Posted 12/16/2013 11:54 AM (GMT -7)
I've been experiencing acid reflux that has only seemed to escalate as my doctors and I have attempted to treat it. I'm exhausted and frustrated and wondering if anyone could point out anything I'm wrong or have any further suggestions for me.
I'm 20something, female, and have some family history of acid reflux. I started having breathing and swallowing difficulties doctors either ascribed to asthma or anxiety about a year ago, but they became very bad at the end of October. I was repeatedly given inhalers or Xanax and nothing helped. My symptoms finally progressed to very serious throat pain, so bad I couldn't swallow food for almost a day and went to A&E. I was tested for asthma, pneumonia, a blood clot, mumps, etc. and it all came back negative. Finally my GP realized it might be acid reflux, put me on omeprazole, and told me to start modifying my diet, eliminating chocolate, tomatoes, etc.
That was about three weeks ago and my symptoms have been progressively deteriorating. about 2 weeks ago I realized I couldn't just eliminate trigger foods: I had to completely modify my diet. So I started eating plain whole wheat pasta, bananas, toast, and my symptom only seemed to get worse. While before I had only the symptoms of silent reflux, I'm now also constantly battling a heartburn that never seems to go away no matter what I eat. I eat toast and I get heartburn so disproportionate you'd think I'd eaten a greasy hamburger, a meat-loaded pizza, and a curry all in one sitting.
My weight isn't an issue. In fact, I'm somewhat underweight due to IBS and other food intolerances and the very bland diet I've been eating has been causing me to lose even more weight. I don't and have never smoked; I don't drink alcohol and only rarely did before because I've struggled with chronic migraines in the past. I used to drink a single nonfat milk latte every day but I've stopped that now. My medications are pretty mild: the "mini-pill" for b.c., a triptan I take only if I have a migraine (infrequently now), and Lubiprostone/Amitiza for IBS. Last week my GP put me on an antibiotic because my glands were swollen and I think that's probably contributing something to my increase in acid reflux but that only started last week. I finish up the course on Thursday.
I'm just at the point where everything I eat gives me heartburn and nothing seems to help. I'm struggling to even meet my nutritional needs, particularly because I don't eat meat and haven't since 2006. I'm allergic to soy and my IBS is aggravated by lots of gluten (I am not coeliac, however) so I'm already dealing with a restricted diet. I'm considering starting on a little plain chicken breast just to get some more protein (I'm weak and tired after so many days of toast and bananas) but after so many years meatless I'm not sure how that's going to go.
I've been attempting to sleep propped up but I always wake up on my side. I'm going to try elevating my bed tonight and see if that works.
I'm trying to get my GP to refer me a specialist or send me for further tests but that's all unlikely to happen until after the holidays are over. Does anyone have any suggestions about what else I can try eating that normally doesn't cause acid reflux (bonus points if it's rich in protein) or any other ideas about what I can do. I'm at the end of my rope.