Questions about when you devoloped symptoms

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MaggieMGill
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/12/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm sure this has been covered before, but how and why does GERD begin?

Out of nowhere in late December I started getting moderate chest pains. I completely freaked out, thinking I was either having a heart attack or a pulmonary embolism. Since I don't have insurance I just crossed my fingers and hoped it wasn't either (which isn't exactly the smartest thing to do). Since then it has been an almost daily problem. After looking up all sorts of things I came across GERD. I had dismissed it at first since I didn't have heartburn but after looking through posts on here I learned that it can be associated with a hiatal hernia. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia when I was 14 (I'm now 22) after having severe chest pains. I was prescribed Nexium and haven't had any problems with it since.

Could GERD randomly strike again after so many years? And if so, why?

Thanks for any help!

Post Edited (MaggieMGill) : 1/18/2010 6:26:13 PM (GMT-7)


stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/13/2010 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartburn Forum.



GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux — the backup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus.

When you swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing frequent heartburn and disrupting your daily life. This constant backwash of acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing it to become inflamed (esophagitis). Over time, the inflammation can erode the esophagus, causing complications such as bleeding or breathing problems.

These are great questions and the best source of info for you may be a GI Specialist.

Again a warm welcome to HW.

Kitt

martinm
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2009
Total Posts : 36
   Posted 1/13/2010 2:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Ill give you my opinion,
The processed food we have been eating now for 40-50 yrs (unsure of timeframe) is causing havoc with our
digestive system. Although im sure there are some cases not related to this, i believe that doctors, etc dont
have a complete data-set yet to determine how these poisons we eat manifest so many different symptoms.

girl_geek
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 1/14/2010 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm pretty sure my GERD was caused by antibiotics I took for several months for acne. I've since heard from other forum members that their GERD started while on antibiotics, and some websites say that antibiotics can cause GERD.

However, my symptoms also get worse when I eat certain foods or experience a lot of stress/anxiety, so perhaps multiple factors worked together to cause my GERD!

I've also heard that sometimes food allergies can cause acid reflex for some people.

Just a few possibilities, I guess!
Diagnoses: GERD, small hiatal hernia, anxiety, allergies
Medications: Nexium (GERD), Lexapro (anxiety), Singulair (allergies), Tazorac (acne)
Note: I suspect my GERD was caused by taking antibiotics for acne. Please be careful about taking antibiotics when not necessary!


MaggieMGill
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/18/2010 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the responses!

Does anyone remember when they first started experiencing problems? And how long did you try to deal with them before going to the doctors?

Also, is it common to have pain worsen with sitting up versus laying down?

I seem to be developing new symptoms that are starting to scare me. I haven't decided what to do yet but is having difficulty breathing and tightness in your chest a usual symptom of GERD?

Thanks again!

babygirl10150
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 639
   Posted 1/18/2010 9:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine started when I was pregnant. Thought it was the usual heartburn but got worse after I delivered. I waited until my 6 week check up before I seen a regular dr. She told me I had h. pylori. I took all the antibiotics for that and it still didn't go away so she sent me to a GI.

It sometimes help me to lay down, not completely flat or I get acid in the mouth. When you're sitting, your stomach is crunched. I have all the symptoms but no burning. Chest pains, palpitations, nausea, I get dizzy, the feeling that someone is sitting on my chest, I can feel the acid coming up but like I said, no buring.

Some people have luck with just a change of diet. Some need meds. Some need surgery. Discuss it with your dr.
Michelle

~Nissen 12/14/09~


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 1/19/2010 7:17 PM (GMT -6)   
My first symptoms started 10 years ago. Food would get stuck when I was eating. I would feel like I was about to pass out. I delt with it for almost a year until I mentioned it to my doctor. He immediately put me on medication and I felt better.
I feel better when I walk around stretching my chest.

Joy

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/19/2010 7:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there,


Mine started with heartburn first which I chalked up to drinking to many sodas. It was a burning in my chest that would go right up into my jaw. I would eat Rolaids by the rolls. I saw my Dr. who dx it as heartburn and put me on Maalox. This was at least 15 years ago.



I did not develop the reflux until several years ago. I use Priolosec with pretty good success. Also don't eat certain foods.



Good luck and stick with us.



Kitt

girl_geek
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 1/20/2010 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Initially my only GERD symptom was nausea, so I just attributed it to a side effect of the antibiotics I was on.  The nausea would usually get better if I ate yogurt daily and didn't lie down too soon after eating (even the papers that came with the antibiotics recommended not lying down after taking a pill) so I just figured it was the antibiotics.  I took the antibiotics for 5 months (for acne), but quit when I also developed a "lump in my throat" feeling which I read was another side effect of the antibiotics.
 
When the nausea persisted after I quit the antibiotics, I took some probitics pills thinking that the antibiotics just created an imbalance of bacteria/probiotics.  By this point I had figured out that I had reflux but still thought it was just a temporary thing caused by the antibiotics.  When the nausea got worse a few months later, I finally talked to my doctor and he started me on Prilosec.
 
A month or so later I started developing chest pains, and that's when I switched to Nexium and started getting strict with my diet, trying to avoid common GERD triggers.  This was probably 9-10 months after I first started the antibiotics.
 
I've never had true heartburn (burning sensations) but I do get chest pain that I'd describe as pressure in my chest.  I've had several cardiac tests that turned out normal, and the pain does seem consistant with GERD and/or a hiatal hernia (which I found out I had during a endoscopy a few months ago) -- the pain is worse when I sit or slouch or otherwise put pressure on my stomach; it's better when I'm walking, standing, laying down, or otherwise straightening my stomach.  (However, laying completely flat can cause reflux so I usually sleep with a wedge pillow now ;) )  I have not experienced shortness of breath though.  I do get occasional palpitations but that was diagnosed as PVC's last year, and they don't seem to coordinate with my GERD symptoms.
 
Have you talked to your doctor about these symptoms?  While GERD / HH's can cause symptoms that are very similar to cardiac problems, if you have never had any cardiac tests it would be a good idea just to rule out any other problems.  (There's also evidence that GERD can irritate the vagus nerve which can cause cardiac symptoms like palpitations, there are a few other threads on this if you do a search.)  Once you're confident your heart is fine, you can focus on dealing with the GERD :)
Diagnoses: GERD, small hiatal hernia, anxiety, allergies
Medications: Nexium (GERD), Lexapro (anxiety), Singulair (allergies), Tazorac (acne)
Note: I suspect my GERD was caused by taking antibiotics for acne. Please be careful about taking antibiotics when not necessary!


marigoldpetunia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/28/2010 11:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I am a new - and self-diagnosed - GERD sufferer, having just experienced the sudden onset of every single one of the symptoms referenced above. I'd love to know what I could buy over-the-counter that would give me instant relief. Those little Tums packets of instant powder seem to work semi-OK, as does everything else, but I'd love to find something that really really works.

What do you all do?

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/28/2010 12:04 PM (GMT -6)   
marigoldpetunia


You could try Prilosec or Prevacid which are both available over the counter now. Follow the directions on the packaging and see if the medicaiton helps you.



I would also like to see you make an appointment with your Physician for a medical screening exam to rule out any other causes of your sx.



Welcome to HealingWell.



Kitt

marigoldpetunia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/28/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you, Kitt for the kind welcome and the advice. I have purchased some Prilosec OTC, along with those little Tums packets and some foods on the "approved" list, so we'll see what happens. If I don't feel any relief soon, I will definitely be heading off to the doctor.

motox1027
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 132
   Posted 1/28/2010 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
stkitt said...
Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartburn Forum.
 

GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux — the backup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus.

When you swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.

However, if this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing frequent heartburn and disrupting your daily life. This constant backwash of acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing it to become inflamed (esophagitis). Over time, the inflammation can erode the esophagus, causing complications such as bleeding or breathing problems.

These are great questions and the best source of info for you may be a GI Specialist. 

Again a warm welcome to HW.

Kitt

".Over time, the inflammation can erode the esophagus, causing complications such as bleeding or breathing problems."
 
 
I see this quote all the time. But I have never seen anyone explain how with the... "breathing problems"
 
Please explain

Newport Gal
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 1/28/2010 5:21 PM (GMT -6)   

I think mine all started with a "pop" I felt in my mid chest while working out about 10 years ago.......turned out to be my hiatal hernia.  Shortly after that I began having excruciating pain in my chest everytime I ate.  After a trip to my Internist and a try with prescription Zantac which didn't work, she sent me to a GI doctor and I had an endoscopy which showed by hernia and acid reflux.

  I've been on many different meds over the years, including Propulsid which was taken off the market and I cried because it worked so well.  I'm now on Aciphex once a day with a 150 Zantac before dinner.  It works most of the time if I'm careful.  I've also developed IBS-C and I'm not sure how they may be related.  I've had to be off the meds a few times before having tests done and it was awful, so I don't imagine that I'll ever be able to live without them.


marigoldpetunia
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/28/2010 6:59 PM (GMT -6)   
It's been about six hours since I took my first Prilosec OTC tablet, and I have to say it's already worked wonders. I felt real relief about two-three hours in, and just ate my first almost-real meal (plain noodles and navy beans) in days and didn't even need the Tums afterward. And I was STARVING! Of course, I'd been starving all along, but afraid to eat and had bad results from eating. I'm very hopeful and glad to have such quick results.
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