GERD and hiatal hernias (insight please?)

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joshr89
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2011 1:25 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm a 21 year old male, and I've just recently (over the past two weeks) been experiencing severe pressure and discomfort in the base of my throat and upper esophagus. I'm a hospital corpsman student with the U.S. Navy, so I have a limited medical background, but I'm very concerned about how this may affect my enlistment, and this is far outside my field of practice.

Symptoms I have been experiencing:
-severe and frequent pressure and pain in my upper esophagus
-gastric backflow into my mouth after meals
-difficulty swallowing liquids
-shortness of breath without physical activity

I am a smoker and I do drink, however I am very active and physically fit. I am not on any prescription medications, and the only OTC drug I have been taking is an antacid when the symptoms began. My father was diagnosed with GERD and hiatal hernia years ago, and from what my research has shown me, I'm under the impression that both have hereditary properties.

Is there anything I can do myself to relieve these symptoms or fix this problem without seeing a doctor? I am severely concerned about taking myself to medical due to the fact that I am in the military. If I do indeed have either of these problems, it could easily throw a hitch in my enlistment, and as I am working towards being a FMF Corpsman (field combat medic for the Marines), I don't want to be diagnosed with something that could ruin that for me.

Any insight, educated opinions, or professional expertise would be more than greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.

Sunbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 4/17/2011 1:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Josh,

"Everybody who has a hiatal hernia, will not have GERD, but everybody who has GERD will most likely have a hiatal hernia." That's the common belief. I don't believe the Navy is going to medical discharge you for having GERD. If you go to sick call with your problem, they will most likely have an endoscopy performed or possibly a barium swallow to see what is causing your problems. Remember, any medical condition that develops while you are serving in the military is considered "service connected," and it's in your best interests to have this information in your medical file. If you wish to read up on compensable service connected conditions, I suggest you google..."veterans benefits' network" It's free to join, and you can post questions after you join. There are hundreds of military/veterans who will be happy to answer any questions you have. Do yourself a favor though........quit smoking!

joshr89
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2011 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Sunbird,

Thanks for the information. Ill definitely look that up.

And I'm not worried about discharge, I know that I wouldn't get discharged for that. What I'm concerned about is the possibility of not being able to hold a combat position with the Marines. That's why I joined, to take care of our boys in the field.

Sunbird
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 4/17/2011 2:06 PM (GMT -6)   
If the Navy determines you do indeed have GERD, they'll most likely put you on a proton pump inhibitor such as Prevacid, Nexium, etc. I've read long distance runners have problems with GERD, so being physically active can contribute to acid reflux.

joshr89
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/17/2011 2:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hm... I'll have to conduct a little more research on the military side of things. But thank you very much, again, for the info!

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 4/17/2011 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
During your recovery from the surgery you can't do any heavy lifting, but after you're healed you can go back to your active lifestyle.
Joy

Seven32
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 5/9/2011 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
do you feel any pain in your upper back? Chest-tightness? Any other pain in your chest when you run or walk fast? I have a sliding hernia with a lot symptoms
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