New and looking for some insight

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sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/2/2011 5:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

I have been lurking for a few days reading through lots of posts. I do still have some questions with my diagnosis that I would like some insight on from those who have "been there and done that". My reflux was dx'd' about 6 weeks ago and it is still not completely under control. Having a hard time with meds. I am on the 5th round of med trials and finally I am seeing some improvement. Will probably need to add an H2Blocker. Currently I am on 30 mg prevacid 2x a day and just started Carafate last night and have been dx'd with mild gastritis and esophagitis stage IV. I think I may also have LPR as talking hurts and it hurts middle of the chest if I cough. Just my thinking now. As my prevacid wears off I start to get gurgling in my throat both early morning and late afternoon. So my questions are........

1. Has anyone every taken prevacid 3x's a day or would an H2blocker be a better addition.

2. I am already barely able to eat with this much acid blocking and have lost way to much weight. I was below weight to begin with, so this is pretty scary. Already this morning I am not hungry at all and feel like dinner is still there in my stomach. I drink ensure for snacks and try to eat healthy foods at meal time, but can't get much in. rolleyes

I have read from the posts that it will get better, but since I started this journey of meds I seem to be getting worse. So it's hard not to worry.

If you made it this far with me, thanks for listening. Any insight would be appreciated. I am trying to stay forever hopeful.

Thanks,
Sewfun

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/2/2011 8:46 AM (GMT -6)   
Sewfun
 
Hello and welcome to the GERD Forum.  I am looking forward to getting to know you better.
 
We have  a group of members who are very knowledgable about GERD. I have GERD but I take one Prilosec per day.  I do reflux but it seems to be mostly from certain foods or combinations of foods.
 
You may want to check out this link in our resources thread for GERD:
 
 
Again a warm welcome to the forum,
 
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"

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/2/2011 12:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the welcome. :)

I did speak with the Dr's assistant this am, but she had no more options for me at this point and the Dr is out of the country. I will see him Monday. I guess I will just be in survival mode until then.

Any advice during this wait would be appreciated.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/2/2011 12:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Sewfun,
Welcome to Healing Well! GERD isn't sewfun, is it? You're definitely in the right place...you are among friends who suffer or have suffered the same way you are.

I'm glad to hear you have found Carafate. It's a wonderful help. I'm assuming that you are taking the liquid form, as that is the best for healing the esophagus as well as the stomach.

Are you being careful to keep your meds 2 hours before or after the Carafate? If not, the Carafate can interfere with the absorption.

I have never heard of taking PPI's more than twice a day. The added H2Blocker is common, though.

I've taken 40mg Protonix (PPI) twice a day along with 300mg Zantac just before bedtime. At one time I took the Zantac in the morning as well.(just 150mg)
That is a common combination. You could take the OTC Zantac until you see your doc.

I have also suffered from gastritis and esophagitis, and found they are very difficult to recover from. It's very common to lose weight, and it takes time for the healing to occur. I always lost about 20 pounds for each episode, and well remember not being able to eat much. Actually, I lived on (homemade) egg custard during those times. It seemed to be the only thing I could tolerate. I remember one Thanksgiving when I tried a spoonful of mashed potatoes with a little gravy and immediately had severe stomach pain.

I asked my GI doc when I could start eating normally after having such a flare-up, and he told me to wait 2 weeks after I felt perfect, then try to introduce a normal diet.

No alcohol, no acidic foods, no rough foods that will scrape going down or when being mashed in the stomach.

I'm so sorry that you're suffering so. Is the head of your bed elevated? It needs to be raised under the legs of the bed, not with pillows. That will help keep acid in your stomach so it doesn't continue to travel into your esophagus and cause further damage.

Good luck, and hang in there. I had many such bouts, and in addition always suffered with increased asthma during those times as well.

You will get better. Be patient...I know it's hard, but you can do it!
Stick around here. We'll answer whatever questions we can and provide you with a cheering squad of support! yeah yeah yeah yeah
Take care,
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/2/2011 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
PS
Be sure to take the PPI a half hour or so before you eat your meals. I've heard anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour prior to eating. Did your doctor provide you with guidance? The idea is to shut down the acid pumps before you start eating, so they don't start in the first place.
wink

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/2/2011 6:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Dencha,

Thank you for your posts. I appreciate the time it took to make such a reply. My PC doc today let me know I needed to be taking the Carafate 4x's a day instead of 2x's. That should make for some interesting timing of meds since he wants that and the PPI before breakfast. Oh, and it is the liquid form. I felt better waking up this morning after the first dose last night. I'm going to add an H2blocker tonight 2 hours before bed and see how that does. I did not space the Carafate 2 hours after the afternoon med, so not sure how that is going to be. Doc told me I could take the Carafate 1 hour after med and wait another 30 min after that to eat. Time will tell how I do tonight after that timing of meds. With the delayed response meds, it seems taking the Carafate during the day would be problematic anyway. Oh well.

I have already raised the bed and made lots of adjustments to the diet. I don't really eat much anyway. I may find that I cannot tolerate the Ensure well. That is the only thing keeping me from losing anymore weight. 350 calories in an 8 oz drink does help.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/2/2011 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi sewfun,

Interesting to hear your PCP suggested taking the Carafate one hour after meds. I once checked with a pharmacist, and she said that you should be able to take the Carafate less than 2 hours after meds, as it should be out of your stomach by an hour or so. I'm going to try that next time I need it.

I remember one time when I was suffering with a flareup, and I was struggling. Maalox wasn't really doing the job, and I was really hurting. I took one dose of Carafate, and could feel the difference immediately.

I know what you mean about spacing it...could you write up an eating/med/Carafate schedule and try to follow it?

I don't know if it sounds good to you or not, but if you could find a recipe for egg custard and make yourself some, you might find it easy on your stomach and tasty and sustaining as well. Make it with whole milk, (or half and half) and you could get it more caloric.

I well remember being right where you are. Fortunately, it has been one big advantage post Nissen. Even recovery from the Nissen surgery wasn't as tough as the gastritis/esophagitis episodes I struggled with before the surgery. It's not easy, I know.

Good luck getting the Carafate schedule to work!
Feel better,
Denise

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/2/2011 8:21 PM (GMT -6)   
PS
I was told by the pharmacist to take the Zantac as close to bedtime as possible, as it is not time released and it will make it more likely to last the entire night.
Just an FYI... turn

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/3/2011 2:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Denise,

Well I'm not sure I will be taking the Carafate so close to my Prevacid dose again as I had more problems last night than before. This morning I will just wait and take the Carafate 1 hour after eating breakfast. I'm still doing better on the Prevacid than anything else so far though. That's promising. I'm hoping as time goes by it will start to work better.

I'm going to try Zantac tonight, the famotidine didn't really help that much. At least not that I could tell. confused

Egg custard sounds good to me. Certainly worth a try. I'm also going to try and drink more coconut water for the alkalinity. Aloe Vera juice burns me right now.

Thanks again!

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 6/3/2011 9:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi sewfun,
Actually, Carafate is supposed to be taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after eating. I guess that is to be sure that everything is out of your stomach and it can coat it better. As you know, it is really hard to take it just because of that.

Do you have a little bottle that you can put some in so you can take it with you when you are on the go? I asked my pharmacy and they were happy to provide it. I just stick it in a plastic baggie with a medicine spoon and I'm good to go. That way, at least, you would be able to take it while you're out.

It almost seems that it's the type of drug that requires using your phone alarm to help you remember. When I was at my worst, I always had my phone set to remind me to take my Protonix, so I wouldn't forget. When you're taking things at critical times, it sometimes helps to have a reminder.

Hope you enjoy the egg custard. Even when I was hospitalized for severe gastritis/esophagitis that caused my asthma to fly out of control, I could still eat egg custard. That's all I ordered from the hospital kitchen! (That and bottled water...)

Feel better,
Denise

sewfun
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 146
   Posted 6/4/2011 3:46 AM (GMT -6)   
dencha said...
Hi sewfun,Do you have a little bottle that you can put some in so you can take it with you when you are on the go? I asked my pharmacy and they were happy to provide it. I just stick it in a plastic baggie with a medicine spoon and I'm good to go. That way, at least, you would be able to take it while you're out.


This is a good idea. I realized yesterday I need to keep all meds with me. We were out and running a little late for my afternoon Prevacid. I think that may have caused the problem of my early evening raging heartburn last night. I have an emergency pack of everything with me now! Thanks!!
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