Really scared...need advice and opinions please!!

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phixgrrrl
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 9/17/2007 3:13 PM (GMT -7)   
I was just to my ENT due to my normal med (prevacid 30) not working (I now have burning in my throat, ears, esophagus, and stomach...like a hot feeling). He upped my dose to 30 2x/day and doubled my Zantac (to 125 at night).
He said if that doesn't work he will refer me to a gastro. And he recommends to do the endoscopy and put a probe in there that drops off after 2 days and it comes out when you use the bathroom. He said the results of that would tell if I could benefit from surgery, as he says it's the only other option.
My questions are:

1) Why do my meds all the sudden stop working?

2) Couldn't I benefit from just a normal endo, as maybe they could see if there's any damage or if that muscle really is weak or if it's something else causing this (doc said a reg. endo. would be pointless)

3) From those I heard mention a probe, to me it seemed to be described as a probe on a tube (and that BOTH are kept in you for 48 hrs) and then they pull it out (which I know I couldn't tolerate). My doc says its something they hook onto you and it "comes out" of you when you "go".

4) He did acknowledge that antidepressants (which I'm on) can cause the weak muscle. If I went off them, would the muscle "right" itself?

I'm waaay too scared to do surgery and I'm very scared of the probe thing, which is only to see if I need surgery. I'm even scared of a normal endo b/c I had a bad experience last time (I wasn't fully out and kept pulling it out...literal hell!) I don't know what to do as it seems there is no way I can get any relief!

phixgrrrl
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 9/19/2007 7:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Anyone?

Sarita
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Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 9/19/2007 8:43 PM (GMT -7)   
The "probe" he is probably referring to is a capsule endoscopy procedure.  It is a super-easy test.  Basically, you swallow this "pill" that is actually a tiny camera and it takes pictures every half-second or so while it travels through your entire digestive system.  It is quite neat, actually.  They can see any patches of irritation or inflammation this way.  The only negative part about it is that the doctor can't take biopsies.  It also takes the doc several hours to go through the pictures!  But if you've had an upper endoscopy (EGD) in the past, this test will help confirm the presence/absence of lesions in the upper GI tract.  The pill is just pooped out along with everything else you excrete in the toilet (don't worry, no need to go fishing around for it - you just flush it down and the pictures are transmitted remotely).
 
Not sure why your meds would just stop working.  There's probably no "good" answer for this, which is why your doctor can't give you any.  Sometimes a change in diet, weight, exercise habits, or other external factors can play a role in the functionality of a drug (as well, of course, as affect your symptoms). 
 
There is some innervation of the upper GI tract that simultaneously affects the vertebral column, so even muscular dysfunction could be having an effect on your guts.  Anti-depressants also play a role in the GI tract since they affect neurotransmitter levels all over the body.  When did you start taking your antidepressant?  Did you notice your GI symptoms got worse, better, or stayed the same after you started taking it?
 
 
Co-moderator - IBS Forum


phixgrrrl
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 9/21/2007 7:04 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you for your detailed reply.
As far as the probe, he said it would be "attached" during the endoscopy... Is this the same as what you're talking about?
And can you feel it in there? Will it be like I have to constantly dry heave or something b/c I feel something stuck in my esophagus?
I have not changed anything, at least not when it got worse...and nothing extreme. (Just tried to eat better, exercise more...but started that many months ago)
I started taking antidepressants (prozac, xanax) 16 years ago when I was 14. I went through a couple and ended up on prozac. So onset of symptoms and the start of the antidepressant don't match.
I am going to ask my psychiatrist about this, but if I stopped the antidepressant, would that muscle start working again? Are there any antidepressants that do not cause this side effect?

phixgrrrl
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 10/17/2007 9:14 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi.
I went to a gastro. and he said it may not even be acid, though I think it is b/c of the fact that I have gotten burning in my ears. But he said, relating to the not being acid, that it's odd how the burning got worse after I took the meds, when initially, I was diagnosed w/ LPR b/c of a gagging feeling; no burning. He wants me to do the endoscopy w/the probe. But he's trying me on Protonix first, since I have no insurance. He says its odd that my 60 mg of Prevacid/day is not totally helping my symptoms.
I've tried Prilosec b4 and it really upset my stomach. So I'm kind of hesitant to try another med. Anyone have luck w/Protonix?
Also, still scared of the probe thing. Plus the fact that I had a bad experience w/an endoscopy. Do you feel the probe in you? I'm kinda sensitive so I'm thinking I may feel it even if others don't.
Any thoughts?
Also, I've read that only the tricyclic antidepressants can cause gerd and mine is not that type. BUT, I do take a benzodiazopine and I read that can cause Gerd.

PanicAttacker27m
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/17/2007 10:52 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi, first off I cant help you with your test, Ive only had a normal upper GI endoscopy. However Ive been on prilosec, nexium, and protonix... and the Protonix works the best BY FAR... however it was way too expensive without good insurance so I had to stop using it.
 
Its really strange that your ears are burning, im not sure how to imagine that... maybe you have a fungal infection (candidiasis) or something like that?
 
Try not to worry, they will figure out whats wrong with you with your test.
Good luck!
 
 

hopeisreal
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 10/19/2007 2:32 PM (GMT -7)   
I am taking Protonix--40mg/day (once per day)---and I haven't had luck with it...yet. i took prilosec and acidphex before Protonix.

I also had an Endoscopy (upper) about 2 years ago--and had the same BAD experience you had---plus, a JERK of a GI specialist to go with it-----so, I am scared of them as well! I think with the capsule thing---you have a 'band' attached around your torso so the "pill" can send photos to the 'band' device--so they can see the photos---that is how it's attached to you---kind of like a heart rate monitor that people where when they exercise---no pains at all!

I get to go to another GI specialist on 10/30----took me two months to get in to see this guy, so I am just depressed about the whole thing! The pains, the meds, can't eat--even bland food, can barely swallow.

Burning in your ears-----that just may be b/c you are getting acid in your throat---and your ear canals (I forget what they call them)---are in that throat area---you may be getting acid in there too!

Oh, I hope you will be OK---I can empathize with how you feel though. It stinks to feel lousy!

phixgrrrl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 10/19/2007 8:35 PM (GMT -7)   
I'm just scared if I can feel the probe actually IN me... in my esophagus.
Yeah, my new GI doctor seems very cold. Should I ask for another one? They have a lot at the same place. But then maybe the old one will realize I didn't like him..
Wow...sucks also to hear about differring views on that med... but I'm out of Prevacid so I gotta take the Protonix tonight.... kinda scary b/c I can't get any more Prevacid samples till Mon if I react to the Protonix

phixgrrrl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 11/10/2007 1:48 AM (GMT -7)   
After taking Protonix for about 2 weeks, I have this hot feeling in my stomach. Is this the med or maybe b/c its not doing its job? I get headaches off and on as well but I've had them more since the med.
I get the burning feeling whether I take 40 mg once or twice/day.
Should I switch meds? This hot feeling won't go away. Though its not like the feeling I got when I went off Prevacid for two days...I had a lot of burning and also lower stomach pain and diarrhea.

doghouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 11/10/2007 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
From my personal experience, I have been on and off anti depressants for over 10 years. I have had issues with GERD for over ten years. Once my GERD started I found it did not get better when I was off my anti depressants, even if I was off them for a couple of years. I found no correlation between the two. I also took birth control pills which they say can contribute to gerd but when I stopped those my Gerd did not get better.

I've switched around on PPI's and have only had luck with Prevacid. However, now the prevacid isn't working so well - that's why I'm looking into the surgery.

BTW- I switched gastro doctors because I felt like my last doctor was cold and unfriendly and I finally hit the point where I thought "I pay for YOUR services so I expect to be treated with some respect and concern you a___!!"

greeneyed girl
New Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 11/10/2007 9:22 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi phixgrrl,

Is the test your doc recommended with your endoscopy the Bravo test?  Just wondering because I am in the process of going thru it, and I can tell you my experience so far.  It is the test where they attach the small module thing to your esophogus and you wear a pager thing that records the ph levels in your esophogus and stomach for 48 hrs.  Some people have it put in while they're awake, but I can't imagine doing that, so a lot of people do it under anesthesia, which is what I did.  I did it this past Thursday, so I finished with the pager this morning and now I'm just waiting for this module thing to slough off of my esophogus and go away, and honestly, I cannot wait!  I was terrified too.  I am like you in that I am sensitive, and honestly I have felt it there constantly.  Swallowing has been pretty painful, but sore throat lozenges have helped some.  From what I've read though, it is much better than the 24 hr test where they put the tube in your nose.  My doc will download the info from the pager and will have a report that will hopefully give him useful information about my symptoms.  If this is the test you're talking about, for me it hasn't been a picnic, but I know it could have been worse.  Best of luck to you! 


phixgrrrl
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 11/11/2007 4:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Geez, that sounds crappy. I dunno if I want to do that then. If it hurts to swallow... I just don't like that I can't control it. Like I can't reach in and pull it out. I'm just too scared. Hopefully they can get some info by just looking down there, which I'm scared enough to do as it is. And seeing as this guy seems very cold, it doesn't make me feel good about just doing the endoscopy, especially b/c of my previous bad experience w/it. Plus, I'm paying $250 to this guy that I don't like. The whole situation sucks and makes me depressed.

Tocra
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 11/13/2007 1:53 AM (GMT -7)   
PhixGrrrl,
 
I am in the same boat.  I am on Protonix 40mg, Remeron 15mg (for anxiety), and now Prevacid 20mg (mid day) to deal with this same problem. I also take Mastic Gum supplements and they seem to help a little.  Night times I don't have reflux for some reason (maybe not yet??).  I on occassion take Xanax for the severe panic attacks that started with this whole thing.  Anyway, the burning seems to get worse and worse.  The Protonix was working great in the beginning but now it's less effective. I haven't had my endo yet but will tomorrow.  Did they test you for H Pylori bacterial infection?  I've been reading that a severe Candida yeast infection could cause this as well as H Pylori.  I want to order some Three lac anti fugal powder but I don't know if I have Candida or H Pylori. I did the H Pylori test and get the results tomorrow.  I'm going to insist they get a stool sample for Candida.  You might want to look into that as well!  I hope it's not a Hiatal Hernia but we'll see.  You might want to ask about that as well.  This whole thing just came out of the blue for me and hit me like a freight train going mach 15!  We're in hell but we'll get out with time!!!  BTW, I had the buring ears .. They felt as if someone lit a match on each ear.  After taking the Remeron the burning ears went away so it's most likey anxiety related. 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Post Edited (Tocra) : 11/13/2007 1:59:42 AM (GMT-7)


psychoharmonics
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/15/2007 3:28 AM (GMT -7)   
Some 20 years ago, my acid reflux problem was so bad that I would panic if I found myself without antacid tablets.  I had to sleep almost upright on several pillows and with my bed on bricks.  If I accidentally turned over onto my left side, the pain was horrific.  Twice, my wife was convinced I was having a heart attack and called an ambulance.  Finally, on one of my routine visits to my chiropractor, I casually mentioned the problem to him.  "I can show you how to get rid of that," he replied.  "Oh, yeah," I thought.  "What kind of quack suggestion are you going to make?"  Nevertheless, I let him demonstrate how I could use my hand and press against my abdominal wall to push my stomach down and out of my diaphragm.  For the next few days, several times each day, I would stand erect with the fingers of both hands pressed firmly against my abdomen just below my left rib cage.  Taking a deep breath, I then exhaled and pressed against my underlying stomach as hard as I could with my rigid fingertips and I bent forward at the waist.  I then held my stomach "pinned" in that position as I rose up again.  I could actually feel the neck of my stomach moving downward and out of my diaphragm.  In less than a week, all symptoms were gone.  I still remember the first night when, even though I still had food in my stomach, I stretched out in a normal bed with one pillow and rolled over on my left side.  I waited...and waited...and waited...and finally went to sleep with NO pain.  I have not had a problem since.  At my age, I still have a digestion problem from time to time, but that is quickly solved with an enzyme tablet.  I also do the stomach adjustment routine a couple of times each year as a preventive measure.
  What causes this problem usually is this: The neck of the stomach migrates up into the diaphragm, primarily due to obesity or lack of exercise to keep the stomach shaken down where it’s supposed to be.  This crimps the valve that keeps the stomach contents, including the hydrochloric acid, inside the stomach and out of the esophagus.  Crimped, the valve can’t work anymore, so the acid seeps up onto tissue that had no protection from it.  When you push the stomach back down to where it’s supposed to be, the valve assumes its normal shape and starts working again.  If you look on the Internet, you can find a number of illustrated instructions for this and other techniques for adjusting the stomach out of the diaphragm.  Bouncing on a trampoline with a stomach full of warm fluid can help.  It worked for me – and continues to work 20 years later.  After all I read about the dangers and ineffectiveness of surgery, that’s the last thing I would try.

phixgrrrl
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 11/15/2007 6:19 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks you guys. Thing is I am not overweight and I do some form of exercise every day. But I'll try it. I don't think I'd do the surgery anyway. I really would like to know if that sphincter on the bottom of my esophagus is, indeed, weak...or is acid/bile getting into my esophagus some other way? That would make a big difference.
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