Newbie's GERD/LPR Diagnosis

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New Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 2/13/2012 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Greetings all,
It looks like a knowledgeable bunch of nice folks are contributing here. Let me thank those responsible for running what looks like a very helpful website.
I was diagnosed with GERD/LPR last week. The diagnosis was done by an ENT Dr., after observing my throat/larynx area with the endoscope. Previously I'd had a barium swallow, which supposedly showed nothing abnormal, and an endoscopy after which the gastroenterologist said my esophagus "looked normal". Biopsies of both esophagus and stomach came back "normal". ENT who made diagnosis put me on Prilosec 2X daily. He commented that it probably wouldn't have to be a long regimen, etc. I guess he had me correctly read as one who tried to avoid pharmaceuticals whenever possible. He mentioned redness around the larynx and at the back of my throat. Since being on the Prilosec, the worst part of my symptoms seems to be subsiding, full-time queasiness.
My episode started when I just woke up one day and felt queasy. I figured that it would pass but did not. The night before I'd eaten at my favorite Mexican seafood restaurant and had my usual crab enchiladas. Of course I also had a few chips with a rather hot salsa, and a couple of Tecate beers, FWIW. I call it queasiness rather than nausea because I never felt like vomiting. I might well be splitting hairs here?
After being queasy and having a total lack of appetite for 5 days, I called for a doctor's appointment, but it was scheduled 2 weeks into the future. On the second or third day it started to feel like food was getting stuck in my throat. I began to develop a real fear of choking. This caused a lot of anxiety come meal time. Another thing I did, the first day I felt poorly, was go online to try to find remedies for queasiness. I found that for nervous stomach, which I might have called it to begin with, could be soothed by eating bananas and peppermint tea. Because I did not feel comfortable swallowing normal foods, I went for fruit juice smoothies, chocolate protein shakes with added bananas, tofu, and fried eggs. I also started drinking peppermint tea from Day One (I know now that peppermint is one of the food/drink-stuffs to be totally avoided). for the first 2 weeks of my health ordeal, I was drinking the worst possible thing for my (undiagnosed) condition. Nice, huh?
While the endoscopy was "normal", the gastro did say that I had a hiatal hernia, even handed me the brochure to take home and read. He didn't even instruct me to follow up with his department or anything. I think he was mad because I was referred by my GP, rather than a gastroenterologist. Oh, prior to the endoscopy, I'd emailed my Dr., asking him how high up the barium swallow Xray went, as I was concerned about my swallowing problems. He responded that the radiologist had gone over the test and mentioned nothing about it. It was a modified barium swallow, which I guess goes up further. So, after the endoscopy I emailed my GP again, asking whether someone could look at the results of the barium swallow again, as the brochure on hiatal hernias said that the barium swallow is used to show the severity of a hiatal hernia. That ball is still bouncing around in his court somewhere. I guess I need to ask again, as I'd really like to know how severe the hiatal hernia appears. Is that unreasonable of me?
As an amateur singer/guitarist, I derive great pleasure from singing. I am known to have a good strong voice. I am not, and will never be a good guitar player, despite efforts along those lines. cry This makes my singing most important to me on a mental health level. Like some others have mentioned, my voice has been effected by the GERD/LPR episode. I tried to sing some normally easy songs for my natural range soon after starting this ordeal and found that my voices felted strained and weak. This really got to me, mentally. It's my outlet. After being on Prilosec for 1 week, I am able to sing "ok", but not with the ease that I'm used to. I'm hoping that this will pass soon, as I now believe that my problems are at least partially mental, stress and anxiety in particular, related. I am taking Xanax since this started but not until bedtime, although admittedly I will take them when I feel super anxious. Unfortunately, this seems to be a more common condition these days.
I've always eaten healthy foods and exercised regularly. However, over the past couple of years I've eaten tomatoes every night in one fashion or another, mostly in fresh salads. For the past year I've tossed my salads in olive oil and added balsalmic vinegar to it. Very little fast food, maybe 3-4 per year. Frozen pizzas from Trader Joe's, and the like 1 night per week.
Since seeing the ENT, and getting the "all clear" on swallowing, I've started trying to eat normal food. However, today's normal food is fried (Canola sprayed pan) tofu, fried eggs (most yolks removed). The past couple of days I've added burritos made with organic black beans, small amount of reduced fat cheese, diced chicken, and avocado. I am thrilled that I now seem to be able to eat closer to normal again.
I do get esophageal spasms. I think I had my first about 8 years ago. I was just walking to meet a client for an appointment when I got this pain in my chest. I got back in the car and sat down. It felt like I was having a heart attack. It passed, but I remembered it (obviously, huh?). A few years later I started to get maybe a couple per year. Last year it seemed to step up to once per month or so. I consulted with my Dr. and had a treadmill test to test the condition of my heart. I was about to go out of the country for a while on trip that would involve strenuous sports and I needed to have peace of mind. Ticker was fine but I was diagnosed with hypertension. Cardiologist prescribed a diuretic but I didn't take it right away, as I would be driving through Baja, Ca, Mexico, and didn't want to make a lot of extra, diuretic induced, pit-stops. No problems at all when in Mexico. It might have been because I was so relaxed when I was down there. I'm thinking that anxiety could really trigger these esophageal spasms.
Anyway, today I feel a lot better than I did one week ago, and three before that. Is it the diet, the Prilosec, or? That said, I did have 2 spasms yesterday. That is unusual. Earlier I had thought that they were due somehow to a multivitamin I was taking. However, I felt this was doubtful, plus the Prilosec supposedly can deplete the body of Magnesium and I wanted to supplement my new diet. So, perhaps there is something in the vitamin that helps trigger it. It's all a learning experience.
So, that's my long story, I truly hope that it comes to a happy ending soon. I hope the same for you all. Apparently, we're not alone, are we?
Any input is welcome. I apologize for my long-windedness, but it's an introduction of sorts, right?
Have a great evening.
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