I've joined this forum in hope of finding answers regarding my acid reflux...
I apologise in advance - this might get rather lengthy.
My acid reflux started about
4 years ago (when I was just in my early teens) - initially being trouble swallowing, to the point where I couldn't eat solids for a few days; this then progressed to a daily burning feeling in my throat and occasional heartburn. Over the course of two years, this further progressed to worsening heartburn, in frequency and prevalence; regurgitation of stomach contents into my throat whenever I ate and a feeling of a lump in my throat all the time.
I felt very much that something wasn't right and that I needed a professional opinion on the matter... managing it with diet was helping somewhat, but it was still getting worse. I saw my GP and was prescribed Gaviscon Advance.
This helped amazingly, pretty much solving the problem for another few months, but then my heartburn slowly became worse and started reappearing just an hour after taking Gaviscon, even with the maximum dose every day. Back to the GP I went and I was referred to a gastroenterologist. After a series of tests, she put me on a month-long course of 30mg lansoprazole to be taken once a day - to try and "reset" my stomach.
This solved my heartburn and "throatburn" issue, as I called it, but I still experienced the reflux of my stomach contents into my throat, all day but particularly worse after eating and every time I bent over to pick up something. Nevertheless, I was delighted to finally be heartburn free, albeit only for a month. Afterwards I was prescribed 15mg lansoprazole to be taken once a day whenever needed. My gastroenterologist said I would probably grow out of my acid reflux.
The 15mg lansoprazole didn't completely stop my heartburn and I had to couple it with Gaviscon Advance to relieve the burning. This combination seemed to work for me though, and I stuck with it for about
3 months... and then my GERD and all of its symptoms disappeared completely. I was able to stop taking all medication/medicine and I was ecstatic, I thought I was cured.. except now I was experiencing nausea every day, occasionally to the point where I would rush to the bathroom feeling like I was going to vomit - which, fortunately, I did not.
And then 3 months after that, my nausea suddenly disappeared and my acid reflux came back with a vengeance. I combatted it with the lansoprazole-Gaviscon combination, coming off the lansoprazole after a week. I managed with just the Gaviscon well enough for a few more months. But, my GERD symptoms worsened again and I couldn't cope with just Gaviscon, so I started another week's lansoprazole... however, I began to feel very unwell whilst taking lansoprazole, so I had to immediately cease taking it...
Now I'm tramping along with Gaviscon as my only weapon of choice and I'm very frustrated. For the past year my GERD symptoms have been completely baffling, seeming to follow a cycle... which confuses me and is the reason I've come to this forum. GERD doesn't follow cycles, does it? Has anyone experienced anything like this?
What happens now is my heartburn, which can last for a few weeks without changing, will become uncontrollable and I'll get raging heartburn in my chest, which even Gaviscon can't help. And then my GERD will seemingly go into "remission" for sometimes weeks (only once it was 3 months), and I'll experience regular nausea, trapped wind and loss of appetite during this period. Then this will all disappear and I'll feel ailment-free for a couple of days before I'm struck with raging heartburn, which I can't control with Gaviscon and I just have to deal with it. Then my heartburn calms down, so I'm able to control it with Gaviscon again... the cycle repeats.
I also occasionally (occasionally being perhaps once a week) experience very painful, sharp pains in my chest which seem to be related to my acid reflux. These can be very disconcerting.
It's been going like this now for over a year and I'm at a loss at what I can do to relieve it. I feel almost better when I have heartburn because I can mostly control that with Gaviscon... but when it's not here, I feel extremely nauseated and struggle with trapped wind.
I've struggled with trapped wind since I was very young, and always used to spit up a lot.
I had an upper GI endoscopy a year ago, which ruled out ulcers or a hiatus hernia. They told me I had mild inflammation at the bottom of my esophagus but no abnormal changes like barrett's esophagus (which I was very concerned about
at the time, so I was relieved to hear that).
I've had tests for coeliac disease and helicobacter pylori, both of which came back negative.
I am an otherwise healthy young woman, not overweight or underweight and I do not smoke.
Is this normal? Does acid reflux disease follow cycles? Am I missing something? I would really appreciate some input from all you GERD sufferers. Thank you in advance.