induced.) Even with that, I can tell my lungs are much better. In the past I would have the underlying GERD caused inflammation, in addition to whatever problem I was experiencing.

I hope your lungs continue to improve! How is your eating coming along?
Good luck with your continued healing.
Denise

chambershex
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 4/26/2009 12:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey johnny, try experimenting with diet. I also started to have those wierd anxiety/panic moments. I went on an elimination diet and the nervous symptoms subsided. I gradually reintroduced food groups, and as soon as i reintroduced salicylates the next morning I felt extremely anxious. Try it out!
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