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ILoveCats
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/27/2013 7:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello everyone, I'm 23 years old.

I have been reading posts from this forum for some time now. I am going to give you guys a quick rundown of what I've gone through with GERD for the past 6 years. I first experienced GERD symptoms when I was 17. I had the feeling that something was stuck in my throat and I couldn't "cough" it out. I also began experiencing the sensation that my throat was closing up. After seeing an ENT specialist, she explained to me that the acid coming up from stomach could be irritating my throat. This made sense and I was prescribed Ranitidine 150mg 2x per day. In terms of compliance at that age, I really only took one per day, if that. It helped a lot. I eventually did not get relief from just H2 blockers, so I began taking omeprazole 40mg 1x per day as well. After a couple months, I was able to be symptom free and eventually stopped my medications. about a year later, when I was 18, nearly 19 and in my freshman year at university, I began experiencing GERD symptoms again. I started taking protonix 40mg per day because the omeprazole stopped working. Around October 2011, my symptoms came back full force and the medication did not seem to be helping. I was having trouble breathing and getting in a full breath, and my GERD symptoms were occurring fairly often, even with medication. I had myself convinced that I had a hiatal hernia and went for my first endoscopy in December 2011. They said my esophagus was beautiful and I had no hiatal hernia. Shortly after that I began to feel better and continued on a once a morning regimen of protonix 40mg and 150mg of ranitidine. Fast forward to February 2013. At this point I am in my second semester of my graduate doctorate program. I was really stressed out before each exam, so I used food for comfort.
This finally hit a breaking point when my GERD came back with full force. I have not been better since. I have tried switching to Nexium 40mg and Ranitidine 150 2x per day. I found that my insurance will not cover Nexium twice per day so I began taking 40mg Nexium in the morning and Protonix 40mg before dinner with Ranitidine 2x per day at the same time as the PPIs. I have had some good days and some bad days but recently it has been really bad. My most prominent symptoms include pain in my chest area (not really burning, just pain in my chest) and sore throat. I also have pretty severe health anxiety which I doubt is helping me get better.
Some background on what I have tried and what I've done: I work out 3x per week (or at least I used to, up until this recent episode of events), I am definitely not overweight (BMI of about 22.5). I sleep with a GERD pillow. I wait 3 hours after I eat before lying down for the night (and I never screw this up). I also am very compliant with my medications. I never miss them. I recently tried adding a probiotic and that did not do much. I have also tried Gaviscon. The few things I have not tried include: DGL supplement, digestive enzymes. I also eat a VERY bland diet. I occasionally cheat by eating cheese (which may be considered a type of dairy one shouldn't eat) and vanilla ice cream. Other than that, I do not cheat. I never drink alcohol, I don't eat chocolate or caffeine, and never eat fried/spicy foods, and absolutely no tomato.

I am really at a loss here. I have literally done everything you are supposed to do according to the books. I have heartburn (really pain in my chest) after I eat, some trouble breathing (from what I assume is acid or bile going into my lungs), and then I get the painful (occasional) swallowing, and feeling like some sort of lump is in my throat. It seems like I have symptoms of both LPR and GERD.
I saw my gastroenterologist a few weeks ago and we have scheduled an endoscopy with Bravo. She has informed me that I may have "non-acidic" reflux. She says if the Bravo test comes up that I have non-acidic reflux, that I should go on amitriptyline. This will control the pain I get when I eat. This seems like a TERRIBLE idea and I hate that this is my only option. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to do at this point. I also don't really have any "food stuck halfway down my esophagus" feeling yet.

Do any of you have any thoughts on this? My endoscopy is scheduled for Wednesday the 29th. I'm really scared they're going to find esophageal cancer, which I'm hoping isn't the case since my endoscopy 1.5 years ago was perfect.

DOGGBONES
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 5/28/2013 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Cats,
Cancer at this point is unlikely, however it sounds like your gerd/lpr is getting worse over the years like so many of us see happening.

TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 5/28/2013 6:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm 23 years old also... It saddens me that our generation is falling victim to this awful illness. I often find myself saying that I wished I had lived 100 years ago.

Cancer it seems like can take many years/decades to come about. My family suffers from hernias and lpr and non of my aunts or uncles have had cancer.
-TheSixness-

Fighting daily pain from gastroparesis, gerd and lpr!
Had the TIF done 2/2012 and still am symptomatic.

ILoveCats
New Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/29/2013 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Just wanted to follow up. I just had the scope a couple hours ago. My throat is REALLY sore. They did not find any esophageal damage, however, which is great news.

TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 5/29/2013 6:02 PM (GMT -6)   
great news! I also suffer from non acidic reflux... It's awful. Can't control it with PPI's, but it will reduce the amount of contents in your stomach. I've been on 80mg of omperazole and it kinda helps. The reason I'm staying on it is because I believe it will cut down the reflux that's hit my throat. Anyways, I'm on something similar to amitriptyline which is called nortriptyline. I've been on amitrptyline before and it made me to drowsy...Nortripltyine for me doesn't seem to have that effect. The thing that makes me made about these is that tricyclic antidepressants have been know to cause gastroparesis and Gerd...

I'm trying to get on lyrica and neurotin for my neuropathic pain.

These medications are oftentimes prescribed for neuropathic pain and to make you complain less 0.o. Their antidepressants, so expect some mood improvements and possibly some drowsiness. Also, they take a while to get the full effect of the drug. You may see some improvements right away, but generally it takes most people 3 to 4 weeks.

Post Edited (TheSixness) : 5/29/2013 5:16:24 PM (GMT-6)


TheSiXness
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 5/29/2013 6:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Another thing regarding your breathing issues... Reflux can cause a lot of issues. They can cause vocal cord dysfunctions. This is where you vocal cords like to clamp shut because of the reflux and other irritants in the air. Going to a speech therapist should help. They'll teach you to use your diaphragm to breath and to purse your lips when breathing gets rough. If it's really hard breathing in, it's probably VCD. If it's hard blowing out, it's probably asthma. Other issues are like nasal congestion, throat swelling...I believe it's called tracheal stenosis,... I've heard that taking ppi's wont help much for asthma, but it should help some with the other breathing issues.
-TheSixness-

Fighting daily pain from gastroparesis, gerd and lpr!
Had the TIF done 2/2012 and still am symptomatic.

DOGGBONES
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 5/30/2013 6:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I was on Nortripltyine at one time.....I just couldn't adjust to the zombie mode it put me in.

Ian Victor
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 5/30/2013 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
I love Cats-- Sorry to hear that you are experiencing significant discomfort. One theme that I notice thoughout your post is that of anxiety.
I understand first-hand the anxiety and frustration that accompanys a perplexing medical condition. You are also a student, and I imagine that academic pressures and stress probably exacerbate your symptoms. One tip that might help, is to remind yourself that whatever medical condition you have-- it can be treated or fixed. Be patient and give it some time. Let the doctors work with you and develop a treatment plan.
 
I am experiening anxiety as I prepare for reflux surgery this August (Nissen Fundoplication). I have an endoscopy next week. They'll probably dilate my esophagus-- it needs to be stretched every now and then.
 
I'm not a doctor (nor do I play one on television) but I think that it's unlikely that you have cancer. I think that you'll be okay. If all else fails, there are surgical options out there that may put an end to your discomfort. Please keep us posted of your progress. Good luck to you.
 
Ian
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