desperate and tired of feeling bad

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PyroDove
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/19/2006 4:58 PM (GMT -6)   
I heard of this home remedy on the net that incorporates apple cider vinegar. I was wondering if any of you have tried it other than the last poster and (if you did) whether it worked for you or not. I'm on Nexium for a few weeks now and tried Prilosec for months in the past with little success. Actually, my first symptom was about a year ago and it was chronic choking spasms that scared me so bad I went to the ER. The doc there called it exascerbated asthma and sent me on my way. I was unsatisfied and went to my PCP, who told me it was GERD. I don't choke anymore and I improved for a time, but now things seem worse again. I've really struggled to make lifestyle changes and even though I'm only 23, I've been through the ringer with tests regarding my terrible health lately. They tell me that if I don't improve soon, they'll send me to a GI specialist to get an endoscopy. I'm very afraid of this and can't afford it. They also tell me that I need to quit taking so many antacids. The nexium has really helped with stomach pain, but actual heartburn and reflux seems worse lately. I could really use some advice here...please tell me what has helped you! I don't want to start feeling like I'm choking again or to be afraid to eat.
*dove*

chooky
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 28
   Posted 11/20/2006 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Pyro,
I have had GERDS for the past 10 yrs and I can sympathize with you. Have you changed your diet? Try to eliminate caffine, chocolate, spicey foods. Also get a wedge to sleep on so that you are not lying flat when you are sleeping. If you smoke (and I did and still do) try to quit! I have been cutting down and trying to quit for a long time. Right now I am 2 days nicotine free. Try not to wear tight clothes around the waste. Before I was diagnosed they thought I had asthma also. After 2 weeks of extreme pain and antibiotics they sent me for a throat scope that clarified that I had GERDS. I had the surgery about 7 years ago so I have had ALL the tests! AND I DO mean all of them! I hope some of these suggestions helped you out. By the way you must take your meds everyday for them to work not just when you have symptoms! By the way alcohol doesn't help GERDS either so if you drink you better cut way back or quit!

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 11/21/2006 10:25 AM (GMT -6)   

Pyro and Chooky,  

 Pyro, I think if you are taking Nexium for a few weeks, that you wouldn't have any acid reflux because it really does turn off the acid if you take it everyday.  It takes a couple of weeks for it to work efficiently and you have to take it everyday.  So, you should have the scope just to rule it out but if you don't have insurance it can be expensive.  The scope is not scary because they put you to sleep and it takes 5-10 minutes and you're done.  Then you'll know for sure.  There are so many other conditions that manifest itself has GERD symptoms, so please find out and it will relieve your anxiety.

  Five years ago, I had GERD symptoms and was even told that I had it but all the tests were negative.  I was convinced I had it though even though the meds didn't help much.  Then I had that definitive PH monitor test and it confirmed that I definately did not have GERD yet I had burning in the thoat and chest.  WEll, it turned out to be a reaction to hormone replacement therapy.  I quite the hormones and it cleared up.  So, look at other medications you are taking that might be giving you reactions.  Also, on another thread, I think it's from Riverrotter, he talks about healing pain through the  mind/body connection.  That many physical symptoms can manifest themselves, yet it really is repressed anxiety and anger that needs to be dealt with.  I got the book at the library, Healing Back Pain by John Sarno.  He says that many gastro problems also can be manifest as pain yet it really is in our minds because we haven't dealt with the anxiety or anger and it rages in our bodies as pain.  It's an interesting read and I think there is something to it. 

But five years later and now I really do have GERD (diagnosed with an scope procedure) and it could have been from taking estrogen because I found out that it weakens the LES valve between your stomach and esophagus. Also, stimulants like coffee, tea, sodas, chocolate will cause alot of acid and weaken the les valve.  The apple cider vinegar never helped me.  I tried the diet change, health store products, orange peel extract, everything and nothing worked for me except ACiphex, another product like Nexium.  If you really have GERD these meds do turn off the acid and it can't come up.  The problem is that eventually your body gets used to them and they don't work as well and then you have to switch again. Some people have taken them for years with no problem.  Sometimes I still have a pain or burning in the stomach but it's not acid because it's not coming up in my throat.  Usually, for me, if I eat something this side effect of the meds with go away.  REmember, if the meds are not working for you, then start thinking that your condition might be something else.  Also, many times GERD is diagnosed and it still isn't the problem.  Many doctors misdiagnose this GERD thing and in my opinion it's a scapegoat when they can't find out what's wrong with you.  I really don't trust doctors anymore.

Well, I hope I have helped you and I've gone on too long.  

Chooky, you said you had the surgery 7 years ago...are you talking about the Nissen for GERD? If yes, how are doing with the surgery and are you having any symptoms after 7 years?

Sillylilly


PyroDove
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/22/2006 9:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I have changed my diet a lot and lost weight. I quit smoking over a year ago. I quit drinking alcohol a few months ago. I elevate the head of my bed and everything, wait hours before sleep, etc. I hardly drink anything but water anymore. But here's the real problem with significantly changing my diet to something normal and healthy...just avoiding GERD triggers is hard enough, but I also have an incredible list of food allergies. They're relatively mild, but can still cause me a lot of problems. The three big ones are corn, soy and nuts. Others include melons, onions, some meats (I mostly ignore this one), black beans, bananas, etc. This pretty much rules out the alkaline diet for me. Also, citrus fruits/drinks are a big GERD trigger for me, they were the very first thing I had to give up. I am fairly certain that GERD is my problem because of the choking spasms, which went away after a few diet modifications and meds started. I can actually feel the reflux as well. I'm trying to eliminate stress in my life, but of course that's easier said than done....I know it contributes to the problem a good degree. The past few days I've been doing better, really watching what I eat and drinking decaf tea with honey. Heartburn was never really a problem for me until recently, despite the other symptoms...now it seems to have disappeared as well. I'm just worried because now the docs are saying I might have fibromyalgia, which I don't think I do, but I do have muscle pain all around my breasts, shoulders and neck. I'm concerned that the GERD is contributing to this pain in some way because of chronic cough/throat clearing that I experience periodically. They've done a slew of tests, including CT and PET - and not actually for that reason, just not endoscopy yet. They say I'm fine. Honestly, I'm just a little freaked out and I don't know that I can afford a GI specialist, even though I obviously need one.
*dove*

sillylilly
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 317
   Posted 11/24/2006 11:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I think that if the meds work for you then it does indicate GERD. They wouldn't work otherwise unless it was a placebo effect. When I thought I had GERD, but I didn't, the meds never worked.

I think GERD can cause pain in other places especially around the chest, arms and neck.

As far as the diet goes, it is trial and error because the all alkaline diet doesn't work for everyone. We all have different triggers. But a very simple, healthy diet of good fruits and veges, not much meat and eliminate all stimulates like coffee, tea, alcohol, etc. goes along way to helping us feel better and eliminate acid plus eliminate stress. Just going over to my mother's house, I can feel the stress building up plus if I get agitated or angry about something, I can feel the burning in my chest. So I really believe that we all need to learn to manage the stress triggers in our lives.

Good luck to you.









































If the meds are working for you, you probably do have GERD. They won't work if you don't have it unless it's a placebo effect. Yes, I think GERD can cause alot of pain in shoulders, nect, and chest along with choking spasms.

We all have triggers that increase our heartburn and it's just trial and error to find out what works for each of us. Along with changing our diets, I know that stress like anxiety and anger can really trigger an episode in me, so we really need to learn to manage our stress triggers with meditation, mind/body connection etc.

I know a GI doctor is expensive so this is something you have to decide for yourself. Even with insurance, the 20% we have to pay can be expensive depending on what procedure you have done.

It sounds like you are on the right track....good luck.

DANIE
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 321
   Posted 11/24/2006 8:39 PM (GMT -6)   
PyroDove,
Most of the things you are allergic to are not defined as alkaline anyway so you can still eat mostly alkaline foods, you don't need to eat melons or bananas.
Can you eat vegetables like spinach, kale, string beans, avocados, sweet potatoes or yams, carrots for example?
Can you eat grains like quinoa and millet? Those will give you protein and energy.
Stay away from sugar.
Can you eat dried dates, figs, raisins (all unsulphered)?
It's great that you stopped smoking and drinking alcohol - you are correct just to drink mostly water.
I think your system probably needs some extra time to recover. As far as weird symtoms are concerned, my symptoms with GERD were very strange. I only had nausea and dizziness, never pain in the esophagus.
Good luck and keep up the healthy lifestyle, you will get better.
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