New to GERD... looking for answers

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studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 12/17/2007 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Folks:
 After coming off a cold a few months ago, I noticed I was having some shortness of breath. Turns out my lungs are perfectly fine, but then I started getting chest pain.
 My ENT suggested I might be getting acid reflux. I'm 44 and have never suffered from heartburn before, but now it seems to happen after every meal... either heartburn or shortness of breath.
 She gave me Protonix 10 days ago, to take twice a day, but it doesn't feel like it's helping. And I always feel like I have gook in my throat before and after meals... excess mucus that I can't get rid of by coughing.
 Does this sound like acid reflux/GERD?
 
Thanks!

TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 12/18/2007 11:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello there studog, and welcome to healingwell. I am happy you have found us, and I hope you stick around, as this is a great place to get information, and support.

You very well could be dealing with acid reflux, and/or GERD. My question is, did your doctor suggest you see a GI? You would need to start there, in order to get the answers you need.

Keep us posted on how you are doing!
 GERD Forum Moderator
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 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~


studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 12/18/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Tammy.

Just came back from my ENT doctor, who looked at my throat and said she doesn't see much corosion due to a lot of acid reflux. It seems to be a small amount at this point, and she recommended I continue on Protonix 40mg twice a day and that I also take 75mg of Pepcid or Zantac at night at well.

If it doesn't get better in two weeks, she said it would be best to see a GI.

Sounds like a good plan to me.


TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 12/19/2007 12:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there studog. Your doctors plan does infact sound like a good one. Please keep us updated as to how you are doing, and, of course, if you have any other questions or thoughts, post away, that's what we are here for.

WISHING YOU THE BEST!
 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~


studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 1/5/2008 3:22 PM (GMT -6)   

Just came back from a week's vacation and I didn't have one symptom. Yeah! A day after I returned, though, I felt that mucus-like feeling in my throat again and I had to clear it a bunch of times. Also, slight shortness of breath.

Went to my scheduled appt. with my ENT and she said my throat looked fine. She said that stress can cause acid reflux, and that returning home from vacation, which was stress free, was the reason symptoms returned. She also said the shortness of breath could be allergy related. When I first noticed the shortness of breath months ago, I took a Claritan and it seemed to help. Other times it, didn't though.

She said I should stay on Protonix 40 mg twice a day, and the occasional Zantac and if not better in three months go to a GI doctor. My ENT also said there have been some reports that Protonix can draw calcium out of your body -- but she would only be concerned if I had osteoperosis -- and I read another study that said longterm use has caused cancer in the stomachs of rats. Didn't mention that one to her. I didn't mention that one to her, though, because I didn't want to sound like an alarmist.

Do most people here take Protonix once or twice a day? What is considered long-term use?

Thanks,
Stu


TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/5/2008 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Stu...glad you had a pain free vacation. Your doctor is right, stress can enhance GERD feelings. That is for sure.

You shouldn't worry about being an alarmist when it comes to a drug you are prescribed...feel free to ask away.

Serious side effects from pantoprazole are rare. Stop taking pantoprazole and seek emergency medical attention if you experience an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives) to pantoprazole.

FYI...Pantoprazole is the generic of protonix.

Less serious side effects from pantoprazole are also uncommon. Continue to take pantoprazole and talk to your doctor if you experience

flatulence (gas);
upset stomach or diarrhea;
insomnia; or
a rash.

I haven't seen anything about stomach cancer...but the above is just some information you may find useful.

I have heard of people using protonix once a day and twice a day...some people take it for years. If you have concerns about that, please don't fear talking to your doctor!

Keep us posted on how you are doing.
 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~


studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 1/5/2008 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tammy.

Is it unusual to have shortness of breath but NOT heartburn/chest pain?

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/9/2008 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there Stu...no, it isn't unusual to have shortness of breath and NOT heartburn or chest pains...in fact, it is better to NOT have chest pains with shortness of breath.

GERD can and will cause all sorts of symptoms, and they can come on all at once, and often times, dont' come all at once.

If you are having too much shortness of breath though, you may want to check in with a doctor to assure you don't have asthma, or something along those lines as well.

Wishing you the best!!!!
 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~


studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 1/9/2008 11:52 AM (GMT -6)   

Thanks Tammy.

Actually, shortness of breath was my first symptom. I went to an internist and pulmonologist right away to check my breathing and lungs, and they were fine. I took an asthma test, too, and that was fine.

Is the reason you have shortness of breath because the acid gets in your bronchial tubes?


TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/9/2008 2:58 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Stu...here is what I can come up with for your shortness of breath question...

Basically, there are two ways that acid reflux can cause shortness of breath. In both cases, the airways become constricted or narrowed. In the first scenario, acid from the stomach will actually flow up through the esophagus (especially when you’re in the prone position) and will spread into tiny airways, causing them to constrict. As a result, a person will feel shortness of breath. The second instance also involves stomach acid and the esophagus. But this time, the acid stimulates nerve endings that are located in the lower part of the esophagus. As these nerve endings are stimulated, the smooth muscle of the esophagus contracts, causing the airway to constrict and the patient to feel shortness of breath.

Hope this helps!!!
 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~


studog
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 1/9/2008 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Tammy. Very interesting. Much appreciated!

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/9/2008 9:53 PM (GMT -6)   
Glad I could help you out Stu!!!
 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~

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