Could this be a sign that my esophagus is healing?

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TriLink
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:04 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone, new to the forums.

I'm a 25 year old man who was diagnosed with GERD about 6 years ago after a barium swallow. My doctor said I should take something for it, but alas, I was young at the time and scoffed at the idea.

"It's only heartburn! I'm not gonna take medicine everyday for something stuuuupid like heartburn yuck yuck" was pretty much my reaction.

Well, fastforward 6 years later, and I've finally gotten serious about treatment. I've been taking 40 mg of Zegrid a day, with some Tums and Zantac in-between for good measure. No more pop, and I'm trying to give up caffeine in general as well.

Naturally I thought this would help my throat and esophagus heal from the acid damage, but for the time being it's having the opposite effect. I find that whenever I eat, or lay down, I get this scary sensation of not being able to catch my breath. I've seen my primary doctor about it, and even went to the ER once (thinking I was having an allergic reaction), and they both said that I wasn't in any immediate danger, and that it was either reflux, or anxiety.

Now, I've had reflux for a long time now. It's given me sore throats, made my voice hoarse, and all sorts of other things, but it's never given me acute breathing trouble like this before. Is it possible now that my throat isn't being exposed to as much acid, that's it's swelling up for some reason? I'm scheduled to be scoped in about two weeks, but that seems like an eternity right now, so any input would be appreciated.

Thanks.

sunbeam48
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 795
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:13 AM (GMT -6)   
My first symptom was chest pain. I believe this is caused by spasms of the esophagus. I had some of the breathing problem with the chest pain. I haven't had the chest pain now that I avoid eating most fats. I'm also on PPI's, but I don't credit them with doing much. I've almost never had heartburn.

chaoticme
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 137
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:27 AM (GMT -6)   
I very seldom had a problem breathing but I coughed a lot and my chest did hurt some.

My GI doctor dilated my throat during an endoscope and the problem was resolved for the time being anyway.

I'd tell my GI doctor about the problem before the scope so he/she would have your permission to stretch the constriction if there is one.

You would have to tell him to correct it during the scope since they can't do it without your authorization.

I wish you well.

God bless,
Cme
Specific (cancer) phobia, depression, GAD, fibro, hypertension, GERD

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 8/19/2011 11:46 AM (GMT -6)   
I just wrote a nice long detailed reply to you and hit the wrong key and lost it to cyberspace.

I'll sum my comments up by saying what I did when I ended my first reply:

My biggest mistake in the last 11 years of fighting and trying to control severe GERD was to just continue to go back to the GI doc and take the new medication he prescribed and to never complain till the next appt - usually a year away - when the meds were NOT working.

It's good to be your own best advocate especially since your doctor doesn't have to feel your stomach pain, the pressure in your chest, belch with you or try to sleep at night when you're wondering if you can take another day of it.

You have to be firm and detailed with your symptoms and about your medications.

In short, my GI doc just never really understood how bad I really was until the last time I saw him about 3 months ago and I got in his face. That's when he began to take my treatment options seriously.

Not everyone responds to just mediations but it's up to you and your doctor to figure out your options and decide what's best for you.

Hang in there and be strong - especially with your doctor.

Rita
GERD doesn't exist in a vacuum. . .

Don't let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy. - The Eagles

Lap Nissen Fundoplication August 1, 2011
Anxiety? You betcha. . . :)

mock turtle
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 8/19/2011 9:05 PM (GMT -6)   
TriLink

you truly are not alone in this gerd-anxiety thing...trouble breathing is typical of severe anxiety

many besides you have taken a trip to an ER over this

the vagus nerve connects a whole bunch of organs and systems in the body..heart lungs esophagus stomach, various sphincters, and more including feelings....that is, its a part of the parasympathetic nervous system

the pain causes fear and the fear excites the nerve bundles which in tern flutters the system causing more GI tract dysfunction esp reflux etc, and more pain-anxiety

it is critical that we push back against the anxiety anyway we can...supplements, calm exercise,meditation and more,,,its a constant and continuous effort

waiting to be scoped, or any procedure that holds a chance to give us good news or a dire diagnosis is down right scary. three months ago in the middle of a huge gerd flair up, and right before my CT scan that was supposed to tell me if i had cancer in my right kidney (undiagnosed hematuria), i literally started to come apart at the seams...i mean i was so freaked out i was a basket case

hang in there, i know its tough waiting to be scoped...you are not alone

best wishes
mock turtle

kyheart
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 515
   Posted 8/19/2011 10:59 PM (GMT -6)   
TriLink
I was diagnosed with asthma and had to carry a rescue inhaler for years.. I felt at times like an elephant was sitting on my chest..I had the Nissen surgery for GERD and Hiatal Hernia.. asthma is gone.. found out it was reflux induced..no more rescue inhaler.. my breathing issues are relieved..
Listen to Rita's advice.. stand strong with your doctor.. I would respond to meds for a while and then it would start all over again..
Stay with us and let us know what is going on with you.. this is truly a support group and we welcome you into the family.. come back and tell us your story or ask us questions and we will be happy to answer.. we will support you and listen to you.. whine if you want, shout scream or raise all kinds of dust.. but we will be here for you..
Reach for the Sunshine... Rainbows will follow..
Sandi

TriLink
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/20/2011 10:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the kind words everyone. I've been on a lot of internet forums in my day, and this is definitely one of the few with class.

Thankfully the breathing issues haven't been so prevalent for the last 24 hours, now I just feel like crud from all the PPI's and Zantac my doc's got me taking. Also going into day 4 without any caffeine, so I'm sure the withdrawl from that is taking a toll on me as well. For years my morning routine has consisted of waking up and guzzling down a cup or two of cofee, along with something sweet like a donut, so I'm sure it's a big adjustment for my body to give it up cold-turkey. I'm hoping that if I lock myself in my room and try to distract myself with T.V. or something, my body will eventually get the message and adjust.

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/23/2011 9:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi I have a lot of breathing issues with my gerd. Shortness of breath, wheezing...so your breathing problems may be gerd related.

Lately, I have a lot of side aches like I've been running and my breathing feels labored even though I'm not wheezing.

Does this Sound similar?
Does anyone else get bad side aches with their gerd?

alexmiddleton
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 8/24/2011 9:48 AM (GMT -6)   
Trilink, I know what you mean completely. I had a slightly sensitive esophagus with a slight sore bit on the right side and light pressure in my chest a few weeks ago. I went to the doctors and he diagnosed GERD and gave me a PPI. I was confused as I'd never noticed any reflux issues. After looking at the internet and seeing that the same symptoms could apply to Esophagus cancer I literally was beside myself with worry immediately - my father died of exactly this 3 years ago. Almost overnight my symptoms got 3 times worse, my throat swelled up from massive amounts of reflux, and I got lots of inflamation type pain through to my shoulder blade, down my arm, and also slightly into my chest. I cut my eating down to just healthy soft foods and water to drink, along with all kinds of natural remedies. I also found myself going through the side effects of the ppi and unfortunately many of them are expected symptoms of GERD - sore throat etc - so I wasn't sure if my problems were partly the tablets! This lead to more worry, sleepless nights and therefore more reflux. I am still trying to work all of this out, 4 weeks later.

Anyway, just to reassure you that the pains can be wide and varied, and anxiety can be a massive role.

TriLink
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2011
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 8/24/2011 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
alexmiddleton said...
Anyway, just to reassure you that the pains can be wide and varied, and anxiety can be a massive role.

LOL, yeah, I'm finding that out the hard way.

I had a pretty bad breathing attack yesterday at work. One second I'm fine, the next I get this terrible feeling like my throat is closing up, and I got really lightheaded as well (like my blood-pressure was dropping). Anxiety probably made it worse than it was, but I panicked and left work early to go to an Urgent Care Center for the second time in a week, only to be told that there's nothing immediately wrong with me.

Easy for them to say.

jasmine8 said...
Lately, I have a lot of side aches like I've been running and my breathing feels labored even though I'm not wheezing.

Does this Sound similar?

Never really had a problem with side aches, but your breathing situation sounds EXACTLY like what I've been dealing with for years now. I've never had a coughing/wheezing problem either, but everytime I attempt something that get's the heart beating (like running) I feel like I'm not getting enough air. It's extremely frustrating because I know I'm not in THAT terrible of shape. Nothing I can do though, except keep poppin' PPI's and hope it gets better eventually.

jasmine8
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 69
   Posted 8/25/2011 9:06 PM (GMT -6)   
PPIs made me soooooo much worse. I'm actually allergic to ppis, so I'm exploring surgery options. I tried the stretta but it hasn't worked yet. I have to give it one more month.
Your symptoms sound so much like mine--my two cents:yes anxiety makes reflux worse, but I think what you're experiencing IS from reflux. My throat feels like it's swelling and I feel like I'm choking--like I'm getting strangled almost--for most of the day. It's been two years now, so Ive accepted it and it doesn't scare me any more. It's just freakin' annoying and painful. I wish it was from panic attacks! I might have better luck treating that. Anyway, for breathing, I started taking pulmicort (which I wasn't happy abbout. You know. More medicine) but it has helped me quite a bit. The only medicine that has helped me. I went to a pulomologist instead of a gi doctor for this and he really understood gerd related asthma and is really helping me make it through this hard time.
I wish you luck trilink and I hope this was helpful--we all feel your pain.
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