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law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/9/2005 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello,

I've been having a problem with many things since April of this year. One was an upper abdominal (stomach) pain that would not go away so my primary care put me on a PPI for 8 weeks. I wasn't happy with this solution since I never had heartburn. I started with Aciphex which made me very light headed. So I myself switched to OTC Prilosec, 20mg, a day. I did this for 3 weeks. For some reason Prilosec made me cough and I felt a little bit out of breath. The stomach pains seemed to get better though. One morning, I noticed that I not only would cough, but swallowing was becoming uncomfortable. It doesn't hurt but just feels like I'm swallowing a pill all the way down no matter what I swallow including my own saliva. So I stopped the Prilosec. The cough went away but the swallowing problem didn't. And I started getting chest pains. Because I couldn't deal with the pains, I started taking Zantac at the advice of an Urgent Care doctor. That drug at times helps my chest pain (I get this pain in my upper chest above the breasts on both sides) and sometimes the coughing up of salty, clear mucous but the swallowing problem worsens. The dose was 150mg two times a day. I tried reducing that and the swallowing problem isn't as bad but is still there. So I went to yet another doctor and he also said it seems like I might have GERD and suggested I try Prevacid for 5 days at 30mg and then 15mg daily for 8 weeks. That doctor said I would should feel better within 5 days and if not I should go for the endoscopy. By day 3 of Prevacid, I was having increased discomfort swallowing and couldn't take it! So I stopped that and have been trying to manage this without acid reducers. In between the 2 doctor visits, I saw a GI who said that the mucous part of my problem made him think of infection however I wasn't sick enough for that. So he was leaning toward this being pychosomatic in nature. I hate when they tell me that..Anyway, I just want to feel better! He said he would perform an endoscopy but only if I want it. I'm not ready for that just yet.

I guess what I want to know, has anyone experienced their symptoms worsened (specifically swallowing) when taking the acid reducers? I know that sounds opposite of what the medications are supossed to do. The strange things is I actually feel better without the meds yet not quite well because of the intermittent chest pain and swallowing sensation.

Does anyone have an idea what I might have? Is this really GERD? Even if I have a hernia, I read that the treatment is the same, acid reducers or surgery. I hate to go through an invasive procedure just to find that I'm going to end up taking the same meds I've already tried. Anyone with experience, please let me know your thoughts. Anything I can try?

Thanks
P.S. I'm taking DGL and trying to watch my diet. I'm not overweight and I exercise.

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 9/9/2005 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hello, Welcome! It sounds like you might want to seriously consider the Endoscopy to ease your mind. Hopefully, you will get some concrete answers on what's going on with you.

I had an Endoscopy last April and it was really pretty simple, although my anxiety went up 10 notches priot to procedure. I recall expressing to the GI that I don't like being sedated and next thing you know I was obviously out and awake again expressing the same conversation and the precedure was over. LOL But, seriously, I regret not having the procedure yrs. ago, maybe, I could've gotten off of meds or not, but I was too afraid.

I have taken both meds mentioned above w/no notable side effects, but these things vary from individual.

Have you ever had problems in the past w/ swallowing meds?
Have you ever had any anxiety problems?

Good Luck & keep us posted!

Vanessa

Searchin'
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 70
   Posted 9/10/2005 6:58 AM (GMT -6)   
law said...
 I hate to go through an invasive procedure just to find that I'm going to end up taking the same meds I've already tried. Anyone with experience, please let me know your thoughts.
I can understand your hesitance for having an invasive procedure, but your peace of mind after it is over will far outweigh the nuisance of the endoscopy.
 
I have had two such procedures (endoscopies) in an eight-year period.  Both times, it showed that I have gastitis, an inflammation of the stomach.
 
I never burp 'sour' and I never regurgitate food.  My problem is the feeling of acid in my throat and a raw esophagus.  I am very concerned about getting Barrett's.  None of the PPI's seem to help me much.
 
I wish someone could tell me if gastritis and heartburn are mutually exclusive.  Thanks.
 
Respectfully,  Searchin'
 
 

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/10/2005 9:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Vanessa and Searchin,

Thanks for writing and encouraging me to go for the endoscopy. Vanessa, I am an anxious person and have had problems with it in the past. It is really possible that I could be making this happen to my body with no real good physical reason? I've had so many ailments that turn out to be nothing real bad but enough to drive me crazy. For instance, I had lower abdominal pain for months and since my Dad died of colon cancer I thought I might have that. So I had a colonoscopy and thank God, that was fine. But I do have endometriosis (spell?) that my OB had diagnosed me with and said that was what my pain was but I didn't believe him. So I am anxious and I do think the worst but I was not having made up pain either. When trying to ignore this problem I just can't. The pain in my chest and swallowing feeling will not subside. I never had a problem swallowing pills. And it is so strange, it just feels uncomfortable (sometimes it hurts) all the way down, top to bottom. Some swallows I'm okay and most not. I seem to notice the swallowing thing more wiith my own saliva and drinking rather than eating. Oh well...my husband says I worry too much and that is my problem.

Searchin, when you say you have a raw esophagus, what does that feel like? Did they ever figure out why you have gastritis? What do you do to help your symptoms? I wish I could answer your question about heartburn and gastritis.
Thanks to both of you!!!
Lori
 
Please see rule #4
 

Post Edited By Moderator (~Jennifer~) : 9/10/2005 8:35:14 PM (GMT-6)


CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 9/10/2005 11:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Law,
May I ask how old you are? Are you still having periods?
Another thing I wanted to mention, is that I've been reading about some people feel that some of us actually don't have enough acid in our stomachs. I find that hard to believe, but some people swear they feel better, once they add acid to their stomachs. I think the supplement is called Betaine, or something like that. If you're not feeling any better on acid reducers.........maybe you should try adding some acid! Just an idea.
You almost sound like you have "globus".....which is just a sensation that something is caught in your throat, and it's my understanding that it doesn't necessarily mean anything. I know I sound like a stuck record on this forum sometimes, but I'm seeing more and more women in perimenopause, who start to have reflux symptoms, and feelings of things stuck in their throats......that's why I asked your age and about your periods.

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 9/11/2005 12:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Law and Welcome to HealingWell!! :)

I have GERD and I've had anxiety, so I understand where you're coming from! I would agree with the others that having a test to a least get a look at your esophagus and stomach to see what's going on sounds like the best route to go! If they find something, you will receive treatment and know what's going on. If they find nothing, then perhaps it's heartburn and that, too can be treated!

I had a barium swallow first - less invasive and no anesthetics necessary. The endoscopy or EGD test was reserved for checking for Barrett's, Cancer and withdrawing a sample from my Gall Bladder at the time - since it was part of my problem, too.

Wishing you all the best!!
Hugs, Teri :)

Let us know what you decide!
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/11/2005 1:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Law,
What foods do you eat in a given day?

Norm

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/12/2005 10:17 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi CathyA,

I'm 37 but have suspected perimenopause due to some periodic (very periodic) irregular periods. My sister said something about changing every 7 years and I would be at one of those points right now I think hormonally.

I'm having a lot of heartburn now that I can feel and of course the swallowing problem is worse when I feel that heartburn. I don't know if this is rebound from all of the other meds I've tried or what. I read somehwere that it takes 2 months for PPI's to get our your system but I only took them for a straight 3 weeks. H2 blockers take 10 days. I don't know where I'm at and if this will subside naturally or if I have a condition that will persist. I had an episode like this in 10/04 but it was a bit more mild and took 2 months to go away. My father died in July but was very sick in 2005. My swallowing, heartburn began about that time but I was on Prilosec. In Octoer, I was given prescription Zantac, 150mg twice day but I did not take that consistently because I never felt it helped. So..here I am, with it again but worse. I feel like the PPI's and all the meds I've taken made it worse.

I've done so much reading and think the endoscopy would be a good thing but then again many people who have bad problems don't like to stay on PPI's and try and take care of this more naturally. I don't think I have cancer or anything bad like that but maybe I should go. I'm torn about having it!

Thanks again

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/12/2005 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Teri16,

Thanks for writing! What did they find with your EGD? And your barium swallow before that? Don't they normally send out for EGD when things are real bad and they suspect cancer or Barrett's? I don't think I'm at that stage yet but my doctor will not send me for the x-ray. He wants to go right for the endoscopy and again, he thinks I have like an IBS of the upper GI tract. Did I tell you guys that yet? And that really the only way he could help me would be to go for that test. It is completley voluntary though and if I felt better I didn't have to go ahead with it. This makes me think I don't have anything concering yet he doesn't know what to give me because we don't know what I have. He knows I've already tried PPI's and H2 blocker so I guess he is advising me propery.

Thank you!!!

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/12/2005 10:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Dr. Norm,

I eat just about anything but have been watching lately noting the things that irritate me. I've read your post about carbs and find that some bother me and some don't. For example, yesterday I had a bagel with cream cheese, one cup of coffee and was doing well. At lunch, I had pasta with a little butter, and an apple. Also did fine. Later for a snack, I had a serving of seasme seeds and was still doing pretty good. Then at dinner, I had Chinese food (not spicey) and I was in trouble! It was beef and broccoli and I added rice. I had a piece of white cake and scraped the cholocate off for dessert and all night I was in trouble.

One day for lunch I tried eating some cashew nuts, peanut butter on a spoon, mozzerella cheese (whole milk) and yogurt, low fat with fiber (I know, weird combinations). I had heartburn for hours afterward. I'm not sure if it is was the peanut butter or the yogurt or what but I had no carbs that afternoon. Yesterday I eliminated all of these foods just as a test and I did OK.

Today I had a piece of toast (oatmeal bread), with a little bit of coffee and I've had heartburn.

Before these problems, I could eat anything without trouble. This is what I don't understand.

Jocaste
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2005
Total Posts : 72
   Posted 9/13/2005 7:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Law

I'm sorry you're feeling so bad.To get rid of heartburn--(and this is just my experience and it may not work for everyone although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to show that it works for a lot of people) You need to reduce your overall carb count each day.Unfortunately, this doesn't just mean cutting obvious carbs like bread, pasta,rice and sugar. For instance the day you had yogurt, peanut butter and mozarella all those foods in themselves contain some carbs. The 100gs of low fat unsweetened yogurt I have in the morning has 8 gs of carb in it. Also, you need to reduce your carbs over a period of two days to reap the benefits.

It has helped me.
Good luck

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/13/2005 8:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Law,
You are on a very high carb diet. Pasta, bread, oatmeal, rice, apples, bagel. I am not surprised at all that you suffer such symptoms. As Jocaste put it, you need to truly low carb for at least a couple of days.

Best of Luck,
Norm
Opinions based on research and my experience

law
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 93
   Posted 9/13/2005 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
How low do I need to go for the first two days and then how much do I increase per day and then for a normal intake, how much should be consumed per day? I understand this is all opinion. Certainly staying very low for just 2 days to see how I feel shouldn't be too hard. I've already had 21.5 g today but can stop there.

Thanks.
Lori

Norm1
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 9/14/2005 12:14 AM (GMT -6)   
Jenn,
With do respect, I have spent a year researching the low carb approach and tailoring this way of eating specifically to patients with GERD. I went on to write a book on this subject which I understand I cannot promote here. My work has corroborated the clinical study findings of Yancy and Westman and the practical clinical results acquired during many years of actually treating patients with GERD using this appraoch by doctors like Michael and Mary Dan Eades. My approach makes rational sense and fits the facts of current research findings and offers an effective alterantive to these drugs so many are complaining about on this site. Go to the low carb boards and you will see many testimonial that this approach works incredibly well. As we have heard hundreds of times on these boards, most medical doctors are under educated on alterantive holistic ways to treat this disease, don't listen well to their patients, and simply write a script for a PPI. Don't you think people are hear looking for a few alterantives?


Law,
I do agree that it is a good idea to discuss the ideas you hear about on this board with your primary care phsician in case you have special conditions or are taking meds like insulin or other drugs that modulate blood glucose. But don't be surprised if your doctor is unaware, or not supportive of alternative approaches to treating GERD. A significant portion of their continuing education is complements of the companies that produce and market PPIs. They also receive financial reward for prescibing these meds.

Good work today. Stay at 25 grams per day for a few days or even a week if needed until your symptoms are gone.

Norm

Opinions based on my experience and extensive research in the field of GERD, digestion and microbiology.

Teri16
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 9/14/2005 9:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Dr. Norm, it isn't nice to pick on PPI's or Dr.'s approaches to things just because they don't happen to see it your way. My GI Dr. is wonderful and is open to many new ideas. But when you reach the point that is leading to cancer, they react in a positive way trying to help you the best way they know how. By the way, how does a low carb diet affect the hiatal hernias?

Law, I had my barium swallow first to see if there was any reflux present, or any abnormalities. They said that the scarring from the reflux was visible, along with LES not function properly and a hiatal hernia. That is when they scheduled the endoscopy, as I was also complaining of right upper quandrant pain, which turned out to be my gall bladder. They were able to obtain biopsies of the esophagus and took a sample of the gall bladder bile to check for stones.

Hugs, Teri :)
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

"I Hope You Dance".............LeeAnn Womack
 
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