I know this is an older post, but I wanted to respond with my experience and a few questions. I am 44 years old (female), a normal weight, in good health, a healthy eater and I exercise regularly, don't smoke and drink socially. Up until March of 2011, I had never had heartburn or any symptoms of GERD. (even during my 3 pregnancies.)
In March of 2011, I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme chest pain and thought I was having a heart attack. I calmed down and decided it was perhaps just a bad case of heartburn. I used to take large Lysine vitamin supplements at night and then go to bed rather quickly thereafter. That night, I remember taking the pill and drinking water and then the pill felt like it got stuck. I drank more water, felt better and went to bed. When I awoke in the middle of the night, I went out and bought Maalox liquid. That helped a bit, but I still had the pain the next day and then started getting heartburn which continued - regardless of what I ate or drank - for about a week - along with intermittent chest pains.
I went to my dr, who said I probably had GERD (based on my almost constant symptoms over the past week) and he referred me to a gastro. I was surprised as I'd never even heard of GERD and couldn't see how I could suddenly have this chronic condition - out of nowhere. The gastro also diagnosed me with gerd and she did an endoscopy, which came back normal with the exception of a bit of irritation at the GE junction. She told me to start taking a PPI (Dexilant.) I asked her if I could've damaged my esophagus with the large pill that got stuck and she said it wasn't likely, but it could have happened. Although I then switched gastros and I asked him the same question. He said it is called pill esophagitis and it can definitely happen, but usually heals on its own or with the use of ppi for a few months - in extreme cases. He said the chest pains were likely esophageal spasms caused by injury to the esoph from the pill.
Anyway, I was on the PPI for 6 months and I felt really good. My doc said I should wean off the ppi slowly. If no symptoms return, he said likely the cause of my pain/symptoms/heartburn would've been pill esophagitis and not GERD. I weaned off of the ppi in Sept, 2011 and I was fine (no symptoms whatsoever) for 10 months.
Then in July, 2012 I was eating banana bread and it felt like it got stuck in my throat, badly (a symptom I'd had when the initial problem started.) from that point on, I had heartburn, a stuck in my throat feeling and chest pains as well as pain under my right rib. I went back on the ppi from mid July to early October, 2012. I was on it for 7 weeks before I tapered off over the course of a few weeks. I was fine for about two weeks, but then my symptoms returned. My gastro said I should go back on the ppi again for a few months and then taper off again and see how I feel.
My question is: I'm not sure how or why I was symptom free for 10 months (eating and drinking everything, but still being healthy and mindful) and then the symptoms returned. I thought I was in the clear and this problem was caused by pill esophagitis and that it was behind me. Now I feel like I'll need to go on and off the ppi forever and that my body has somehow become dependent on it. I hate this feeling of dependence and not knowing if/when the problems will subside and what I can and cannot eat/drink etc. Often times, the 'safe' foods cause symptoms.
Wondering if any of you have had these GERD symptoms go into "remission" for periods of time and then return - with no real reason/cause. Thank you!