Posted 1/8/2014 6:45 AM (GMT -7)
Me again, sorry! Today I've been looking back over my food diary (and memories!) of the worst times my symptoms have occurred and figured out something. I could never really pinpoint a pattern in my diet as the cause of my burning throat and constant belching sensations, and until just recently I never had any heartburn or bloating either. So recently I've been trying to eat the same meals across a number of days, and carrying out the same activities while only really tweaking how much water I have to drink.
It seems to me that very hot or very cold water is the cause of my symptoms. If I recline in a seat after drinking a glass, I usually experience the burning, regardless of what I eat/drink beforehand. For example I get it when I sit in the back seats of a car or lean back in my chair at a computer. Some foods that don't normally make me burn at any other time are almost guaranteed to make me burn if I "just add water" per se. As I recall, Cimetidine, Lansoprazole, Omeprazole and Mirtazapine have all failed to stop this horrid sensation in any way.
The only thing that does stop the burning is to slightly move my body. Say I'm currently reclined on my seat and the burning in my throat begins. All I have to do is either tilt my neck slightly up or down, or sit up and the burning subsides after about 5 - 20 seconds. Even lying down helps, which is usually the big "no" action in GERD/LPR reflux, isn't it? The fact that I'm not getting other symptoms like clearing my throat, choking or feeling nauseous (at least not when my throat is aflame) suggests to me that my stomach can't be THAT out of whack. Besides, how does tilting one's neck affect the LES in any way? :o
Of course all of this has confused me, so I had a good search session on Google. Apparently some people with esophageal spasms get these kinds of sensations. That would explain the link between my anxiety levels and my symptoms, and would probably explain my frequent belching too. I do tend to get horrid palpitations when I first lie down at night, especially when I try sleeping on my side - could spasms cause that too? What doesn't make sense is that I don't experience any sharp pains in my chest/neck, although I certainly did last year when I thought I had a heart condition. That subsided when I got a clear echocardiogram, but can spasms be painless at all? Google isn't very clear about that..!
When I look back on all the situatons where I think my reflux is worse, it seems to make sense. For example I was at my sis' place the other week, and had a small meal mostly consisting of vegetables. I washed it down with some cold, filtered water from her fridge filter and the burning began. Also, I have a water filter of my own which is designed to adjust the pH to between 8.2 and 9.0. You'd think that would make the burning in my throat stop, but sometimes just the water alone can give me symptoms. That always confused me. :p
The only thing that flies in the face of this is that I have already had a barium swallow, and it didn't show anything. Does that rule out the spasms? Also, yesterday after getting a bad burning attack, I admit that I had a good cry for a couple of hours, and I was highly depressed. Since I've cried the stress out of my system, will that affect the presence of my symptoms at all? I'm hoping such a thing helps prove my symptoms have something to do with stress, so that they can potentially be cured.
Sorry if this is all very confusing, I'm just trying to pursue all possible avenues at the moment. Thank you for any help you can offer!