Posted 1/31/2019 2:27 PM (GMT -6)
Hello all, new here, please forgive the ambiguous name, i'd rather not get too personal but still give adequate information about my situation. Excuse the post length as well, but I suppose that's what I get for waiting so long to post, haha.
For reference, I am male, 24 years old, and am in fit condition, 174LB.
Around November of last year I started to have significant reflux symptoms after an intense two-week bout of stress, in which I was sleeping maybe one or two hours every two days due to the related insomnia of said stress. I was straining myself physically as my work at the time was intensive, and after finally calming down is when I began to notice the consistent burn and regurgitation. I have no family history of GERD, so it got me to hypothesizing that I may have given myself some sort of hiatal hernia during that stress period.
No foods in particular seem to agitate or worsen it, but I still adjusted my diet appropriately, levied my bed upwards several inches, all of your usual routine lifestyle maintenance. I don't drink or smoke at all, no drug use other than the Famotidine i've been medicating with for said reflux. I assumed things would improve afterwards, but as of today's date the symptoms are still present, and a little more significant than when they began.
-Regurgitation if I lay down too quickly or lean over after eating
-Recently, an indefinite Globus sensation in my throat which I presume is from irritation from the acid exposure.
I don't cough or have any respiratory issues so I do not think it is anything LPR related.
Over the last three months i've been lurking around here as well as any other information regarding GERD that I can get my hands on, not out of anxiety but just to educate and inform myself about the disease. I've seen my primary care physician twice, and was diagnosed on the second visit. I'm due to follow up with them in about two weeks' time for an endoscopy to see exactly what the problem is, whether it's a weak lower sphincter or a hernia, et cetera, and i'm rather eager for that to occur so I can make progress towards wellness again.
One of the most significant pieces of information I saw was that medication, especially Proton Pump Inhibitors, are not a cure but rather focused on managing the symptoms, but this worries me for several reasons. Mainly, that there's more in your stomach contents than just the HCL, such as pepsin, et cetera. That still refluxes and eats at my esophagus even if I don't feel the acid, and I have a family history of cancer so I want a preventative, long-term solution to this disease. And also, removing or diluting the acid in my stomach long term will mean i'm not absorbing nutrients or digesting properly. I do not like the idea of inhibiting a process that is vital towards my health.
Upon my next physician visit, i'm going to ask about a referral to a Gastric doctor to discuss the possibility of surgery if I have a hernia present, or a weak LES after they're able to see what the physical problem is. I understand the seriousness and permanence of such a decision but I feel that it's necessary given my risk factors for cancer and the effect it's having on my quality of life. I've read extensively on the procedures available, but as i'm based in the US, I believe I only have a feasible opportunity for either the Nissen fundoplication or the LINX system. I do not have the funds to go overseas to Europe or to Mexico for other procedures even if they have established efficacy.
Reading a lot of stories about the surgery processes forum members have gone through has given me an idea of what to expect over the months and even years after surgery, and I am aware of the long-term struggles, but I believe they outweigh the dangers of me developing such a lethal cancer if I don't do anything about this problem.
I'll also use this post to document my process with any surgery that I do undergo, so i'll keep this updated as that goes along, and stop by again in two weeks when i've talked with my physician about what procedure will work best.
Thank you for reading my rather long wall of rambling, haha. That's it for now, I think.