Acid reflux/esophageal spasms diagnosed after GI scope in the hospital...been taking Protonix since

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ArbyBarbie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 4/30/2010 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
I was having a horrible time over Christmas last year. I could not eat..it would hurt me so bad and scare me because I would feel like I was having a heart attack. My food would stick in my throat/esophagus. It was awful. My doctor finally hospitalized me after I got down to 92 pounds (from 108) and my potassium and other blood levels were low from malnutrition .I've always been slim but never THAT slim. This all started after a round of antibiotics (Z-pack) for strep throat. I guess those antibiotics just screwed me up.

In the hospital they did a GI scope on my 5th day there..and I had an esophageal spasm during the scope..thankfully. So they put me on an antispasmodic (levsin) and kept me on Protonix 40 mg a day and zantac at night (which I don't do anymore).

Anyway I'm much better [img]/community/emoticons/blush.gif[/img] ...back up to my normal weight and can eat almost anything with caution. No onions or cokes or coffee. But lately my muscles just ACHE...I mean ACHE all day long. I'm only 30 and I never had muscle pain before all of this. I wake up in the morning and my lower back and shoulders just hurt and my neck too...my neck feels so stiff..and my TMJ has worsened...uggh. I looked up side effects of Protonix and stiff muscles and soreness was a "rare" side effect.

So I decided to skip my Protonix today..for the first time in almost five months and OMG I feel icky. Trouble swallowing again and metal taste in mouth...but guess what my muscles aren't as sore! I want to cry...protonix actually WORKS and makes me feel better....but I feel like I have arthritis when I take it...I don't know what to do. I made an appt. with my regular dr (the one that hospitalized me) to see what she thinks I should do. The nurse said protonix was most likely not the cause of my muscle pains.....but my little test shows it just may be the cause. [img]/community/emoticons/idea.gif[/img]



I wonder if I could take something else. Before I was hospitalized I tried Prevacid and Prilosec and neither one touched my reflux/spasms.

Any ADVICE would be AWESOME....this can be really depressing, especially when I thought I had found the answer.

Also I don't understand why I STILL have reflux after five mos. of medicine..I mean is this something I will have to take forever? Do all PPI's have the side effects of muscle pain?

Thanks for listening! [img]/community/emoticons/cry.gif[/img]

Perksie
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 51
   Posted 5/1/2010 6:23 AM (GMT -6)   
You can try switching PPI's to something else...maybe try Pariet which works slightly different. Of course, you need to consult your doctor first.

I had to stop Nexium because it gave me arthritic type pain, so I guess the medication causing your pain is a possibility.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 5/1/2010 7:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi ArbyBarbie,
Sorry to hear you're having so many problems. I can definitely identify with being hospitalized for GERD after an antibiotic. That has happened to me...only in my case it wasn't because of weight loss/malnutrition, but rather its effect on asthma.

I am on Protonix, and have been for about four years. Fortunately, it doesn't cause any symptoms for me. There are many other PPI's your doctor can try. Unfortunately reflux is a lifetime problem, since reflux is caused by a defective/weak LES--the valve that holds acid/food in your stomach. The medications neutralize the acid, thus keeping whatever does reflux into your esophagus from burning it and causing damage.

My husband had muscle aches from a cholesterol lowering drug, and after trying a few, found one that didn't cause those problems. Hopefully you can do the same with PPI's.

You're in a good place at this forum. Be sure to continue to post your questions. People here have been through similar situations, and will be happy to offer support and ideas, and share their own experiences.

Take care and good luck!
Denise

ArbyBarbie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 5/1/2010 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise,

I'm sorry you were hospitalized too...that's never fun! Before all of this I had never experienced any health problems other than allergies...and had definitely never been hospitalized for anything so it was a definite shock to my system...caused all kinda of anxiety which made my stomach problems worse.

I'm sad that the Protonix is causing me the side effects now...but at least I realized it was the medicine and not some new condition that I developed. I'm glad you found something that works for you...Protonix is good stuff.

I did go ahead and start back on my Protonix today because it's either that or not eat and I'd rather have muscle pain than the stomach problems I experienced!

I guess I will always have to be on something, because another thing I realized yesterday (my one day off of Protonix) is that I'm not healed even after five months, and like you said having a weak/defective LES is something that is lifelong....too bad the les isn't on the outside then we could just exercise it to improve it's function!!!

Anyway have a good weekend!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/1/2010 12:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Take the medicine again, but take a high dose of calcium and magnisium. PPIs hinder the absorbsion of these minerals and lack of them causes muscle pains.

Joy

ArbyBarbie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 5/1/2010 1:07 PM (GMT -6)   
Joy,

Great advice! I have wondered this myself...is there a certain brand of cal/mag that would be good? I know I can't take vitamin C tablets that absolutely kill my poor stomach...

Is there something that is gentle on the stomach?

Thanks again!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 5/1/2010 1:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Amanda, (my mother's and niece's name) :)

Try slow mag for the magesium. I take nature's own of the calcium.

I've never had trouble with the calcium and my mother takes the slow mag and she has many stomach issues it doesn't bother.

Joy

beut
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/5/2010 5:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey arby barbie,
I realize a lot of time has passed since you last posted this but I happened to see this on here after an online search and wanted to see if there was any update. Have you improved some? What has helped?
I'm curious because I had a similar thing happen to me. I am also 30 and never had any health problems prior to this year. I somehow ended up herniating a disc in my neck and unfortunately I didn't have a good doctor lined up at the time so my beginning symptoms (ringing in my ears, feeling off balance, etc) led many of the doctors I saw to just think I had anxiety or something which didn't make sense in my case. Anyway, they prescribed me muscle relaxants and I spent most of my time lying down on my back with my neck specifically positioned very flat on a pillow while I waited for them to figure out what was causing me so much pain and all that. I spent nearly 2 months like that lying down while taking muscle relaxants and occasionally an anti-anxiety pill in the hopes that it might help. But, it didn't. I even ate lying down. Little did I know that this whole time I was doing damage to my LES as each time I was putting the muscle relaxants and anti-anxiety meds into my body, my LES was being forced to relax. Plus, a lot was being asked of it since I was eating lying down 24/7. I eventually started feeling a pressure in my chest but ignored it as it was the least of my worries at the time. One day, though, I suddenly tasted metal in my mouth and my throat started closing off on me. At first we thought it might be an allergy to the MRI dye that I had that day, but looking back it makes more sense that it was silent acid reflux. After all, during the MRI I had been lying down completely flat for 1 1/2 hour. Plenty of time for acid reflux to come up and rear its head. After that, my throat was extemely touchy and it would spasm every time I ate anything acidic. Anything that even had a touch of citric acid in it would set my throat off. At one point, a random ENT prescribed me prilosec but he only gave me enough for 2 weeks. When I went off it, I had the worst time ever, which I'll explain later. I also lost weight, although I had some farm girl muscle to sustain me through a lot of it. I've always been muscular so I started out at 155 and am now at about 140. I know 140 may sound like a lot (the doctors seemed unconcerned, at least) but I haven't weighed that since middle school, so that gives you an idea of how lightweight that is for me. I graduated from high school weighing about 150 and when I work out I actually gain weight rather than lose it.
Anyway, all of this throat and LES stuff started in May and, even though I've improved some, I'm still dealing with it in October.
So, this is what I've learned, in case it helps you...PPI's aren't the be all and the end all. In fact, they can backfire on you. There have been some recent studies done that have found that some people's body's respond to PPI's by actually making more cells that produce acid. This means that you are basically stuck on the drug because if you ever go off of it then your stomach will be destroyed from literally 10 times the normal amount of acid being in your digestive system. When I went off Prilosec, I literally shook (my teeth shattered) and I peed every 5 minutes. I felt like a drug addict coming off of cocaine or something. I didn't know I was going through Prilosec withdrawal at the time but the intense acid that followed the beginning symptoms was a pretty good clue. I actually think that prilosec is partially what screwed up my LES so badly as, prior to prilosec, I hadn't even tasted my acid. If you'd like info on these studies that I found, just post something on here. I currently use Zantac and my diet to try to control acid.
Speaking of diet, that is very important. I've found that eating easy to digest foods (simple starches and foods) are the best rather than eating foods with lots of ruffage and stuff like that. My sister has crohn's so she helped me figure out things that are easy to digest. I would absentmindedly eat carrots, for example, and would realize later (after some stomach pains and seeing them show up in my stool) they were the wrong thing to eat. What I tend to eat in a day is oatmeal, granola bars, mashed potatoes, peanut butter and honey sandwiches, cooked green beans or peas, maybe some bananas or an egg here and there (but you have to be careful with eggs and too much protein encourages acid production. Fatty things are supposed to encourage acid production, too, so ice cream and whatnot may not be a good idea.
Also, staying away from chocolate, tomatoes, and mint are important as those things relax your LES, too. Watch out because a lot of things for your stomach like teas and whatnot have peppermint in them. People think peppermint is good because it relaxes your stomach but you don't want to relax it you want to get it working again.
I've learned that melatonin (the hormone that helps you sleep) is supposed to trigger your LES to work so you might try taking some of that, although I haven't tried it yet. I don't think my regular melatonin is doing much as I always wake up with a sore throat these days.
Another thing that helps is mild aerobic exercise. I have taken up walking every day as I've noticed that helps a lot. In fact, just staying upright and straight helps rather than sitting hunched over all the time. Also, swallowing can trigger your LES to spring into action. I'm to the point where I can literally feel my LES kick into gear when it decides to as it suctions off my stomach and then all of the air that has been sitting in there fills my tummy out really full and I feel like I'm going to burst. :) But, this is a small price to pay to know that my LES is at least still trying.
I also try to take simethicone or anti-gas pills whenever I eat to help cut down on any excess gas that may be contributing to the problem. Also, try to make yourself go to the bathroom regularly. I can literally feel my LES try to spring into action after I go to the bathroom. There's suddently less pressure on it so it can work easier. I try to drink lots of water to help with that.
Also, I've learned that accupuncture can help treat your LES. I've tried it a couple of time and it seemed to help but haven't gone back yet. It usually takes 5 to 6 sessions for someone's body to fully react to this. I've also heard that chiropractors can sometimes help the LES somehow.
Anyway, these are just some of the things I've learned so far. Hope you have been improving! My problem is that I get too ahead of myself too soon and eat a carrot or something and then set myself back again. So, I have to remember to take baby steps and that it will take a long time for my LES to fully heal.
Good luck!
Oh, I forgot to mention that I also had a racing heart and chest pains from all of this. Doctors, of course, thought this was anxiety but I realized over time that it was the acid getting into my esophagus and really irritating it that was setting me off. I started realizing that everytime I bent over my heart would flutter a bit awkwardly. Over time, this settled down some and I stopped having the racing heart so much. So, your "anxiety" may simply be triggered by the physicality of the whole situation. It's not comfortable to have your heart beating fast and you're obviously getting a rush of adrenaline when this happens. Hence, you feel anxious. It helped me to know just exactly what was going on.

beut
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2010
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 10/6/2010 12:02 AM (GMT 0)   
Oops. I forgot to also mention that for vitamins I drink a Boost drink every day as that way I'm at least getting some vitamins. I agree with you about the Vitamin C pill thing though. I seriously can't handle any pill vitamins these days. As far as the magnesium goes...it's true that PPI's inhibit your absorption of that and calcium. And, magnesium is important for your muscles to relax (although, you may want to put up with the muscles being tight as it may help your LES muscle to buck up). But, anyway, one way you can get magnesium is through epsom salts. Epsom salts are just magnesium stearate. You just put them in your bath and soak up the magnesium through your skin. This should help your muscles relax. You can even get epsom salts that have potassium and zinc in them, too. You should be able to absorb all of those things through your skin.

ArbyBarbie
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/21/2013 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the great advice beut! I'm actually of all my herd meds 3 years later and came back to read my old posts. My weight is up 110 ...and I can eat almost whatever I want. I think that strep throat I had just was too much for my system to handle. I still have some reflux but nothing like it was then. I'm getting my tonsils out next month yay!!
Amanda
________________________________________________________________________________
*TMJ since 2007 (Currently reading Taking control of TMJ))
*Acid Reflux dx 01/10 (Taking Protonix 40 mg once daily)
*Esophageal spasm dx 01/10 (stopped Levsin, spasms seem to have stopped since taking Protonix)
*Allergies (all my life) (chemical, fragrances, molds, trees) (Zyrtec D or Allegra D)
*Eustachian Tube Dysfunction dx 03/10

~~~These things do not control me. I can conquer all! I have Faith in someone much stronger than me~~~
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