complicated GERD + gastroparesis - help!

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Alk301
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 10/3/2011 6:12 AM (GMT -6)   
Good morning!
 
I have what I consider to be kind of a strange GERD story, and I am hoping someone here can provide a little support, advice, etc.
 
I started having problems six years ago when I was 19. When I ate, I got sharp pains in my lower esophagus/upper stomach, which caused vomiting. I saw several doctors. One told me it was IBS, another muscle cramps, and another suggested GERD. I tried PPIs with no success, and just "dealt with it" for several years. Then I started having more "classic" GERD symptoms, like heartburn, and more recently chest pain, some regurgitation when I belch, and a sour taste in my mouth; in addition, I have less traditional symptoms such as nausea, belching, the vomiting, and a feeling of being full quickly after I eat and for hours afterward. I finally found a gastroenterologist who would listen! She did an upper endoscopy and found nothing irregular. Then she ordered a motility and impedance study, with a 24-hour pH study. She still did not find anything structurally wrong, but she did find that I reflux about 80 times a day, day and night, regardless of whether I'm laying down or not. I have tried 4 PPIs without any success, so she referred me to a surgeon for nissen fundoplication.
 
At the surgical consultation, the surgeon disagreed with the gastroenterologist. He thinks I may have gastroparesis - that perhaps my stomach does not work correctly in order to pass food through, which is why I always feel full, and would account for the nausea and vomiting. He also said gastroparesis can cause GERD, because when the food can't get through to the small intenstine, it's like it tries to find somewhere else to go, so it goes up to the esophagus.
 
This surgeon marks the seventh doctor I've seen, with potentially the seventh different diagnosis. Meanwhile, because I get no relief from medicine, I am miserable. This has impacted every facet of my life. I feel like there is essentially nothing I can eat. I've given up all the classically bad GERD foods, but in addition, even when I eat the most bland things, I still feel awful. And I feel awful because I still get hungry, so I also have hunger pains! Like many of you who I've read, I also have anxiety, and this is not helping! I am scheduled to have a gastric emptying study next week, and so I am familiarizing myself with what might be a new diagnosis - or not.
 
Has anyone else heard of gastroparesis (or delayed gastric emptying) in association with GERD? The surgeon also commented that belching is an irregular symptom of GERD - but I thought it was pretty common. Any thoughts? My gastroenterologist and now this surgeon both work at a reknowned university hospital, so I know they are the best of the best - but still! I am feeling sick and stressed, and would appreciate any insight anyone might have.
 
Thanks so much!

Post Edited (Alk301) : 10/3/2011 5:33:58 AM (GMT-6)


aeshleyrose
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 10/3/2011 6:50 AM (GMT -6)   
I have read several articles which link the two. If your tummy isn't emptying, the food sits and your stomach tries to digest it to go down with more and more acid, which eventually backs up into your esophagus.

I have found (in my reading on other sites and this one) that belching is an extremely common symptom.

If I am reading correctly, you are going for gastric emptying study, which will (hopefully) definitively diagnose your gastroparesis. I think going is definitely the best thing you can do for yourself. It definitely is possible that this doctor has hit the nail on the head and you're on the road to relief.

If it is gastroparesis, try to avoid high-fiber and fatty foods, as they take longer to digest and won't help the problem. As I have read, there are several medications that can help the problem as well as a surgical intervention if those don't work.

Good luck honey! I know what it's like to be suffering and have no idea why... it's a very hard road. We're all here for you, so hang in there!

Ashley

Alk301
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 10/3/2011 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I am going for the gastric emptying study.

Thank you so much! :)

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 10/3/2011 8:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Alk and welcome to HealingWell.  I suspect your surgeon may be right and I am glad to hear you are having futher testing.

Signs and symptoms of gastroparesis are

  • heartburn
  • pain in the upper abdomen
  • nausea
  • vomiting of undigested food—sometimes several hours after a meal
  • early feeling of fullness after only a few bites of food
  • weight loss due to poor absorption of nutrients or low calorie intake
  • abdominal bloating
  • high and low blood glucose levels
  • lack of appetite
  • gastroesophageal reflux
  • spasms in the stomach area

Eating solid foods, high-fiber foods such as raw fruits and vegetables, fatty foods, or drinks high in fat or carbonation may contribute to these symptoms.

The symptoms of gastroparesis may be mild or severe, depending on the person. Symptoms can happen frequently in some people and less often in others. Many people with gastroparesis experience a wide range of symptoms, and sometimes the disorder is difficult for the physician to diagnose.

Many people have what is called idiopathic gastroparesis, meaning the cause is unknown and cannot be found even after medical tests.

I am wondering if you are diabetic ?  From what I understand the most common cause of gastroparesis is diabetes.  Just a thought.

Again a warm welcome to HealingWell.

Kindly,

Kitt

 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Alk301
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 10/3/2011 9:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Since hearing about gastroparesis, I have read about its link with diabetes, too. No, I am not diabetic. Actually, I was always extremely healthy until this started, and remain healthy in other ways since this.

Thank you for the information! I look forward to the testing, and I'll rethink my foods to maybe have some relief in the meantime.

4hn
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 10/29/2011 2:55 AM (GMT -6)   
hi alk,
I think i am on the same boat as you...
GERD and Gastroparesis.
which is complicated. can i know your gastric emptying study result?
 
I have chest pain and sore troat almost allday everyday. No meds work. even doble dose domeperidone and PPI.
 
what about fundoplication + Pyloroplasty? has your surgeon suggest it?
I still have no answer with me..
pls replay. Thx
 
 

somedaysarediamonds
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 363
   Posted 10/30/2011 1:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Not trying or wanting to discourage anyone from NF/surgery to correct these symptoms but I still have them after surgery.

I'll see my GI on the 14th to discuss both Vagus nerve complications from a previous surgery and the possibility of delayed gastric emptying even though I had tests for it before reflux surgery.

Good luck in your search.
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