Posted 1/22/2013 4:28 PM (GMT -7)
I have been diagnosed with GERD for 4 years now. I have had certain symptoms for as long as I can remember, but I did want to mention one to this forum. I have seen some 40 doctors over the last couple years, and all of them seem to be baffled by it. I have reflux and I have a breathing problem. When I ask a GI what's causing the problem, his first thought is that a breathing problem must be asthma. However, his response is a recommendation to see another doctor. When I ask an ENT what's causing the problem, the response is again, probably asthma, but to see a different doctor. When I see a lung doctor, he makes it very clear that I do not have asthma, and that he did not know what the problem actually was.
After running around for several months, well over a year now, I go back to my GIs and they say there is a possibility of my reflux causing my breathing problem and the conversation ends there. That's where my problem is; like many people on this forum, I am on maximum dosage of medication with no help, and I have not considered surgery up until now as I just turned 18 in November.
Any amount of exercise sets off my breathing problem. I used to define it as a feeling in my throat that is not as much of a pain as an instinct to stop what I'm doing because I am choking. Choking is very different from pain in the sense that pain the brain's way of saying something is wrong, in a suggestive way of saying something should be done about it, but it is mostly a suggestion. Choking is more than a suggestion. When you get the message that you are choking, your brain steps in and makes you stop what your doing. Fighting through this feeling is hard because it is a lot harder to fight this instinct that I'm choking than it is to fight a little (or a lot) of pain.
I have had a 24 hour pH probe, and the results showed that I indeed have reflux. I also decided to do a little running, instantly getting acid up my throat, and even some in my mouth. The probe showed that I indeed have a terrible case of "exercise induced reflux", of which there is no official term. This has officially been confirmed, but the treatment my doctor prescribed did not change: max dose of PPI, which I have been on for several years now.
I am sure that there are other people that have this problem, whether or not you get acid in your mouth every time you climb a staircase. If there is any other way to get help from PPIs, there must be at least one medication based around exercising times and not meal times. I personally experience reflux pains 24/7 and feel no difference before, during, or after meal times, where as I can instantly feel a different while I exercise, and for the following hours, sometimes even days. Does anyone else experience reflux like this?