Gerd and Esophagitis questions...help!

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Bevys
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 2/9/2014 3:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

My doctor diagnosed me with gerd and esophagitis upon examination. Was prescribed Nexium 40 mg once a day...(not sure this is enough) and Rantidine 300mg in the evening, have been on them 3 weeks and have a follow up next week. I'm also to be scheduled for an endoscopy soon.

I've been mainly eating mainly eating softer foods but also been eating
things that I've wondered if it inhibits the healing process such as.... candy, raw vegetables, beans, nuts, tomatoes, oranges..Most things I eat my body likes, but some burn on the way down and I pay for it for a few days at times.

I would like to hear if anyone has experienced any continuous burning pain after eating certain foods. Am just guessing here, but wonder if I have ulcers or inflammation due to the burning I get. I'm really needing to hear your stories.

My Prayers to all

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 2/9/2014 12:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bevys,

Welcome to Healing Well! Glad you've joined us.

Before my Nissen surgery, I had gastritis and esophagitis several times a year. Esophagitis is very painful, and you're right about the raw veggies, etc. They're scratching the already irritated esophagus, and causing more damage.

Stick to bland foods (no spice, acid, alcohol) and smooth foods. My go-to food during an esophagitis outbreak was egg custard. Only eat things that can be chewed to a liquid, creamy consistency. Take small bites and chew, chew, chew, chew.

It takes time and patience to heal, but you will. If you stay away from those rough and offending foods, you'll get better more quickly. Just imagine rubbing raw veggies, nuts, or popcorn kernels into a raw spot on the outside of your body. Your upper GI tissue is even more sensitive than your skin. Also, your stomach has muscles that mash food as part of the digestive process. Once those rough foods get into your stomach, the get ground against the irritated lining of your stomach (if it is irritated) as well.

One other thing. If you have good insurance, ask your doctor for a prescription of Carafate suspension. It's pretty pricey. It's the best, though. If not, you can get Sulcrafate tablets (generic). You put a tablet in a shotglass or medicine cup, add a wee bit of water, stir, and throw it back like a shot.

While it doesn't coat as well as the suspension form, I confident that it will give you some relief from the pain that lingers after you swallow. Read the directions for taking it carefully.

You need to space your doses between eating and meds, so read the protocol. The Carafate/Sulcrafate coat the esophagus and stomach lining. My GI doc said that the coating lasts about 6 hours. Don't drink anything for 10 minutes after taking it, so it has a chance to adhere to your esophagus.

If you're careful and very patient, you'll heal and get back to normal. My GI doc said to wait 2 weeks after I felt perfect before introducing more challenging foods. Good luck...I know it's hard to deal with.

Happy healing,
Denise

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Post Edited (dencha) : 2/9/2014 11:34:11 AM (GMT-7)


lobstahguy
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2013
Total Posts : 332
   Posted 2/9/2014 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise, did you have any side effects from the carafate? Isnt it a temporary fix only?

Bevys
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 2/9/2014 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dencha,

Thank you for welcoming to the forum and for the thoughtfulness of your response and sharing you story. I so appreciate it!!! The way you wrote about the healing process and how certain foods effect the irritated lining was so well explained. :)

Your so right about the Esophagitis being quite painful at times. I guess the healing time depends on the severity of it? I've seen a slow but steady improvement in the 3 weeks I've been on Nexium and Rantidine.
I think I definitely set the healing process back though by sneaking into my diet ....raw vegetables, nuts, crackers, doritos, a loaded subway sandwich and especially spicy gummy candy. Oh the payback I got for eating that spicy candy was awful. It was comparable to pouring alcohol on an open cut. I felt its wrath for a couple of days. Now, I'm sticking to a bland soft food diet and things have greatly improved. I do wonder if rice, milk and cheese are ok to eat?

I will be following your advice of soft foods, small bites, frequent small meals and to chew chew chew. I think I get to pushing it too quick when I feel good for a day or two and end up eating something I shouldn't. What your GI said about waiting two weeks after you feel "perfect" before introducing "challenging foods" sounds like the way to go.

When I saw my doctor last month she mentioned Carafate, but I think she was trying to see if it would clear up with just Nexium and Rantidine. I see her next week and will ask her if she will prescribe the Carafate she spoke about as I definitely want to try it. My Insurance just kicked in and I should be able to afford it. Last month I had to pay for Nexium out of pocket and I couldn't believe how expensive it was.

Thank you once again for all your wonderful advice and sharing your experiences. I so needed to hear from others and if they experienced what I've been throughI as I felt I was the only one. I will be posting if the doc will put me on carafate etc.

Kind Regards

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 2/9/2014 6:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi lobstaguy,
I have never had any side effects to Carafate. Since I have a reactive stomach, I keep it on hand always. Carafate aids in healing, and has always provided me with relief when I'm having esophagitis (pre-Nissen) or gastritis (which can happen anytime...I'm especially sensitive to antibiotics, so I nearly always end up with gastritis when I have to take them.)

My stomach can react to pretty much anything, and since my wrap is created out of my sensitive stomach, it can sometimes get irritated. The Carafate is great for those times. It's amazingly effective, in my experience.

When I've got upper GI tract inflammation, I most often feel immediate relief. I don't think it's meant for throat irritation, though. Lower esophagitis is its specialty.

Hope you find relief soon.
Hang in there,
Denise

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7181
   Posted 2/9/2014 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Bevys,

When I'd get esophagitis, it seemed to always take at least a couple months to clear up. It's a frustrating process, and I'd always lose 20 pounds at least. I remember one Thanksgiving when I had horrible pain just taking a swallow of mashed potatoes and gravy.

Cheese, milk, and rice should be fine. The rice needs to be cooked thoroughly, and chewed to a liquid before swallowing. The more you stick to soft/well chewed foods, the fewer setbacks you'll have and the quicker you'll recover. Just listen to your body. If you eat something that bothers you, hold off on it until you're better. Eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly.

Believe me, I understand how hard it is. Just try to hang in there and stay positive. It'll happen!

Best wishes,
Denise

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09
Allergy/Asthma

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Bevys
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/24/2014 11:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you all for your input and sharing your experiences. You were right when you said to try to stay positive. :) Now for a follow up after my recent endoscopy. I was diagnosed with Nerd instead of Gerd. The gastroenterologist said it was as painful as gerd, but could be more difficult to get under control than gerd at times and he doubled my ppi's. He said my esophagus looked fine except that there was one red area close to the bottom. I wonder if it was an ulcer that had healed perhaps? I rarely experience the excessive burning pain I was when I first wrote this forum. I still have some dull pains between my breastbone, but even that pain is lessening week by week. I was also diagnosed with a medium sliding hiatal hernia and I can actually feel it squeezing underneath my rib cage at times. I also had some sore spots in my stomach and the endoscopy showed a few red places and the gastro thought I may have celiac disease, but the biopsy was negative. Ive been avoiding gluten products anyway to be on the safe side and now the sore spots in my stomach no longer hurt....coincidence?
I've still been babying my esophagus and have been steering away from trigger foods and stress and believe both of those things effect it. Plus, I've been chewing my foods extra thorough and eating slower and in smaller portions, and been taking ppis twice a day.
When I first wrote this forum I had convinced myself that I had esophageal cancer, because when I searched the internet with my symptoms I found that the "Big C" was listed time and time again. I had other things working against me...I'm 50 yrs. old, used to drink beer and smoke occasionally (I quit those habits last year). I did a lot of praying and thankfully don't have cancer. I hope this post helps someone else that is afraid as I once was.

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 3/25/2014 10:51 AM (GMT -6)   
To dencha and Bevys,

You both mention something that I think a lot of people neglect to take seriously enough, even those reading this forum who are desperate for good advise on how to cure, treat, or at least learn to live with the various problems that result from heartburn, GERD and reflux, as well as the nasty side effects of the medicines that are prescribed for it: CHEW YOUR FOOD LONGER.

There is a mild bacteria in saliva that is meant to begin the digestion process. Most of us chew too briefly to give it a chance to work. For those with an inflamed or damaged esophagus, as you mention, thorough chewing brings the food to a slurry state that is less likely to cause irritation on the way down. For those on PPIs or H2 blockers, with less acid in your stomach you are not digesting food as well as you should, and are probably suffering from gas and bloating, so you need all the digestive help you can get, starting right in the mouth with chewing.

Chewing more thoroughly, taking a probiotic (or eating plenty of yogurt), a digestive enzyme tablet, and possibly fiber supplement as well, can go a long way towards normalizing the digestive process, and reducing the gas that is probably contributing to the heartburn all are trying to stop. When you have gas in your stomach, it's only way out is UP. That constant pressure is very likely to bring the stomach contents, acid and all, up with it.

Bevys
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2014
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 3/25/2014 8:44 PM (GMT -6)   
To RJdriver,

Dencha emphasized the importance of chewing to liquid consistency, as you have too and I think it has been "key" to my healing process.
I also agree with you about the PPI's & H2 blockers and how they impede the digestion process. I was also experiencing the gas pains you spoke about, but started eating Greek yogurt and think that may have helped it.
I spent over 2 months dealing with Gerd and the awful effects it's had on me and I literally felt raw inside my esophagus and the burning spread through my chest. I mean, I've had indigestion in the past, but this was different and way worse. During my slow healing process, I spent hours reading the GERD message boards to see what others experiences were like and to learn more. The Moderators and members have been a huge help. :)
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