I've been back and forth this site for a while now reading all your experiences trying to get a handle on whats going on with and figured i might as post my story.
I'm nearly 21 yrs old and i've had chronic heartburn for about the last 5 years. At first i had it everyday but not constantly, but there was no pattern to it. i would get (and still do get) heartburn whether my stomach was full, empty or i'd just had a snack. first thing in the morning, lunch time and at night. Nothing really made it worse than it already was, but looking back there was never a distinct time/circumstance when it was better/easier. this went on for about 6months or more and i survived on ranitadine OTC medicine.
then i realised that it was getting worse, it became more severe, prolonged and frequent. so i went to the dr's and was prescribed ranitadine at a higher dose and was basically left to rot for 2years. it was only when i went to uni and had to register with a dr there and get my prescriptions sorted out did the dr ask why on earth it hadn't been investigated, especially as i was soo young. my new dr sent me for H.pylori tests which came back positive and placed me on 20mg omeprezole and treated the infection.
about 10 mnths later i was back home for the summer and even though the heartburn was under control while i was taking the meds, as soon as i stopped taking them i had constant heartburn for hours everyday. so i went to my drs at home and said that basically it was 'tough' and i just had to deal with it. needless to say i'm not prepared to accept that as a 20yr old im destined to a life on a medication that can cause problems long term!
so roll forward to now and i've since gone back to uni, who referred me to a gastroenterologist who sent me for a barium x-ray and a urea breath test to ensure the h.pylori was gone (it was). the results came back that i have a hiatal hernia which my dr is certain is causing my problems.
However, my main problem now is that my dr just sent me a letter with this diagnosis on, but with no info and with no plan for how to solve it and just said stay on the meds! Because of my age and the possibility of just being left of these meds forever im not comfortable just being told to keep taking the meds without any sort of idea of permanent treatment.
Especially since i've read posts on here of other people whose meds gradually have to be increased as they progressivley stop working. i fear this is already happening to me as i have recently had some 'breakthrough' heartburn and have been experiencing the feeling of something being stuck in my chest/throat after eating or drinking and the feeling of liquid coming back up into my throat which i never had before.
I'm sorry for the really long post and if you've got this far then thankyou lol
Any information, words of wisdom would be greatly apprieciated as i really am worried of the impact of the heartburn and medication on my health longterm :(
thanks ever so much in advance