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New here. Basically, I am 22 and have recently started suffering from silent acid reflux. Mine came on very suddenly, it was not gradual at all. I can pinpoint the exact date and meal where it started, and my throat has never been the same since. Effectively, I was eating a meal - and suddenly my throat became very tight, I could not breathe properly and it felt like I had something stuck in my throat. Ever since this incident, I have had an almost constant lump sensation in my throat filled with mucus to varying degrees of severity. At its worse, it makes me feel like I cannot breathe or like I am going to gag. At its best, it is just a total annoyance. I find it gets much worse when commuting (I am guessing because I am exercising, walking to work, through the Underground etc.). I have no other symptoms other than this mucus-filled lump in my throat.
Anyway, I saw my doctor about this and he was slightly perplexed as I have almost no risk factors for silent acid reflux. I am very young, I am nowhere near overweight (if anything, too skinny), I do not drink very much and I do not smoke at all. I also have an extremely fast metabolism.
The only trigger we thought it could be was stress and working extremely long hours which involves a lot of very late night eating, and insufficient sleep. Due to this, often I go long periods during the day without eating and have a substantial lunch followed by a very large dinner late at night. Obviously, I know now this is a major risk factor and have immediately tried to fix this. A few months prior I was suffering with severe chest pains and palpitations - my doctor listened to my heart - and decided I was having anxiety attacks, combined with muscle tension in my chest due to chronic stress and recommended me for relaxation therapy. Since then, I have had no issues with chest pains.
At first, he diagnosed me with post-nasal drip with a nasal spray but now he has decided I have silent acid reflux and prescriped me with Omeprazole 20mg per day. I am now entering my third month of having Omeprazole. I find if I take it for a few weeks, I start to get an uncomfortable feeling in my stomach and also constipation so sometimes I have to take a few days off from it. It is for this reason I am scared to request for an increase in dose too. While there is marginal improvement, it is not particularly great and nowhere near where it was before this problem started.
I also have IBS - and possibly IBD - pending a colonoscopy and biopsy.
My question is this: where do I go from here? I do not want to take Omeprazole for the rest of my life (i.e. the next 60 years). I am seeing this doctor again tomorrow who said "Just call me if you are unhappy, and I will send you to ENT". So I am assuming he will now send me for a endoscopy as well. I have heard things about taking probiotics? I take Yakult at the moment. Is there anything else I can do? Due to acne when I was a teenager, I was on long-term antibiotics for 4 years which I am absolutely convinced is behind both this and my IBS. If the endoscopy shows something / nothing, what can they do apart from keep prescriping me PPIs? Will this get better at some point if I keep taking PPIs or am I stuck with this for life? I keep trying to slowly withdraw from the Omeprazole if I go through a short period where it feels better, but then it flares up again. Does anyone know if there are any private clinics which are good at dealing with issues like this? I am not keen on waiting 4 months for an endoscopy appointment on the NHS, particularly as I may not even be able to get time off work for it. And clearly this is one of the most irritating conditions I have ever experienced and I desparately want this lumpy sensation in my throat to go. At first, I went to my doctor as I thought I had food stuck in my throat it's that bad, but apparently not.
I am very young, and this is impacting my life significantly. In fact, combined with my other health problems, I feel like a 50 year old.
TLDR: I am 22 and for some reason I have suddenly developed silent acid reflux out of nowhere, it is bringing me down, how do I get rid of it? And am I stuck with it for long-term? What are the best ways to manage it as nothing seems to be working?
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