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king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/15/2007 10:08 PM (GMT -6)   
about 7 months ago I was having really bad chest pains, I thought I had a heart condition. After going to SEVERAL doctors (each thought I had inflammation of the chest wall)I finally found one to give me an Echo. Everything came back fine, I was diagnosed with GERD. He put me on Aciphex and within a week I was feeling soooo much better. Once I finished my prescription I was back to "normal" so I did not refill it.
 
about a month ago I started feeling twinges of pain in my chest, nothing bad but I felt it and ignored it. Two weeks ago I was having burning in my stomach, and that night had two glasses of wine, and a glass of champagne. I woke up at 3:00am in a cold sweat with terrible burning in my stomach and very bad chest pains. My stomach got "upset" two hrs later, and I went back to bed.
 
I started back on Aciphex right away. The problem is I am still having chest pains (though not terrible) and every now and then burning in my belly. The chest pains of course are worse when I lay down at night, and I find it harder to swallow.....also I have lost my appetite and have noticed some bloating.  I am going to see a GI in two weeks and they will probably give me an endo (which I am scared of because I do not want to be put under).
 
Here are my questions and why I am soooo scared. I am 32, eat well (though I do indulge in wine, which could be why I am here along with my yrs of using advil) and am thin and in very good shape.  Could I have Esophegeul cancer? I am SO scared I have it because I have the symptoms! I cant get it out of my mind.
 
Also, how long does it take for meds to work? I thought last time I took Aciphex it kicked in quickly.
 
Thanks for your feedback and for sharing your stories too.

heybatr
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 13
   Posted 11/15/2007 10:56 PM (GMT -6)   
The chances of you actually having Esophegeul cancer is very small. It is not a condition that forms typically in under a years time. What you are experiencing by my experience are typical GERD symptoms. You are on the right path and despite being afraid of the Endo, it will give greater detail as to your condition. You may have HP bacteria, hiatal hernia, peptic ulcers or esophegeul ulcers. All of which can cause a great deal of discomfort but are treatable. It is important to keep these conditions under control to prevent further progress or damage to the tissue of the esophegus. Prolonged exposer to stomach acid will damage the esophegus lining, eating a hole in it. This can lead to serious complications over time but will not happen over night. Follow all the basic instructions given to you by your doctor including any lifestyle changes and taking medications they may possibly prescribe. The drug you were taking (Aciphex) is a PPI. This is a great class of drugs designed to treat GERD. I have been taking Prilosec (another PPI) daily for the past eight years and for the most part it has been a life saver. Understand while on meds you may still have the occasional bad day. Read what you can about the condition and ask your doctor a million questions if you feel the need. Remember that you are in charge of your health....never settle for less than what you are satisfied with. Good luck to ya....

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 11/16/2007 7:19 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there King...I am sorry you are suffering. heybatr is right, the chances of you having Esophegeal Cancer are pretty small. This could simply be a flare of your GERD. Along with all of what is mentioned above.

I know the Endo seems scary to you, but it will give you the answers you need. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to post with questions and concerns, as we are here to help get you though this.

Please, let us know how your appointment goes in 2 weeks!!!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/16/2007 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you both so much for your replies. I just feel like these constant sharp shooting chest pains are going to be esp cancer or barretts. It seems from reading other posts that some people have gotten it so quickly.
 
I also find it so strange that I have a burning stomach now and again and the chest pains have not really reduced too much as they did last time I was on Aciphex.
 
Thanks again for your feedback. It is quite scary to have pain and really not know 100% what is going on. I know you can relate!
 

doghouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 11/18/2007 9:37 PM (GMT -6)   
You are scared because this is "new" and new unpleasant things aren't fun. Completely understandable. I can tell you right now I pay for drinking one glass of wine...and I take a strong proton pump inhibitor twice a day! If I had some bubbly on top of that...oooo, I'd be miserable.

Starting any PPI, such as aciphex can take some time to work, especially if your gut is irritated. I look at it like this; it takes time for you gut to get irritated so it will take time for the medication to work. It will probably take a couple of weeks.

As for the endo, they don't put you completely out, the use conscious sedation where technically you're supposed to be able to follow directions but you won't remember the procedure. Last time I had one I apparently told everyone my doctor was really a construction worker (I'm sure he appreciated that) and I kept handing stuff back to the nurse before they started the procedure....so they gave me more meds so I wasn't so "helpful" :)

king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/18/2007 10:23 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your reply doghouse. What were your original symptoms? What was the outcome of your endo? How long have you been dealing with this and taking meds?

I have had SUCH bad chest pains today, feels like I am having a heart attack. I wish my medication would start working, it worries me that it is taking so long this time around. Not only am I anxious over what the heck I have, but am etting depressed too. I want my life back :(

Thanks again for your response

doghouse
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 138
   Posted 11/18/2007 11:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I've had problems for years but over the last year it got worse. Mostly pressure in my chest which turned into esophageal spasms which fell like an actual spasm of a muscle in your chest that comes and goes, very painful- landed me in the ER. I also get extreme burning in my chest that makes me nauseas and I'll start sweating. I have confirmed esophagitis, via the endo, which is the cause of these problems....the question is why isn't my medication controlling it. I've been on PPI's for a long time and I've tried every one in the book. Whenever I burp of have hiccups it's painful. I don't really have any regurgitation. Oh, and I'm constantly hoarse which is an atypical symptom of GERD. I eat and incredibly bland diet, can't take NSAIDs, can't eat anything spicey or fried...

For right now my doc has put me on a double whammy of a strong PPI until my next appointment in December.

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 11/19/2007 6:37 AM (GMT -6)   
king:

My GERD pain before surgery was awful - I, too, ended up in the ER thinking it was a heart attack. Althought the endoscopy showed severe esophageal damage, there was no Barrett's or cancer. So rest-assured that just because you have lots of pain does not mean you have the worst case scenario. I've also recently learned that the pain I was feeling was also partly caused by gallbladder issues. Just to make sure you don't have 2 things happening at the same time that have similar symptoms, consider asking to have your gallbladder checked at some point. Mine didn't get looked at until 2 weeks postop from a Nissen wrap when I experienced a painful chest episode again.

In my case, the local endoscopy facility puts you totally out - you aren't awake at all. Maybe each facility sedates its patients differently.

Just to also let you know, the PPI I was on for years (Protonix) didn't do anything. I took it religiously and still had symptoms, although they weren't as bad as with no medication at all, so I just lived with it. My esophagus was still being damaged even though I was taking Protonix. Once I switched to Nexium twice a day, the acid was controlled better, but I still had reflux. However, without the acid the esophagus was able to start healing. Thought you'd like to know that medication doesn't always work, so you aren't alone with that.

Good luck.

king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/19/2007 6:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Happily, thanks for sending your feedback. What kind of GERD pain were you having exactly? How long had you been suffering for before you had your endo? It sounds like you had surgery for your GERD?

Is it weird that I can have sharp shooting chest pains all day long? I have been on meds for almost 3 wks, wouldnt it get a little better? I find it odd it seemed to kick in so quickly the last time around.

Thanks again to all of you that have offered feedback, I REALLY appreciate it!

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 11/19/2007 7:28 PM (GMT -6)   
If you don't mind doing a bit of reading and if you haven't been there yet, go to this posting area - this is part one and there's a part 2, also.

http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=952817

You'll find a description of my symptoms as well as a few other people that lead up to surgery. You'll find information about how long we were on meds before the surgery and how long we suffered before different tests and treatments. You'll probably find information you can relate to in there because several people contributed.

Yes, I had the full Nissen Fundoplication surgery 4 weeks ago.

The pain I experienced was, and still is, a sharp, excruciating pain in the chest radiating into the back between the shoulder blades - can't take a deep breath it hurts so much and I have chills. Lasts for anywhere between a few minutes to several hours. As long as I burp along with the pain, I know it's not a heart attack - burping with the pain is another symptom of gallbladder problems. This does not mean they did the wrap for nothing, I definately had esophagus issues and needed the wrap. However, there were actually 2 issues happening at the same time so my pain was gallbladder not GERD - the pain is similar for both problems. That's why I suggested that you have the doctor check your gallbladder, too. If you are having gallbladder pain, the medication you are taking for GERD won't stop gallbladder pain. Gallbladder and GERD seem to happen together.

king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/19/2007 10:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Wow thanks for this information. I also heard hernia's can contribute to this type of pain. Yes, I do have burping (lovely, isn't it?), sometimes reflux (very rare), sometimes a burning stomach (has only happened about 5 times over the yr), and have noticed my throat feels blocked some. The sharp shooting chest pains are the worst part of it, I could live with the rest of it without losing it. Any type of sharp chest pain cannot be good!

Do you notice that it is worse when you eat certain foods? I had a soy latte yesterday along with a low fat oat scone and my chest went CRAZY! Yet I had 2 glasses of wine the wkend before and the chest pain was minimal! Its so odd this is happening. I eat so healthy and workout 6 days a week, I do not consider myself an unhealthy person. I am *convinced* I am here because of too much advil (get this, the first doc I saw when I had these pains at first said it was muscular and told me to take advil non stop-THAT did not help) and my wine consumption. What I wonder is what generally gets people to this place? We are all just "lucky" I guess?

Sorry to hear you are not 100% cured, that must be frustrating after you had surgery and all. What is your next step to tone down the pain?

Thanks for mentioning the gallbladder. I go to see the GI in about two weeks for my consult-FINALLY.

I'm going to go read through the link you sent me...

HappilyWrapped
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 11/20/2007 5:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Gallbladder pain can be random or certain foods can trigger it. For me, anything pork is a trigger - bacon, pork chops, pork roast. Since the wrap surgery, butter is now a trigger for a painful episode. In my experience, and I'm not a doctor, this is just my experience - wine has never brought on a case of bad chest pain. Wine has always caused burning in my chest and slight muscle spasms in my esophagus - GERD symptoms. Anything fatty, or any type of muffin/baked good, even ones labeled "low fat" brought on the excruciating chest pain that I now know as gallbladder pain. Low fat scone just means it has less fat than the original kind, it doesn't mean "no fat".

Next step is gallbladder removal after a decent amount of time healing from wrap surgery. Will start gallbladder tests to determine how bad/good it is after Thanksgiving.

Do not take Advil if you have reflux. Advil aggravates GERD. If you do a search on the internet for ibuprofen and GERD, you will find ibuprofen is on the "no-no" list. Take Tylenol for pain. Many general doctors aren't aware of this, but gastroenterolgists will tell you no ibuprofen.

Throat blockage feeling is common with GERD. It feels like food is stuck in your esophagus and backing up toward your tonsils. This is a GERD symptom you should tell the GI about.

Any type of chest pain is an indication that something is amiss; however, not all chest pain is life-threatening. So relax a bit. A friend of mine who had sharp gallbladder pain before having hers removed said she got some minor relief using a heating pad on her chest during an attack - I tried it last night and it helped. Didn't stop the pain, but toned it down and that was enough to keep the pain manageable.

Yes, hernia can cause that type of pain because your stomach is sliding up through a small hole into an area it wasn't meant to be in while it's in a shape it wasn't meant to function in. So there's a lot of questions inside you that need answering. An endoscopy and a visit to the GI will do worlds of good for you to alleviate your concerns and explain what's happening inside you.

king1234
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 491
   Posted 11/20/2007 12:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks again for this info. I had awful chest pains last night-it was terrible. I actually took Tums and it helped.

I definately wont take advil ever again! I think that is half the reason I am in this place, I use to pop it like candy!

Thanks again for your feedback. I am really looking forward (and somewhat scared) to going to my GI next Thursday!

VV
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 11/21/2007 7:35 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello King,
I'm sorry you're having such a difficult time right now. These symptoms can be scary with chest pain and all. You indicated you eat well and that's a great start with helping GERD symptoms. But, sometimes just eating well isn't enough, you have to alleviate offending foods, and there are many, unfortunately for some of us. Half my battle with GERD is trying to figure out what foods I can eat, and I'm also relatively thin.

Alcohol for some of us can also trigger a flare, and especially Champayne. Bubbly.....full of acid. I use to really enjoy a glass of fine wine and bubbly on occasion, but my body rejects them. Sometimes, the gas can last for days after consuming some offending foods or drinks. Try something for gas and see if it helps your symptoms.

I've suffered reflux problems for many yrs and had a Endoscopy approx 3 yrs ago, but regret to some degree not getting one yrs ago. Like you, I was a little afraid of the procedure, especially anesthesia. I kept telling doc while lying on the table that I didn't want to go under, and hubby kept telling doc to put me under. Doc put me under and when the procedure was completed, I had awaken unaware of procedure being conducted still telling doc I didn't want to go under.....LOL So, it didn't take long, approx 15min, and I didn't have any problems afterwards.

I hope your symptoms subside soon, and let us know how your doc appt goes...BTW, some GERD sufferers have had success with decreasing their carb intake.

Gentle huggs to you....

Vanessa

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