Could I have GERD due to low acid levels?

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spacepilot
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/20/2011 7:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm going to see my primary care doc to request a PH test and possibly an upper GI series sometime next week, but until then I'd like to gather some opinions to help put my mind at ease.


So here are my symptoms:

-Pain on the right/middle side of my abdomen after eating. Happens sometimes everyday for a week and then goes away for a day or more, then comes back. Totally unpredictable and very severe when it happens.

-The type of food doesn't seem to matter anymore, but frozen yogurt (even non-fat, or non-dairy) seems to be the most triggering. Meat is also a definite no. Most fruit and veggies don't bother me.

-Since I've stopped drinking coffee three days ago it doesn't seem to have improved like I thought it would. Same goes for carbonated beverages.

-I upped my 20mg of prilosec to 40mg about 5 days ago and it's only gotten worse.

-Tums and rolaids don't seem to do anything

-The only relief I find is a hot bath or shower, and then it comes right back.

-I often have problems with regurgitation. The food comes back up whole, and tastes the same as it did going down with very minimal burning or acid taste. Sometimes it can be something I ate 5 hours prior. (no gagging, just a belch and then out comes everything.)

-Gets way worse when I'm stressed out.

-I space out my meals significantly and try to eat little bits throughout the day but I feel as if it doesn't make a difference.

-I get very bloated when I eat anything, but no gas follows.

-Sometimes I wake up with an absolutely wretched taste in my mouth. Lately it's every morning.

-I've dealt with the pain for roughly 10 years, but the regurgitation began only a year and a half ago.


I'm skipping my second dose of prilosec tonight and I think I might just stop taking it altogether. It only seemed to help for the first week or so that I took it and I'm starting to think it was just a placebo effect.

Thoughts?
Thanks!
-Alex

Post Edited (spacepilot) : 4/20/2011 7:18:18 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 4/20/2011 8:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alex,
Welcome to Healing Well! I think it's a good idea that you are going to be referred to a GI doc. You have been dealing with your problems for a long time, and the medication is not solving the problem.

Here's a chart of abdominal pain and symptoms that I found online:
www.officialhealthcentral.com/pain-symptoms-charts.htm

Have you considered the possibility of gallbladder disease? Just a thought.
Here is some information to consider:
www.ehow.com/about_5377604_foods-trigger-gallbladder-symptoms.html

If PPI's and antacids don't provide relief, I would question whether or not the pain is GERD related. Generally Maalox, or a similar product offers immediate relief.

I certainly hope you find an answer soon. I'm sure it is difficult to live with a problem like that, and not know what to do.

I'm sure others will be by to weigh in. I'm glad you've joined us!
Denise

miketx
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2011
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 4/21/2011 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Achlorhydria/hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) can produce GERD-like symptoms, but I'd check with your doctor for the diagnosis.

spacepilot
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/21/2011 3:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I was going to have a HIDA scan a while back for suspected gallbladder issues but I chickened out after hearing horror stories about induced pain from the test. I'm going to see if they can do a barium swallow instead if possible. I've already had two ultrasounds that have come up clean stone-wise.

My gastroenterologist said that my symptoms all sounded like gallbladder disease even though I didn't have any stones. I didn't mention the regurgitation issues... could I be experiencing some GERD like symptoms as a result of a screwed up gallbladder?

I keep a food diary and now I'm looking back and noticing that on the days I experienced pain and/or regurge I consumed about 25-30 grams of fat. The days I was pain free I ate below 15- sometimes as few as 5.




So maybe the initial gallbladder assumption has more validity than I thought...

Yesterday I had no coffee, and kept a bland diet with absolutely no acidic foods. I had 25 grams of fat.... and I was in killer pain.

Today I've had coffee, diet root beer, cigarettes, no prilosec and about 5 grams of fat. I feel completely fine minus a little rebound heartburn due to stopping my meds.

Post Edited (spacepilot) : 4/21/2011 3:10:33 PM (GMT-6)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 4/21/2011 6:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alex,
For what it's worth, my husband has many gallbladder symptoms--especially after eating fatty meals (ice cream always gets him). He has classic symptoms. He also went for testing and was given a clean bill of health. That doesn't stop the gallbladder from continuing to give him problems. I heard from someone (I can't remember who) that it's best to have the test when you're having an attack. I don't know how you time that!
Good luck getting to the bottom of things!
Denise

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/23/2011 6:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alex,
I've had alot of the same symptoms as you and I had 2 ultrasounds plus a hidascan (which is a peice of cake btw, no pain whatsoever dont let horror stories stop you!) and all came out in normal ranges with no apparent stones detected. I still get "attacks" at night and after eating fatty meals. My GP and surgeon wants it out anyway. I have about 5 coworkers I know of that have had there GB out and most of them said they too had normal tests but once the GB was out their pain stopped. The GB can still be malfuntioning if it doesnt have stones, and there can still be sludge and/or stones in there without an ultrasound seeing them. I would get a second opinion and bring up these points. You don't need it so why have it if its causing problems. goodluck!

spacepilot
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 4/23/2011 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
@bittersweet I experimented with my diet and it's definitely fat that's causing it. I've been on a very low fat plan again for the last three days and so far NO pain at all.... after about a week of constant attacks I'm absolutely overwhelmed with happiness. I want to get my gallbladder out at some point but for now the dietary switch seems to be the best route. Any advice for replacing lost nutrients that I'm not getting from the lack of fat in my diet? I want to make sure I keep myself as healthy as I can in my situation.

bittersweet603
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2006
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 4/24/2011 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Alex, I would stick to what works for you to avoid the attacks and pain. Ask for an anti-nausea medicine to help when you do get them as it seems to calm mine down. I am getting bile backflow from my gb and its causing gastritis and esophagitis, which has been happening for years and they just now are realizing what the problem is *sigh*. I can not drink alcohol or eat spicy/fatty food without suffering after. Some days are better then others. As far as nutrients, you don't need a high fat diet for that. I take multi-vitamins, probiotic and coconut oil capsules which do not bother my gb or stomach and have excellent source of omega's in them. flaxseed is another good option and a good source of fiber. Also fennel seed helps relax your gb and aides in digestion after meals, you can chew the seeds or make a tea from it. I am big into holistic health and herbs and have tried many things and these are what help me most. Hope you get to the bottom of everything soon!
-Nikki
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