Apparently there's another way to treat GERD

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debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted 3/25/2007 5:09 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm not a doctor and to my knowledge there haven't been any studies concerning what I'm about to say. I'm just going to tell you what appears to be working for me...it may not work for you. It's about anxiety, and the following is selected from a post I made in the Anxiety forum here at Healing Well:

"I know it's way, way early to say for sure...but I think I just found something that actually works (knock on wood). No panic attacks yesterday at all...and it's been a LONG time since I've had a day like that. It COULD be a coincidence but I doubt it. I ate some fried chicken at one point and it was like my stomach tried to go nuts but never quite did...and it waited until it was almost time for my next dose to do so. And check this out: I have GERD for a long time. Recently I started to suspect that my Prevacid was helping the GERD but causing other problems in my stomach, so I started to taper and then lost track so I just quit. Obviously heartburn had been acting up. But not yesterday, and with that fried chicken it should have. Could it be that the Klonopin may help my GERD? I suppose that could be a coincidence too...I have had days where that particular chicken didn't bother me. But maybe it's not?"

That selection refers to last Monday. Since then, I still have not taken Prevacid and my GERD symptoms are still much, much better. I've eaten some pretty bad foods, too: Doritos, cheap pizza, more fried chicken. Sometimes I get reflux and sometimes I don't, but when I do, one or two Maalox pretty much handles it. Before I started the anti-anxiety med I would often use Prevacid, Maalox, and Pepto Bismol AND still be miserable. When I eat something mild, I have no GERD symptoms whatsoever except some bloating, but it's not bad at all. I suspect my bloating is some other kind of problem...maybe leftover gastritis from the previous week (it seems to be going away gradually). Honestly, the way I feel now, if I were to stop smoking cigarettes I probably wouldn't have a GERD problem at all. I really do think it would go away completely.

The point is, if you suspect you may have any kind of anxiety problem, consider getting evaluated for it. With any luck, your GERD may also respond to similar treatment. I honestly feel like a miracle has happened to me. In the interest of full disclosure, there are some drawbacks to the particular anxiety medicine I'm taking (Klonopin), but if it comes up you should have a thorough conversation with your physician to determine whatever drug may help you.

I suspect this probably isn't applicable to most of the people who post here, but if it helps just one person then that'll be a good thing.

Tummytuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/26/2007 8:50 AM (GMT -6)   
debaser, this is great news! I'll knock on wood for you,too. I have read so much on GERD and I do actually remember reading something that talked about certain people who have something called visceral something or other hypersensitivity (I'm sorry I can't remember the name). The article stated that these people could be helped with their GERD by taking an anti anxiety medication. So, your case just might have a medical basis.

I actually responded to you in a different thread, started by me. I recently took myself off the ppi's as well and am also, knock on wood again, doing much, much better.

Hang in there
Tummytuck

NH66
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 52
   Posted 3/26/2007 12:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi,

Oh my gosh, same thing for me. I stopped the prevacid b/c it was really up-setting my stomach. In the matter of 2 days i felt great and i have not had a problem since, at lest nothing tums can't handle.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/26/2007 8:19 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, after I stopped the Prevacid I was pretty miserable until I started taking the Klonopin. There were a few days in between.

I had a GERD diagnosis from a long time ago, and then a more recent diagnosis of anxiety/atypical panic disorder. The panic was affecting my digestive system the worst, but there were some more typical panic symptoms, too. I think my general level of anxiety was so high that it worsened my GERD. Treating the anxiety inadvertently treated the reflux.

I'm still not perfect. I ate a Calzone while ago and am feeling it a little. But it's bearable. And one Maalox tablet later pretty much took care of the worst of it.

I still think PPI's are a good medicine, especially for short term use such as when someone needs to heal an ulcer. Long term, I'm not sure. Even the doctors will tell you they're not sure. That doesn't mean they're bad...it just means they don't know.

So I don't want to talk anyone into giving up on the medicine their doctors prescribed to them. I'm basically just saying if you think you may have anxiety, then you should consider being evaluated and treated for it. THAT may help your GERD.

BobbyT10
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2006
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 3/26/2007 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Congratulations.  I think you feel better because you are treating the root cause of your GERD.  I would too, only I'm not.  I'm just treating the symptoms. 
 
I've gone of the PPI's twice, both times for a month.  Eventually I scare myself back on them.  Cancer is alot scarier than taking a pill every day for the rest of your life.  Not to mention quality of life, when off the meds, I am reminded constantly how different I am by having to watch what I eat, feel the reflux, and change lifestyle habits.  On the meds, I take the pill in the morning and I am pretty much normal.  It scares me how unsure everyone is about the long term effects, but, I like to take everything one day at a time, and when something develops from the meds, hopefully i'll be able to deal with that.
 
 

Tummytuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/27/2007 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
My endoscopy showed I have a small hiatal hernia and no damage at all from the acid. I agree that ppi's are good short term to heal any esophagitis. Long term use is the question. I had nothing to heal and the ppi's were actually making my GERD worse; that's why I stopped taking them. If I could take a pill in the morning and if it would help with the GERD, I would have kept taking them. But, that wasn't the case. While I still have some reflux, especially given the hiatal hernia, it is very manageable and much better than it was with the pills.

Tummytuck

Tummytuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/27/2007 7:29 AM (GMT -6)   
My endoscopy showed I have a small hiatal hernia and no damage at all from the acid. I agree that ppi's are good short term to heal any esophagitis. Long term use is the question. I had nothing to heal and the ppi's were actually making my GERD worse; that's why I stopped taking them. If I could take a pill in the morning and if it would help with the GERD, I would have kept taking them. But, that wasn't the case. While I still have some reflux, especially given the hiatal hernia, it is very manageable and much better than it was with the pills.

Tummytuck

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 3/27/2007 5:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Interestingly, I also had an endoscopy done that showed a small hiatal hernia. I suppose that's why I still get a little reflux. Back when that was diagnosed I never considered it to be my main problem and didn't ask many questions about it. Do they heal themselves ever? I know surgery is an option for a really bad one, but from what I understand it's not always successful.

Tummytuck
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 99
   Posted 3/28/2007 7:56 AM (GMT -6)   
No, they don't do surgery on them unless they're large and in danger of twisting - at least that's what my docs have said. I don't think they go away but I can't be positive. They are the main reason people get acid reflux BUT not all people who have them get reflux and not all people with reflux have hiatal hernias. I've read that a good chiropractor can supposedly manipulate them back into position but I'm a bit skeptical. Maybe if all else fails . . .

Tummytuck

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/12/2007 12:28 AM (GMT -6)   
Okay, so here's an update on this.

I'm still on Klonopin for anxiety/panic, and my stomach (GERD and all) is still doing much better than it was before. BUT I've experienced a bit of rebound with the bloating/nausea/reflux that's associated with GERD. Maalox still treats it fairly effectively, but the problem is that such antacids can cause constipation and I don't like that, either.

Today I took my first Prevacid since I quit. I'm going to see if that, together with Klonopin, takes care of the bloating/nausea/reflux once and for all (I haven't been on both drugs at the same time until now). I'm doing this with my doctor's consent and advice.

If it doesn't work, it doesn't work. I can manage the problem as it is. But if it does work that will be great. I'll know then exactly what's happening with my body, and I hope to seek out an alternative to PPIs. My doctor thinks it's fine to take Prevacid long term, but I'm not sure about it. Some of the phase IV clinical trials are a little iffy on it, too. I'm sure you've all read about that.

It was so long ago that I started taking Prevacid, I do have a question that I hope someone can answer:

Is it suppoed to take effect immediately, or is it one that has to build up in the bloodstream for a while first? I really need to know this so that my little case study is scientifically sound, haha. If I happen to experience a bad day of bloating tomorrow I don't want to blame it on the Prevacid if it hasn't even been in my body long enough to do anything, basically. I suspect it works pretty fast, because my GERD symptoms returned pretty quickly when I stopped it. But I'd like to know about any experiences that this group may have had.

Thanks.

Markychv
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/30/2007 6:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I was recently Diagnosed with GERD, I know I have had it since i was a teenager but NEVER this bad, it all came on like a ton of bricks after i had a surgical procedure. I treid several OTC p[roducts and nothing helped, it seems to be worst in the mornings but it got so bad that i lost all my appetite and would throw up first thing in the morning, I ended up losing about 8 lbs and I was already under weight! My Gastro Dr decided to do an upper and lower GI and low and behold I had GERD (and some hardening in some areas) Finally I went to see Dr Shipko in Pasadena CA where he runs the Panic Disorders Intitute, I always knew my GERD was anxiety related just like my dads was. Dr Shipko has found that Xanax or Klonopin in low doses taken twice a day (sometimes 3) helps most GERD cases. Low and Behold he was right! It definatley helped alot! It is rather sedating but after a few weeks it passes. It took 3 Dr's 3 months to convince me to take any benzo since Ive heard they were addictive however they said "IF YOU NEED IT YOU NEED IT PERIOD" Its the people that are looking for a "high" or that have addictive personalities that become addicts. In my case I was told that since my father had GERD all of his life I would most likely also so the Dr's told me to compare my use of Klonopin and/or Xanax to people who take insuline for diabetes, or beta blockers or statins for heart patients. Some of us will become dependant on certain medications for the rest of our lives but whats the alternative? Feeling like crap or having to take a medication for the rest of my life...I finaly let go of the benzo phobia and am living my life. Thats all I can do until someone invets a majic pill to cure all ills.

debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 4/30/2007 6:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Update on the update:

Klonopin plus Prevacid has pretty much eliminated GERD for me. There's not much else to say about it! Every great now and then I'll throw in a Rolaids or Maalox to help out, but not very often.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/

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