Ben, Shelley -
I'm 30 yrs of age. Many of your symptoms are familiar. 6 yrs ago after college I began having reflux. My father had the Nissen surgury when he was in his 40's. I've been diagnosed with chronic gastritis and had had every test & med you can think of. My symptoms are a bit uncommon for normal gerd suffers. Next week, I'm finally getting the Nissen Fundoplication procedure praying it will solve my problems.
My main ailments which have been severe enough for hospitalization include:
- upper abdominal pain which I've thought to be diaphramic tears or hiatal hernia due to weight lifting, alchohol, indigestion & stress. I get this pain after drinking alchohol, carbonated bevs, meals with beans & heavy tomatoe sauce and primary during exercise brought on by tighting of the abs and bearning down while lifting. Rarely do I reflux food or stomach juices back into my mouth and rarely does it feel like this is happening. My pain stays centered under my sternum and upper abdominal region. I can have difficulty breathing during strenious cardio or weight lifting, especially when wearing tight clothing. This is very new to me being a track athlete in college and always wearing tight clothing to workout in or race in. Never experiencing ANY of these issues.
Adding to the pain and hard to differentiate when exercise is soarness in my chest wall and ribcage from a weight lifting accident 2.5 yrs ago. I was bench pressing and the bar slipped off my hands down ono my chest - 225lbs of weight. Luckily I hadnt broke anything but I have had chronic chest wall pain and inflammation in the chest wall and near the connecting points of the abs and ribs. Pain I feel during exercise, be it strenuois cardio or weight lifting is often very difficult to determine the source of the pain.
GERD symptoms, like mine appear to be cyclic. I'll stay away from weights, keep a strict gerd-friendly diet and cut out alchohol for a period of time. I assume my abs, diaphram, esophogas, etc heal during this time as the pain will subside. Eventually the exercise will pick back up or the diet will relax a bit and symtpoms will come back. Sometimes not right away.
The most difficult aspect of the last 4 yrs have been inconclusive findings from ph/motility tests, x-rays, ct scans, bravo study, gastric emptying test, barium swallow tests, ekg's, stress tests, blow tests, you name it - I've done it! My gastroenterologists or other specialists have never been convinced of what was truly causing my symptoms as nothing was screaming "heres the source!".
I will post again after my surgery next week. I was lucky to find the drs who had relationships with my fathers surgeon to approve the "go ahead" to perform the procedure on me. I can hardly blame their reluctance given my history. Whats the worse that can happen? This can help things or they stay the same.
I've never heard of the Hill procedure before. My main concern is my ability to be active, lift weights, do stenuois cardio, etc without the risk of hurting myself or making matters worse after surgery. Does anyone knoe if you'll be limited in physical activity post surgery life?