Terrible congestion... is this part of GERD? Suggestions?

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greeneyed girl
New Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 18
   Posted 11/13/2007 10:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello all,
I think that awful Bravo thing has finally left my esophogus, and I can swallow again without pain, thank God, but the doc said it would probably be about a week before I have any results.  At my first meeting with the GI doc 2 weeks ago he put me on Zegerid once a day and told me to take that until we got test results back and he could go from there.  Before that, I had tried Protonix 40mg for 10 weeks and got no results at all.  The main symptom that started this whole train rolling was the horrible congestion that I've been getting.  A tight heaviness in my chest and terrible post nasal drip.  I'll have the lump in my throat that won't go up or down, sore scratchy throat, and constant throat clearing and a dry cough that is pretty unproductive and annoying to everyone.  Sometimes I feel like my throat is going to close up and feels tight and restricted because of all the drainage, and I'll feel like I'm having an asthma attack, even though they tell me I don't have asthma, and this has caused a few panic attacks.  Sometimes these episodes happen right after I eat, and sometimes it's just at random times when I haven't eaten, or when I'm getting ready for bed.  I've been keeping a food journal for months, trying to find a pattern, and I can't really find a clear one. 
Well, I have noticed the Zegerid has helped with the chest pain and heartburn symptoms I was also getting, but it has not helped much at all with the congestion and drainage problem.  Before seeing the GI, I tried bunches of allegry meds, none of which worked at all, and saw an ENT who told me I have no allergies, and put me on the Protonix that didn't work either. 
Does anyone else have this terrible congestion problem?  It is a part of GERD isn't it?  Why would the Zegerid help with the heartburn symptoms and not this?  Does it take longer than 2 weeks to fully work?  And does anyone have any suggestions, that might help with this?  Sorry for all the questions at once, I just thought someone might have some ideas, or a similar situation.
Thanks a bunch!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 1744
   Posted 11/13/2007 3:17 PM (GMT -6)   
I have a similar situation as you.  Congestion, hoarse voice, laryngitis, post nasal drip, throat clearning, nonproductive cough, etc...  Been on 80 mg of zegerid/ day (2 40mg capsules)  Does great taking care of my heartburn (I had erosive gastitis and erosive esophagitis), but has done nothing for the congestion and the cough.  I went to an allergist last week; she dx me with mild allergic rhinitis and put me on nasonex--then told me my bigger problem with LPR (reflux above the esophagus).  Major issue, though, is that zegerid (or any of the PPIs for that matter) do NOT fix reflux.  Reflux is an anatomical problem (faulty LES, etc...).  It can be treated short-term with drugs like reglan that force the esophagus to contract to hold the stomach contents down, but reglan is NOT a long-term drug.  The only thing that will help, from what I understand, is the reflux surgery (nissen fundoplication), which I'm not prepared to agree to right now.  For me, I'm willing to suck it up and deal for right now, just using behavior modification solutions (like raising the bed and not eating 3 hours prior to bedtime, not exercising after I eat, etc...). 
I can tell you, however, that my mother had this reflux problem that got progressively worse over the years.  She eventually had to sleep sitting straight up and routinely aspirated stomach contents into her lungs.  She developed intersitital lung disease and died 2 years from dx.  Reflux was not the only factor that contributed to her lung disease, but her pulmonologist told her that it was certainly a major player.  I had a pulmonologist tell me the same thing last year (the relationship between reflux and ILD).  I'm going to wait it and see what happens since, in my case, allergies are also contributing.  The nasonex has helped greatly with the cough, but I still get very congested and have a lot of throat clearing, sore throat, and hoarse voice.  If it gets worse over time, I'll follow up with an ENT because I believe they're better equipped to deal with something like LPR than a GI doctor.
Current dx: Rheumatoid Arthritis
Suspected dx: UCTD/Early Lupus
Current Meds: Enbrel, Plaquenil, Aciphex, Ultracet, Zyrtec, Allavert-D, Zantac, Tylenol PM
Past Meds: Relafen, Vioxx, Mobic, Voltaren, Sulfasalazine, Entocort, Prednisone, Humira, Reglan

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