I'm at a loss. Please help!

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mafistos
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/14/2013 7:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone. This is my first time posting on this website. From time to time I would come on here and read through the forums and I always found them helpful so hopefully my mind will be put to ease with your input.

First off I'm a 22 yr old female vegetarian who does not do drugs or drink alcohol. At the end of June I was having increasingly bad pains in the middle of my chest until it was unbearable and I ended up going to the ER. After doing an EKG and chest x-ray they diagnosed me with GERD as a result of anxiety. I followed up with my internalist who prescribed me protonix 40mg once daily. I was pretty much fine for most of July. I quit smoking and drinking coffee and was eating very healthily. I started incorporating one cup of coffee a day into my diet at this point because I was feeling better. But then at the end of July I started having difficulty breathing and assumed it was the protonix. I had another pointless ER visit with the same diagnosis and was told to go on pepcid and stop protonix. Still had breathing issues. On and off I feel weird esophagus pains and I have dry coughs and my nose feels stuffy.

In the beginning of August I had an endoscopy done which did not find much--minor inflammation in the stomach, upper intestine, and lower esophagus. My gastro put me on Zegerid 40/1100 which did not help much... I started developing weird chest pains on the left side accompanied by left arm pain. It got so bad that I went to the ER yet again and did blood work, 2 chest x-rays, a urinalysis, and another EKG. All were normal except the EKG showed tacchychardia or a high heart rate basically. As soon as I stopped taking the Zegerid the arm/left chest pain went away... I went to a new gastro who gave me samples of Dexilant 40 mg which is beginning to give me similar arm/chest pains. I am becoming extremely depressed because nothing seems to be helping and I am beginning to stop trusting the doctors.

Apparently I do not have anything wrong with me and I am just being told over and over again to relax and take xanax. I DO have a history of anxiety and just got off Zoloft in January. In addition my dad's side has history of traditional GERD and anxiety/depression. I just don't know what to do anymore. I lost 12 lbs since June and have been eating very healthy and avoiding all traditional GERD triggers... I do not know or understand why these PPI's are giving me these weird symptoms. I may consider going back on protonix since I didn't get weird pains with that one. I am confused because my symptoms seem to be more on par with LPR because I constantly can't get a deep breath it feels yet my blood oxygen level is 100%. I also can go on walks and exercise so I do not think it's my heart plus I do not have a family history of heart disease.

So I ended up on protonix for a month then zegerid for a week and now dexilant for 3 days so far... Can anyone give me some input? Sorry this turned out so long but I am really becoming physically depressed. This has really gotten in the way of my life and I just want to go back to normal... Please help!!!!
-Anjelica

Post Edited (mafistos) : 8/14/2013 7:56:20 PM (GMT-6)


opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/14/2013 9:16 PM (GMT -6)   
mafistos

Welcome to Healing Well.

Well it sounds like you are one of the many who can't take PPIs due to adverse side effects. It's actually quite common. It also sounds like you may have LPR vs normal reflux. Since you didn't mention any regurge or normal heartburn.
LPR is basically acid and vapor that gets high in the esophagus and can effect the vocal chords and lungs. We have several good posts going on about LPR. I would take a look at them and join in that discussion. They are really up on the natural approach to healing this disease.
I understand you have anxiety, I do also. I have PTSD and depression, so I can relate to how that effects this disease. Please try things you have learned to help control this or if you don't have any, visit our anxiety or depression forums. They are great people there.

Have you try a liquid like gaviscon yet? Or a chewable antacid like maylox? I have used both and had very good results with the store brands of them. They are more inert ingredients and shouldn't have such an adverse effect on your body.
The tachycardia can be caused be reflux. If the vagus nerve gets irritated it can cause this. This isn't "just anxiety". This is a real disease and sounds like you have it to me. I hate when we get turned away as if it's all in our heads because they won't take the time to really do the correct tests to find out what is going on! Sorry, it's a per peeve of mine.

Oh, almost forgot. Have you raised the head of your bed yet? If not, raise it about 6 inches, don;t just add pillows as that adds to the pressure on your belly by bending your upper body. Bricks or wood blocks will do. Also don't eat 3 to 4 hours before going to bed. As a quick help with the burning even baking soda mixed in luke warm water can help. It's all I knew when I was growing up. My parents are from the 30s South and have a lot of home remedies that work.

Take care,
Bill devil
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

Post Edited (opnwhl4) : 8/14/2013 9:20:40 PM (GMT-6)


mafistos
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/19/2013 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for taking the time to reply Bill,
I have tried sleeping on pillows which doesn't seem to work. I will try the bricks/wood to see if that helps. I must say I never knew GERD could cause tachycardia. I always thought that was just anxiety doing it to me. Also, aside from the upper endoscopy are there any other tests I should get? I've already done the h pylori breath test which came back negative.

It relieves me to hear that there are people who have similar side effects to PPIs. My doctors always give me an odd look and say "No, PPIs don't do that. Go see a cardiologist." This concerns me more because I'm only 22 yrs old and if I had something wrong with my heart I figure it would've been caught earlier in life.

I wish I had traditional heartburn instead of the breathing symptom because at least I wouldn't feel SO anxious about this. I take TUMS but I will try gaviscon as I heard it is very effective.

Thank you so much again for replying to me.
-Anjelica

opnwhl4
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 8/19/2013 11:39 AM (GMT -6)   
Anjelica

There are a couple other tests that do show reflux better. A PH study will show how many times you are refluxing and a barium swallow will show how well your esophagus is working along with showing any refluxing. Then there is the manometry, it shows how well your esophagus is working in general. It shows how strong the LES is and if the muscle contractions are correct.

If your current GI isn't giving you answers I would get a 2nd opinion.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn, Kidney disease

Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 8/24/11

Ian Victor
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 8/21/2013 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Anjelica-- Anxiety seems to affect GERD. Did you substitute the Zoloft with another medications? I'm not a big fan of Xanax. It's a short attacking drug and can create rebound anxiety when it leaves your system. It can also create addiction. Chest pain is a symptom of GERD and I also have been in the ER for such symptoms. Treat the anxiety and your GERD symptoms may decrease.

Ian

mafistos
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/22/2013 4:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Ian,
When I went off the Zoloft I did not switch to any other meds. I thought I was well enough because I was not suffering from panic attacks as frequently. I feel like if I stayed on the Zoloft then this would have never happened to me...

Lately my problem seems to be with PPI's. Every time I try one I get chest pains on the left side of my chest after about 3 days of being on it. Well, it's more like chest pressure. It seems when I stop taking the PPI's the chest pain goes away. I fear that what Bill said is true and that I am one of the people that does not tolerate PPI's well. I tolerated Protonix for a month and recently I tried it again only to get left-side chest discomfort like I experienced with the other PPI's. I need to go back on Zoloft and try out maybe a strong H2 blocker. I just want to get this breathing problem under control because that's what is bothering me the most. I feel like the PPI's are making my heart rate faster and giving me chest discomfort. Has anyone else ever experienced this before with PPI's? I have never been told I had tachycardia until now. Although I always had a kind of fast heart rate (around 80-90 bpm) I always thought that was because of coffee and cigarettes both of which I don't use anymore.. My internalist thinks it's just anxiety and keeps telling me to go see a cardiologist which freaks me out. I think I'm going to stop protonix and just take tums for a few days. :(

I also just got one of those wedge pillows for the reflux, and I'm trying to drink Kefir once a day to see if that helps. I'm experimenting with rooibis, chamomile, and ginger tea because I hear they may help.

I just don't get why I can't tolerate PPI's. My dad, grandpa, and brothers have GERD problems and anxiety and all of them have been on omeprazole-based PPI's without issue.

Anjelica

mafistos
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 8/22/2013 4:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Kraxkrax,
You're definitely right. I feel myself feel better with some distraction. I just can't help obsessing over this because it's completely messed my summer up and made me miss so much work. :(
Anjelica

Ian Victor
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 214
   Posted 8/22/2013 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Anjelica-- I take Atenolol for a fast heart rate. In fact, some doctors prescribe Atenolol for people with anxiety disorders. I'm not a physician, but speak with yours and see if you can get back on your Zoloft. If that in turn alleviates your GERD symptoms, then your quality of life will improve. And maybe strong H2 blockers will also help you.
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