digestive disease doctor told me this

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hearty
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/10/2005 4:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I went to a digestive disease doctor (the one who performs the endoscopy in our town) and was told by him (while he chuckled) that gerd does not include chest pain.  My regular doctor sort of was shocked by this when I went back to him.  He did an ekg (per other doctor's request) and noted it was, of course, normal.  He ordered a barium swallow (because the other doctor said it was the test to do instead of endoscopy).  It was negative so I went back to digestive doctor to see what was the next step.  He looked at the barium swallow test (which he suggested) and said well, this wouldn't tell us anything about gerd anyway!! What is up with doctors?  I had the gall bladder ultrasound which came back negative (2 days ago) and when the nurse called with the results, she was baffled about what I could do.  I (mind you, the PATIENT) suggested to her that I might need to go back on Nexium again and she was, like, fine, try that for a few days and see how you feel.  Do doctors just not know ANYTHING about this condition?  I do not know what the next step is, but I am getting tired of playing doctor myself!! I called and requested the gallbladder test and the nurse said that was next on my doctor's list.  If burping, chest pain, heartburn, stomach discomfort, inablity to eat large amounts of food are not symptoms of gerd, then what is it?  All my tests check out, I am at a normal weight.  I did have a major operation a little over a year ago.  Could that have disrupted something in my body?  If so, how long till I am normal again? Hoping someone out there is patient enough to read and respond.  My husband is a diabetic and gets such wonderful care by his doctor ( a specialist).  Why can't it be the same with this?

JulieSch
New Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/10/2005 4:34 PM (GMT -7)   
Could be gastsritis, I had both those and esophagitis. Inflammation of the esophogus. I think gastritis may cause pain. Is it near your stomach?
Julie


CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/10/2005 4:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hearty,
I think you're learning that doctors are not God. There are many of them who don't know what the hell they're doing. We have to, unfortunately, keep looking until we find ones that we can trust and respect.......which might take awhile. That's why it's important to become as educated as possible.
A question for you: What was your major operation? The reason I'm asking is that sometimes you can develop things called adhesions, and sometimes they can cause some problems with digestion.
Could you give a little more of your medical history? On any meds? Any other symptoms? What is your age?

hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/10/2005 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I am almost 39. I am on no meds but took an overabundance 2 summers ago while I doctor tried to figure out what was wrong with me....prednisone (steroid), 5 rounds of antibiotics (including cipro), nasonex, nexium, and lots and lots of motrin (on an empty stomach, no less). My operation was a hysterectomy (abdominal) to remove a football sized fibroid tumor. No cancer, thankfully. I was able to keep one ovary so I am not on hormones. The tumor was so large and undetected at an exam less than a year earlier so the doc thought cancer. Either the first doc who did not feel it was just stupid or the fibroid grew incredibly fast (they are known to be very slow growing) I had a quick recovery from the operation and was actually able to get off the nexium as my symptoms all but left (for about 6 months). I have no clue what is wrong with me. I have figured out the difference in doctors and that I am ultimately responsible for my health care. I have always stayed away from doctors and medicine until 2 summers ago when I started having symptoms. That doctor would throw drugs at me in an alarming way. His attitude was to try it and see if it helped and therefore have a diagnosis!! I was on 5 drugs at one point and could barely lift my head. When my husband took me to his office, he had me quit all COLD TURKEY. Needless to say, he is not our doctor any more!!

How would I know if I have adhesions?

hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/10/2005 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh....no the pain is definitely in the middle of my chest....not my stomach.

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/10/2005 7:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Oh hearty.........you poor thing! You have had more than your share of incompetent doctors!! Did that doctor have you stop the steroids cold turkey too??? I'm guessing you live in a small town. They seem to have more than their share of bad docs.
What is your worst symptom? When you say you can't eat large amounts of food, what do you mean? (Please be patient with me, putting your story together!)
Let me just mention, that for some us, perimenopause can cause all sort of GI problems. I'm no expert, but I think we don't always ovulate from the same ovary every month. Your hormones could be getting a little wacky, because of not always ovulating. My GERD was horrible during perimenopause. Perhaps this might be what's going on?? Why did they take the other ovary? Are they keeping an eye on the remaining ovary?
How would you describe your chest pain? an ache? a burn? a stabbing pain?
Also..........an EKG is not an adequate cardiac assessment. You should have at least a stress echo.
I was on 2 months of antibiotics about 8 years ago, and my GI tract hasn't been the same since. For a long time I thought it might be yeast overgrowth. But now I'm wondering if the antibiotics actually permanently damaged it somehow.
Anyhow........before I ramble on much further, please tell me all your symptoms. Have you gotten back on the Nexium? Do you have any food intolerances?

hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/10/2005 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup...small town America!! The fibroid did not interfere with the other ovary so the doc wanted to spare me the hormone replacement. I am glad they left it. My symptoms are mainly a feeling of fullness after eating, lots of belching, heartburn, chest pain. I have no problem with my bowel movements. The chest pain is really achy...it is when I am having the other symptoms. I had never ONCE had heartburn until I got put on antibiotics....I called the doctor crying cause it was so bad. Zantac took care of it. Then I took 4 more rounds of antibitics in as many months. I just feel like I have messed up my digestive system. I started back on Nexium tonight. I think I will at least give it a try. Tired of calling in sick to my job ( I substitute teach so I don't work much anyway)....had three jobs lined up last week....made it to 1!!!!!!!! Thanks for any help. My doc I go to now is great and is convinced this is acid reflux....just none of his meds have helped me so far. I guess the next step is to get the endoscopy....he has been asking me to since January!!!!! $2500.00 WOW

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/10/2005 8:21 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Hearty,

   I just answered your question about endoscopy in another post......but in case you don't see it, I'll say it again here.  It's my understanding that an endoscopy will show any damage from GERD, but if it is normal, it doesn't mean you don't have it.  My endoscopy was normal........but I still had a diagnosis of GERD, based on clinical symptoms.   Maybe you have a hiatal hernia?   The docs say those don't bother you, but I'm convinced they do.  And they can come and go ("sliding" hiatal hernia). 

    You could read up on yeast overgrowth, and try a diet for awhile, that would cut down on your yeast.  Also, try to eat alot of yogurt, and take an acidophilus pill every day.  I would suggest you read up on how to heal your GI track.  Most docs don't believe in "Leaky Gut syndrome", but I believe in it.  Try to read up on that, and see if you think it fits you.

    Have you been reading Dr. Norm's posts on carbohydrates, as culprits in GERD?  You could try cutting down on those and see if it helps.  I just think you have alot of healing to do.

    And I just can't saw it enough, that female hormones can cause these problems.  I think they have an effect on the tone of our muscles, and end up giving us really bad reflux.

    I also think it's smart to try different proton pump inhibitors, if one doesn't seem to work well.  Aciphex isn't very well known, but it worked wonders for me.   I suppose you already know to avoid caffeine, chocolate, tomato products, etc.?

   Did the doctors ever wonder about h. Pylorii?  I think they can even do just a blood test for that.

    Not to scare you, but ovarian cancer can have alot of GI symptoms......so you might ask your OB/GYN about that.

     Sometimes, the doctors don't find anything wrong, which can be very frustrating.  But sometimes, you can figure out ways to change certain things, and make your life more liveable. 


VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 9/10/2005 9:00 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hearty, It sounds like you have certainly had a rough time. Cathy have given you some excellent advice. Diet is a big factor w/Gerd, try making mental notes of what causes these problems for you.


It would be a good idea to possible change meds if you're not getting any relief. Also, the Endoscopy would be good if there's any way that you could work it out financially. The test could possibly show something or nothing. I had the scope last April to reveal H-Pylori, dr couldn't tell me if I really had Gerd from the scope because of the scar tissue from taking meds for approx 5-6 yrs. GI indicated if my symptoms persisted continue meds.

I am currently taking Prolisec w/positive results. Your symptoms certainly resemble Reflux/Gerd.

I hope you start to feel better & keep us posted!

Vanessa

Teri16
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Date Joined Dec 2003
Total Posts : 5230
   Posted 9/10/2005 9:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hearty! tongue
 
That's terrible the treatment you've received so far - grrrrrr!
 
I've had GERD for a few years now.  Usually that means that the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), basically a flap that opens when you eat and closes when the food goes down is not working properly, so instead of the acid of the stomach staying where it should, it comes back up causing damage to the esophagus.  It should show up with a barium swallow?  The endoscopy is actually done in most cases to check for Barrett's and Cancer.  Sometimes just based on your symptoms alone, the Dr.'s will start you on a treatment.
 
I've included a very good link for you to read.
I really hope this helps you!!
 
Hugs, Teri tongue
http://www.merck.com/mmhe/sec09/ch121/ch121d.html?qt=GERD&alt=sh
"Because he is he and I am I."......E. V. Lucas

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CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/11/2005 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know about the rest of you, but I was amazed that I could have a normal endoscopy, yet have such incredible burning, for such a long time! I was sure he'd see a huge problem there, but didn't. I guess what I'm saying is that we can feel horrible, even though tests look normal...........so don't rule out GERD, even if your endoscopy is normal. And, as someone mentioned on another thread, it IS very comforting to have a normal endoscopy.......even though it might cost you so much money.

hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/11/2005 11:36 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you all for your wonderful advice. My own doctor acted like the endoscopy was not necessary. The specialist who performs them acted that way too. I started Nexium yesterday (again) and actually feel better today. My problem is I don't WANT to take drugs. I plan to look up the leaky gut thing and start back on probiotics. I was really sick a couple of years ago and I think my body is still healing and getting itself straight. I do know it is important to eat small meals. I also plan to start walking....exercise!! Thanks again...I have learned so much from this site.

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/11/2005 11:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Hearty,
I'm a person who usually refuses to take medications......mostly because they all seem to give me side-effects that are worse than the illness! But I have to say, that when I got my GERD under control with the Aciphex, life was so much better! And Aciphex was one of the few medications in my life, that didn't give me any side-effects. So hopefully, you'll start to feel better soon. I also have noticed that when I get flare-ups of my GERD, I really have to take it easy on my stomach, and eat less than usual, and stay away from the bad stuff. You can eat the bad stuff........but you'll pay for it! (as you know from the waffle this morning!) :)
Also, be sure to take your vitamins. Hope you feel lots better soon! (And remember what I said about the different proton pump inhibitors.......sometimes when one doesn't work, another does. )

hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/11/2005 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Over the past two years, I have been on Nexium, Aciphex, Protonix, and Prevacid!!! Now back to Nexium again. For two months this summer I quit the meds and drank vinegar water 2 or 3 times a day (yuck) and felt great!! Now this is back again and the vinegar hurts. I don't get why it comes and goes and why the meds work and then don't. I just want it to go away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah....I am a big baby....but I will try the Nexium for a while. I really need to work and earn some money instead of staying home and nursing my acid reflux. I am not very weak when it comes to pain and most stuff doesn't stop me but this reflux lands me on my back! It is powerful bad. I would never have believed it if I had not experienced it first hand.

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 9/11/2005 7:17 PM (GMT -7)   

I understand your frustration Hearty,

   In 1995, I got influenza that was just horrible.  Flat on my back for 2 weeks, then I got pneumonia, then ear infections.  After that, I never really recovered fully.  A few months later, my IBS and GERD started up, and I developed debilitating chronic fatigue.   Then.....a couple years later, I started through a very rough perimenopause.  I also raised 2 little kids through all this...........so I'm worn out!!     I would say to you, just don't give up looking for an answer, and I would consider seeing a few more doctors.......maybe even an endocrinologist.    If your acid reflux is so sporadic, and doesn't seem to respond to the usual meds, I would look for a more systemic problem.    

    When you have to stay home from work because of it, what are your worse symptoms?  Do you have any other symptoms?


hearty
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 9/12/2005 11:12 AM (GMT -7)   
The chest pain is the symptom I hate the most.
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