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tk44
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/1/2014 3:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I'm new here and would be really grateful if someone could help me with these questions. Apologies for the long post.

I recently got diagnosed with GERD that suddenly came on about 3 months ago.

I'm from the UK but live in Tokyo and the doctors here tend be dismissive of and show little interest and understanding of GERD. They did an upper GI endoscope, told me I had GERD and an inflamed esophagus gave me a year's worth of H2 blockers and sent me packing with no advice at all.

My questions are these:

1) Although I do get heartburn nearly all day every day, it's better and night and mostly gone in the morning. Why is this? Most of what I read on GERD says it should get worse at night / in the morning.

2) I've tried cutting out carbs for a couple of weeks but this didn't seem to make much difference. Has anyone had success treating chronic continuos GERD with diet changes, what did you do and how long did it take before you noticed a difference?

3) As my esophagus is inflamed now, should I take prescriptions meds until it is healed and then consider alternative treatments? Or just just get off the meds now? Many sites say that prescription meds cause the condition to get worse despite quelling the symptoms. This seems like a catch 22 situation and I have no idea what to do.

4) I know the theory of too little acid is popular and I've tried taking HCL pepsin supplement but it gave me diarrhoea even in 100mg doses. Tried bitters and apple cider vinegar too but I gave up after two days as they just seemed to make the inflammation in my esophagus worse. I really don't want to be reliant on prescription meds for the rest of my life. What else can I try to cure my condition?

Thanks for reading!

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/1/2014 3:34 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi

You need to get more tests to find out what's causing it.

I don't know what tests they would do in Japan but in the UK and US they would do a barium swallow. 24 hour impedance tests and a Manometry test.

I see that you had an endoscopy - did they see a hernia ? Not that they always do see them they didn't see mine !


My gerd came on suddenly and out of the blue in April and it turned out to be a hernia.

You need to get those tests and then take it from there.

Maria

tk44
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/1/2014 3:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Maria. They don't do those tests here for some reason. Maybe I should head home to get them done. Japan is considered an advanced country in many ways but certainly not for health care. The doc got upset with me for suggesting he do further tests and said there were none and to go and take my meds!

No hernia from the endoscopy.

Thanks again.

Simon

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/1/2014 4:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Simon

They didn't see my hernia on the endoscopy but it turns out it was there.

I had the operation in November and my surgeon said that the majority of these cases are caused by a hernia.

If you come home for the tests would you be on the NHS or private? It would take a while to organise with the NHS. I had my 24 hour impedance test and Manometry test done privately and got the results within 24 hours.

I guess it will be difficult for you to organise things if your abroad?

I can give you the clinic that I used in London for my tests if that will help.

Take care

Maria

tk44
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/1/2014 5:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

I'd go private and I am interested to know about your clinic. It sounds good. I may try to organise a trip back in Feb.

Much appreciated.

Simon

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/1/2014 5:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Simon

I've just been thinking about you and what you said about the medical treatment in Japan.

Did you see a gastro consultant in Japan or was it just a normal GP or the Japanese equivalent ? You need to be seeing a gastro consultant.

Maria

tk44
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/1/2014 6:11 AM (GMT -6)   
Maria

It was a gastro which makes his lack of understanding of GERD more worrying. I've also searched around Tokyo for a gastro that can look for underlying causes and it seems that's not something they consider in Japan. I guess that's how it was a few decades ago in the UK too?

Simon

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/1/2014 6:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Simon

I went to The Functional Gut Clinic in Upper Wimpole Street. I had the Manometry test and the 24 hour ph impedance test there.

I'm not sure what you know about these tests but basically the Manometry tests your motility and the pressure of your sphincter. The impedance tests for acid and non acid reflux in your oesophagus.

The impedance test for me was the best because it gave me a high demeester score which proved I had acid reflux.

I'm sure there are plenty of clinics about but I know that you often need a referral from your GP not sure how that would work for you as you are abroad.

Have you ever had an endoscopy or a barium swallow? These tests may determine if you have a hernia. I can't help with where you could get these tests done as I had these done on the NHS.

Did your digestive problems start out of the blue or have you suffered with them previously ? For me it was completely out of the blue. I had never had heartburn or indigestion before in my life so I knew that there had to be a reason.

If your tests prove positive and you have acid reflux and a hernia will you want the surgery?

If you go down the route of surgery then you need to find a surgeon that specialises in upper GI or a bariatic surgeon. There are many out there that do private work. I do have the name of a few that are good and I do know one that is one of the top 4 surgeons in the country but that's along way off.

Take care

Maria

tk44
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/1/2014 8:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Maria

Very good of you to pass this information on, thank you. Just had a look at The Functional Gut Clinic's website and I can see they are much better than what's available here.

Yes, you're right, I'll have to find out how to get a referral. I have an idea or two.

Again, thanks for taking the time to share this information. I hope I don't need surgery but if things progress that far I'll get in contact again here if you don't mind.

I hope your operation was a success and you've made a full recovery.

All the best for 2014!

Simon

Mcedge
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2013
Total Posts : 292
   Posted 1/1/2014 9:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Simon

I went to the Gut Clinic without a referral from my GP if that's any help.

Maria
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