Acid in stomach causing sleep apnea ?

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ste1200
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/6/2007 3:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi, for some months now, I've been suffering from a sick feeling in my stomach, and feeling that something is coming up through my throat.  At first I had a sour taste in my mouth, and chest pains.  I also suffer from anxiety and panic attacks on occasion.  I went to my doctor and I got some Zantac (equivalent), and the sour taste and chest pains went.  My doctor then put me on 3 different tablets as she thought it was a stomach virus.  These made me worse so I stopped taking them and went back to my doctor.
 
At this point the locum was in, he examined me, said my stomach was very inflamed, told me to stop taking the tablets and sent me for a blood test.  The test came back ok.
 
What also happens is that when I try to go to sleep, I keep waking very suddenly, like Ive stopped breathing.  After a bit of research, I found that this could be sleep apnea, possibly caused by gerd.  My gf also says I snore occasionly, and 'jump' alot when I'm sleeping.  I've been back to my doctor and she says, that the gerd is being causing by anxiety, and to read some books about it.  I'm not very happy about this, as I don't think this is the case.  She hasn't even examined me once, she didnt even know what sleep apnea was !  I now have a feeling she wants me to find another doctor.
 
I really don't know what to do.  I feel sick all the time, can't sleep, doctor wont refer me to anyone, can anyone advise me of what to do ?  I can't keep taking time off work with this, I need to find the cause of this excess acid, if thats what it is, and get it sorted.
 
Thanks in advance.
Ste

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 8/6/2007 3:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Well I totally agree with your doctor...........its time for you to find another doctor! .......because you deserve more than you're getting from her! She sounds ridiculous.
First, a few questions: Are you male or female and what is your age? What are the "3 different tablets" your doc put you on? Did you have an upper endoscopy and that's how she knows its inflamed? Did a GI doc do that?
As to your initial question........I think with GERD, you would wake up coughing, wheezing, etc. But with apnea.......you may be making your GERD worse. You may be really bearing down in your sleep, to get air through, and that could be making the reflux worse.
I have sleep apnea and there were many years when I would wake up in a panic, feeling like a couldn't breath, and now I realize it was probably the apnea.
Seriously........your doctor didn't know what sleep apnea is???? Time for a new doc, that's for sure! Is she really a doctor?? Can you find another Internal Medicine doctor to go see, or a gastroenterologist?

ste1200
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/7/2007 4:28 AM (GMT -6)   
I am going to see about registering with a new doctor after work today.
 
With regards to your other questions:
 
Sex: Male
Tablets: Not sure, will have to check after work.
The locum just examined me, and felt that my stomach was enflamed.
 
Over the past few days, I have been also having a dull pain to the right of my stomach, which contracts sometimes, more so in the night.  Hopefully if I can get an appointment with a new doctor in the near future, I will be correctly diagnosed and treated.

CathyA
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 8/7/2007 7:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi again Ste,

    What is a "locum"?   Unless they've gone down into your stomach with a special camera, they can't know if its inflamed or not.  Are you in a pretty small area?  Are you in the U.S.?  I guess I shouldn't assume that everyone has the same access to good health care as I do.

   If you do have a sleep apnea problem there isn't much to do for it except get a sleep study and perhaps get put on a CPAP machine.  If you are overweight, you could try losing some, and try  not to drink alcohol.....especially in the evenings.  What is your diet like?   Try consuming less carbs and sugars (which is good for the GERD also).   Have you ever tried those nasal strips for people who snore?

As far as the GERD.......can you figure out what foods make it worse and cut those out?  Never eat within 4 hours of lying down.  Can you put the head of your bedframe up on 6" blocks?  Try to avoid heavy lifting and working leaning over, as those can aggravate the reflux.

   Try to do some internet searches on healing GERD more naturally.  Also, with your sleep, try to have good "sleep hygiene", which means trying to go to bed at the same time every night,  don't do stimulating things before bed (like exercising), and approach bedtime slowly.........making sure lights are getting dim and your surroundings are quiet.

   Lots of people snore, but it doesn't mean they have sleep apnea.

   Try to get healthier in your life, and hopefully the GERD will calm down and your sleep will improve.  But you definitely need to get a doctor who knows what they're doing.  Good luck!

P.S.  I'm thinking those 3 pills were for h.Pylori......a bacteria that can grow in your stomach and cause stomach symptoms and ulcers.


ste1200
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/7/2007 8:52 AM (GMT -6)   

A locum is a doctor who covers for a doctor who is away on holiday.

I've not had a camera, the locum just bassically pressed on my stomach and surrounding area, and said my stomach felt enflamed.

I live in a small town in the north west UK.

Last night, I but a box under my matress to raise it up, I seemed to sleep ok, it took me a while to get to sleep, but I don't think I woke up much, not that I was aware.

I'm fairly thin for my height, I think I weight a little over 10 stones and 5' 9", and I'm 28 years old (well tomorrow I will be :).  I've been trying to eat more fruit and veg, cut down on meat, spicy food, fried food, caffeine, alcohol etc. to the point of where I hardly have any at all.  I still smoke, but I have been doing more exercise.

I'm not aware that I snore much, but my gf has said she has heard me once or twice.  I think there is something wrong that is causing this excess acid, and can possibly be treated hopefully quite easily if it can get it diagnosed, until then, I will continue to try and do as much as I can to stop it happening.

With regard to the tablets, I think they were for Heli-cobacter Pylori.  As I said, I stopped taking them, but I think that was ruled out with the blood test being negative. 

 

Thanks for your replies, I will let you know how I get on after work trying to get a new doctor :)

 

Ste


CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 8/7/2007 3:32 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Ste,

   Smoking, I believe, can really exacerbate GERD.  I understand how hard it is to quit, but do you think you could have a go at it?   I quit a long time ago, by slowly cutting down over a month or 2.   It will help your health probably more than anything else you could do.

    about raising the bed.....try getting several pieces of a 2x4 and cutting them, and putting them under both legs of the head of the bed to about 6" high.  You want to still have your bed flat, but raised at the head.  If you put something under your head, sometimes it bends you at the waist too much, and can actually cause more reflux problems.

   Of all the things I've heard and read, the best thing to do for GERD is to cut out caffeine, chocolate, tomato products, and spicy things.......but what seems to help alot is to really reduce your consumption of simple carbs (bread, pasta, pastries, etc.).   One theory is that modern man eats too many simple carbs and we can't digest them fast enough and they just sit there and ferment, and that causes the acidic back-up.

   I wish I could remember the recipe.....but someone on this forum a few years ago wrote that he used a combination of something like cayenne pepper and something else, and he would drink that, and it would help his reflux.  I couldn't believe that, but he swore by it.  Maybe you could do an internet search on natural ways to deal with reflux?

   Many of us seem to go through weird times in our lives when our bodies misbehave.  Sometimes its almost impossible to ever figure out the cause of it, so we just have to do the best we can.  For you, I think the best thing would be to try to cut back or quit smoking, and really educate yourself about what foods cause reflux and which ones don't.  

   There's alot of great info on the internet about GERD and different ways of trying to deal with it.

   Maybe you're in a really remote area and some of the best of modern medicine hasn't reached you yet.

But Hopefully, your next doctor will be more on the ball than your last one.

   Just remember though that sometimes modern medicine just pushes pills on us without having a more holistic approach to the problem.  That's why its up to you to try to learn things that might help yourself, even when the docs can't.  (That comment by your doc about your stomach "feeling" inflamed is sort of crazy.  When I had my upper endoscopy, I had horrible heartburn.  I was sure it was raw in there........but the camera showed that it was fine!)

    Why don't you start with a food diary.  Keep track of what you eat, and what reactions you might get to them.  Remember......sometimes we don't have a reaction to a food for 24 hours.

   Also keep track of your activities, medications, sleep, etc., and see if you can't figure out why your reflux has gotten so bad.

    Just remember to try not to eat or drink anything 4 hours before laying down. 

    Do you have any other medical problems?  You said you were sort of thin.  Do you think you might have a thyroid problem?

   


ste1200
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/8/2007 3:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again, I had a really bad night, and pains still when I woke, so I've been to the hospital this morning and had an examination.  The doctor said it was likely to be a Hiatal Hernia, but could be IBS, but not likely.  He is writing to my doctor, and hopefully she will now refer me to someone who can diagnose and treat this.  My mum seems to thing there is a 6 week wait for an endoscopy, as she had one not so long ago.  It seems heartburn is a common symptom, but I haven't been getting that, so it could even turn out to be something else.  Hopefully progress is being made though, even though its my birthday I don't feel very cheery ! Thanks for all the advice, I will take it all on board.
 
Ste

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 8/8/2007 6:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Sorry for your bad night Ste. Try to remain hopeful that you'll feel better some time soon!
Happy Birthday!!! Try to have a good one!

ste1200
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 44
   Posted 8/10/2007 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi again, I'm going private, and getting a consultation in the near future with a stomach doctor. My own doctor, has now prescribed me Metoclopramide, has anyone had any experience with this ? I've read it can increase anxiety and depression, which wouldnt be good for me :(

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 8/11/2007 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Ste,
I'm glad you got another doctor. Sorry, I can't help you with info about the med. I've never heard of it. Good luck and keep us posted.
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