New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

Wallace
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/12/2011 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
 
New member and poster here. I hope you don't mind me starting a new thread. There's already so much great information and advice on this site, but it's a bit overwhelming to wade through, and I haven't come across anything that quite describes my case. Let me see if I can try to describe what I've been going through and what brought me here. Thank you in advance for giving me and everyone else a forum to share our experiences.
 
about two months ago I had a horrible anxiety attack. I've never had one before, but there was no mistaking the symptoms. I'd prefer not to go into detail about what caused it (it was a very specific event), but the next day I found my chest extremely tight and had a lump in my throat that I couldn't get rid of. The next day the lump  fortunately disappeared, but the tightness persisted. With the chest tightness and slight pains continuing, I scoured the internet for possible causes/remedies. And that's when I realized, based on what I was reading, that these symptoms were likely caused by GERD rather than anxiety alone, especially because the anxiety itself seemed to have disappeared. Or, more precisely, the anxiety had probably led to the GERD. Other clues were that the back of my throat has felt tingly and sore, and I've been burping much more frequently. When it occured to me that GERD might be the cause, I decided -- this is very stupid, I know -- to take some famotidine that I had in the house from several months ago. I had a really bad stomach bug back in January and ended up in the ER. They gave me the famotidine to calm my stomach down, and it worked like a charm. A quick google search revealed that famotidine also helps with GERD. I've taken it for about two and a half days now and the tightness in ym chest has almost completely disappeared, but the chest pains are still there (underneath my sternum, migrating from lower to upper portions), the back of my throat is still a bit sore (though not as bad), and I'm still burping.
 
I guess my first question is whether people think I have GERD. And, if so, do you think it'll be a chronic problem since I've never had this issue before and since my symptoms are relatively mild compared to what I've been reading on here? My last question is whether you think I should try klonopin, which is a drug used to treat anxiety. I'm on Wellbutrin at the moment (the only medication I take), and my doctor suggested when I went to see her after the anxiety attack that I try klonopin, but the anxiety had largely subsided at that point, and so I decided to pass, wanting to avoid medication if it wasn't absolutely necessary. I read on a couple of forums, though, that people took klonopin and found it very helpful for their GERD. I was wondering if others felt this was a potentially good idea.
 
Mostly I'd just really like to hear that given the benign nature of my symptoms and given that this was caused by a very unique experience that I don't think will be repreating itself any time soon and that I've never had acid reflux problems before, given all of these things, I'd just like to hear that there's a very good chance the problem will clear up in the not too distant future. I'm a young guy (23), in good shape, never had any serious medical issues, but I've had to see quite a few doctors recently (like when I went to the ER a few months back), and it's been getting me down. Having yet another problem to add to my plate would, well, really be a downer. That said, I see that others have it much worse than I do, so I consider myself very lucky that my symptoms are manageable and that I've found this extremely generous and helpful community.
 
Thank you again for all your help and support.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 5/12/2011 4:45 PM (GMT -6)   
I would see your doc and explain your "drug trial". It could be that you have had GERD for a while and the anxiety episode made it more obvious. Or it could just be an isolated episode that will go away with a short course of treatment. Famotidine I think is like Zantac? Zantac is available without a prescription. If it is helping you could take Zantac type stuff for a bit longer but I would see your doc to explain and they can refer you on for tests if things don't settle quickly and then they can work out what your most likely diagnosis is and whether the pain is related to GERD or something else.

Wallace
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/12/2011 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the feedback, mudmagnetmum. I was thinking of making an appointment with a GI for next week.

Here's some basic wikipedia information on famotidine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famotidine.

It's helping, I think, but I actually experienced a bit more chest tightness today after I wrote that post.

Is it possible to just have a short term episode of GERD? One that lasts a couple of months and then with proper treatment disappears? Or does the fact that it's lasted longer than a few weeks mean it's almost certainly a chronic condition?

Any other general thoughts on my situation out there/anyone else who thinks their symptoms were largely anxiety-induced?

Really, thanks again.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 5/13/2011 4:57 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes Famotidine is pretty much the same as Zantac. It belongs to a group of drugs that lower stomach acid, H2 blockers. Another type of acid lowering drug is a proton pump inhibitor and they tend to be more the drug of choice for healing ulcers and they are more effective at stopping production of stomach acid. They are not without side effects though - some people tolerate them very well, others (as you can see from the forum) find the side effects too much. They are usually well tolerated in the short term though, and your primary carer can prescribe them for you. If you see a GI cons they can also prescribe them. I would advise some caution using them long term and also advise not to stop them suddenly (proton pump inhibitors that is) as you will get "acid rebound" i.e. a temporary over production of acid. However, first wait and see if you are offered them.

I certainly think anxiety can make things worse and once physical causes (ulcers etc) have been ruled out then you may wish to focus on dealing with the anxiety. Though in my case all the anxiety came from having to have tests for GERD!!! But that's just me - most people cope with that.

You need to see a doctor to make sure your symptoms are stomach-related and are appropriately dealt with - you don't want to be assuming it's acid reflux and treating it, if in fact there's no problem with your stomach. If the problem is all anxiety-related then I don't imagine it will go away without the reassurance that there is nothing wrong with your tummy, which you can only get by seeking medical attention. Either way, there will be lots of treatment options. Make an appointment - you may feel better just from making the decision and having taken some action.

Good luck.

Wallace
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 5/13/2011 7:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Great. Thanks for the very helpful and insighftul advice. I've just made an appointment with a well recommended GI and hopefully he'll be able to put me on the right path. Feeling good again today (though a little bit of chest pain/discomfort), but also looking forward to seeing an expert and hopefully getting this sorted out!

Many thanks again.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/13/2011 7:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Wallace,
 
Welcome to HealingWell.  I am glad to know you are seeing a GI physician.
You may want to make a list of your sx, when this all started and have your questions ready to ask the GI physician. 
 
Let us know how you make out at the GI appointment.
 
Kindly,
Kitt 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 5/13/2011 3:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad to hear you've got an appointment. Make sure you mention your anxiety problems as well, so that they can take that into consideration if they're thinking about tests. At this early stage they may only want to "watch and wait" and continue medication a bit longer. That would be the approach here in the uk where we're slower off the mark intervention wise!

Good luck and do take a note of your symptoms etc just in case you get "brain freeze" when you get in there! And be up front about the medication you have tried as that provides useful info for them too.

Wallace
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 6/10/2011 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

Since I got some very kind and helpful feedback on here when I first posted about a month ago, I thought I'd check in (also because, unfortunately, I'm still struggling with some of the issues I wrote about originally).

So I went to the GI who recommended, based on my case history, that I start with the klonopin to see if this was all just anxiety-related. So I did that for about a week or so, and while initially somewhat helpful in relieving the chest tightness (my main symptom), I was still having mild chest pain and still burping, so I took some pills that he had samples of in his office that he gave to me -- Dexilant. They were vaguely helpful. I had a follow up appointment about two weeks later, and, at that point, I thought the symptoms were going away so it was basically just a formality, and he gave me a prescription for Dexilant that he said I could fill if I felt I needed it, and that I should continue with the lifestyle changes (raised bed, change in diet, not eating 3-4 hours before bed, etc.). But it's been another week since that appointment, and I'm still having the same symptoms (albeit slightly milder from when I first when to see him): there's still the chest tightness, infrequent mild chest pain, more mucus than usual at the back of my throat, burping (though not as often as before trying Dexilant), a feeling like there's popcorn stuck in the back of my throat (this has become more frequent), general discomfort at the back of my throat, and waking up with that acid-y taste in my mouth. I should also add that it's unclear to me that any of this is triggered by food. Today, for example, it's already past 4pm, and all I've had to eat is a bagel, but I'm not feeling great, whereas, yesterday, I'd had a lot to drink (alcohol-wise) the night before (I know, I know, stupid move), but felt better than I do now. The symptoms are relatively constant, only getting, at most, slightly better or slightly worse day-to-day. The tightness is the main symptom, and it's almost always there.

I realize I'm much better off than a lot of the posters on this forum, so I feel bad distracting from their inquiries, but this has been driving me pretty crazy. I was wondering if you thought it would be worth getting an endoscopy -- an option the GI put on the table when we first met. I'm very concerned now that I might have a hiatal hernia. You see, despite being only 23 and having been healthy, in shape, etc., my whole life, I recently had to have shoulder surgery because of an accident. It took a while to diagnose the issue, and I'm only now just fully recovered. It was a real ordeal, and I'd like to be able to have a respite from constantly worrying about my body. That's why I'd resist getting the endoscopy (especially because it requires going under). But having read more, and given that food doesn't seem to be a major catalyst, I'm concerned about the hernia possibility. Do you think that could be what's going on?

Anyway, I just wanted to see if anyone had an opinion on what they felt I should do or if they'd been in a similar boat. Many thanks again for this wonderful forum and all your great advice.

Post Edited (Wallace) : 6/10/2011 2:41:33 PM (GMT-6)


couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/10/2011 2:41 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd go back to the doctor and ask for something different or stronger. Meanwhile you do need to leave all alcohol alone and eat small frequent meals. No spices or acidic foods.
Also you may want to go forward with some testing to see if you have a weak LES.
Joy
New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Saturday, June 23, 2018 4:46 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,974,453 posts in 326,177 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 161281 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, Paw Paw.
295 Guest(s), 3 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Buxx99, sandyfeet, Jack & Diane