Posted 6/4/2014 2:18 AM (GMT -6)
[Update] Doctors are ignorant [Update]
It's been almost a month now since my first trip to the ER. In the ER nobody bothered to check my throat, stomach or anything else besides my heart. My heart was fine so they sent me home with GERD treatment (7 pills a day). I asked them if they were sure it's GERD and they said "yes, what else could it be?".
After a week of treatment my stomach started to hurt badly. Stomach cramps, diarrhea, burning sensation in belly and throat. Oh gosh, it MUST be GERD. I was also anxious and depressed and I've never suffered from anxiety my whole life. Every time I moved i thought i was dying. I decided to go and get an examination from the GE and see if I should keep taking the treatment. One gastroscopy later and he told me I had gastritis, reflux, hiatal hernia and told me to continue my nexium treatment plus some more pills and a ginseng supplement.
I was happy for a few days because I was convinced it was GERD. Couple of days later pain in my chest, abdomen, throat. Pain wasn't going away, I thought I was going crazy. Every doctor I consulted told me it was all in my head. One told me I should consult a psychologist.
Since the pain wasn't going away I went to a throat specialist because of pains in my throat. I barely opened my mouth and he said "Yea, it's an infection" . 10 seconds consultation put me on antibiotics for a week. I also did a xray of my head because he wanted to check my sinuses. I also checked with a endocrinologist because i thought it could be a hormonal imbalance. Everything was fine.
After a few days on the antibiotics I felt worse. I was ready to go and admit myself in the hospital. I did some blood tests and I had some high proteins which nobody cared to explain.
Every day I felt a different and new pain. I kept taking pills but nothing worked. I was going crazy.
I finally decided to go and admit myself in a hospital in my hometown. I consulted a friend of the family who is a neurosurgeon. He looked at me all baffled and asked me : "did anyone ever check your spine?" . Erm, No, why would they?. And after a thorough check I indeed had some pains when he pressed on my spine. I did a MRI and Voila!! I have 2 small herniations and 1 protrusion and one damaged vertebra. This explained everything. And I began solving the mystery of my illness.
I indeed had a little acid reflux, but NOT GERD. Because I started taking PPI's and antacids my stomach became weak and didn't process food thoroughly. I wasn't getting enough magnesium, calcium, potassium. This is a direct consequence of taking antacids and PPI's. Also PPI's can give anxiety, depression and it gave me Gastritis. This was amplified tenfold because of low magnesium, calcium, potassium. Anyone that suffers from anxiety knows that a panic attack is horrible. You're 100% convinced something bad is going to happen. Most people experience huge pains and call the ER. I had panic attacks once every few days. Because of constant pains I went to different doctors trying to figure it out. I did NOT need antibiotics, but that doctor gave me antibiotics for 1 week anyway. Combine that with all the pills I was already taking and you get something like 10 pills a day. The high protein count that nobody cared to explain was from my liver. Because I took 10 pills a day and did NOT need them my liver was suffering. This explained another abdominal pain I had on my right side.
In the end my neurosurgeon explained that because I had taken all those unnecessary pills and still had pains, my parasympathetic nervous system got affected. My body was constantly looking for a logical answer regarding my pain. I kept taking pills and the pain got worse. My body got messed up because of it. It didn't understand why with all those pills I still had pains and kept getting new pains. It also didn't help that most doctors told me that it was all in my head, when in fact I had real pains from my spine.
In the end I was tormented for 3 weeks because of ignorant doctors. Nobody cared to look everywhere. They immediately found something and gave me treatment for it. These 3 weeks felt like an episode from House MD.
My advice to everybody is to pester your doctor into looking everywhere and looking thoroughly. I suffered from medication induced GERD, maybe some of you are suffering from this as well. This was also a good experiment to see what GERD medication does to a healthy stomach. Surprise surprise, it gives you GERD, gastritis, stomach cramps. Most stomach medications will decrease your ability to absorb necessary minerals like magnesium, calcium, potassium, Vitamins b6, b12. If you have mineral deficiencies you WILL develop anxiety and there's nothing you can do about it. My neurosurgeon explained that anxiety from lack of minerals cannot be resolved by psychologists or anti-anxiety medications. These are a short term solutions. This is probably why so many people who suffer from GERD also have anxiety. Also, anxiety makes your GERD worse. When you have panic attacks your calcium and magnesium levels drop even more. It's a Vicious cycle.
I wish you all good luck and great health. And don't forget, force your doctor into looking everywhere and listening to everything you say. It might save you weeks of suffering.