Can GERD be make one this miserable?

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Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 3/21/2007 6:49 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi all - just wanted to see if someone can give me an advice on how to proceed from here since I have been experiencing very bad pain lately. I am going to see my GI specialist again next week, but even prior to that appointment wanted to check if someone here has gone through similar experience and what helped you to feel better.
I have done an endoscopy end of January and it showed three problems: 1) an inflamed esophagus (Barrets suspected, but biopsy showed no Barrets, 2) small hiatal hernia, 3) mild gastritis. I am on Prevacid (30mg daily) and really don't see that it is helping much.
1) What to try next? Another medicine? Another test, if any?
2) I don't get symptoms after eating so it is hard to determine the food trigger. Pain is much worse in the evening hours than in the morning hours. Chest pain kind of is constant and sometimes radiates to my shoulders. I also sometime feel like pinching on left and right side of my chest that comes and goes - very sporadic. I think I felt much better back month ago than these days.
3) Can GERD make one this miserable heavily affecting quality of life? When it strikes it changes my mood and I wonder whether I have some other medical problem.
4) I also use lowest dosage of Trazodone and Clonazepam in the evening to help me with sleep. I have been on Rifamate in last 3 1/2 months (treatment for dormant TB) and will stop using this antibiotic in two weeks. Can medicines be GERD triggers and make it much worse?
I am using DGL as well since it helped many on this forum.
Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 65
   Posted 3/21/2007 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I had similar problems to you a year ago. It's much better these days, so yes, things can be done. I've been reading this board on and off for over a year and it's obvious there is no one size fits all solution. You need to keep trying things until you find what works for you, and I guess there are people for whom there are no solutions. I don't want to pretend to tell you what will help, but I'll let you know what helped me.

Medicine: I take Nexium. Works for me, not for everyone. Yes, try a different medication if necessary. Some people say don't use any medicines, use more natural methods. Your call. However, I can suggest one thing. When it was at its worst, the endoscopy found a very small ulcer as well. My doctor prescribed carafate. Its a liquid that is prescribed for ulcers. However, it seemed to soothe my esohagus, which was inflamed. I kept some around for about six months and whenever I had an acid attack I would take the carafate for a few days. It really helped stop the inflammation (at least the sensations I associated with it). I don't know if the liquid antacids like Mylanta are as effective. I would assume the doctor would be willing to try carafate on you due to your inflammation.

I changed my diet. I now know the foods can take more than a few hours to create a problem. I stopped w/ the soda (caffeine and carbonated beverages are no-nos; you don't want to burp if you can help it). Cut down on chocolate, alcohol and certain carbs. I found that regular bread was a problem. I use low carb tortilla wraps for sandwiches now.

I read that sedatives can be a problem. They relax your muscles INCLUDING the LES which keeps the acid down.

I got an acid reflux pillow. I absolutely hate the thing but it helped. You can also raise the head of the bed. The idea is to raise the top part of the body. I used it for several months. I no longer need it.

I cut out certain stress creators. I'm convinced this was part of my problem. I remember others complaining that antibiotics were a catalyst for serious problems. I also started w/ the good bacteria from certain yogurts when I was on the mend. They now have pills that you can take for 30 days that replace the good bacteria in your stomach. Good idea after you are on antibiotics.

My gastro doctor said I could also have a gallbladder problem. I know a few people have written that after they have had it removed their acid reflux was worse. I found out my gallbladder was full of sludge. I cut down on my fat, which has also helped. I haven't needed to remove it yet despite a few gallbladder attacks.

I remember websites out there that gave other suggestions.

Good luck.

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