Can hormonal changes affect or can relax the lower esophageal sphincter leading to acid reflux

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I read somewhere that pre menopause hormonal changes can be the culprit in the abnormal movement of the lower esophageal sphincter. Has anyone encountered this? Please answer. Thanks! I really need support at this point in time.

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  • Posted

    hi

    Not that I ever came across anything like that in any of the info I've read so far

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  • Posted

    Hi Ladies,

    I realize I'm a little late in responding to the connection between hormones and acid reflux, GERD, heartburn, etc. YES! YES! YES! I have been postmenopausal for 13 years. I never had any type of stomach problems before other than heartburn when I was pregnant with my son. During perimenopause, I developed a horrible bout of all of the above. Acid would sometimes come up in my mouth when I was sleeping (ICK!), had hearburn after eating ANYTHING, developed the sensation of a lump in my throat, had an extreme amount of thick mucus in my throat which was also sore all the time, and finally when on to develop a horrible cough. I thought I was surely dying. I had 2 endoscopies during this time. The first showed absolutely NOTHING. The second supposedly showed a small hiatal hernia, reflux, and the doc even dilated my esophagus during the procedure. I was placed on several stomach meds and a muscle relaxer. My symptoms worsened with these meds. After nearly 14 months of these symptoms and a host of others unrelated to stomach issues, I started having horrible night sweats. I had a partial hysterectomy years before this keeping my ovaries, and was 44 when these symptoms developed. I was sent to a different doc over the 14 months of for each symptom I had. Finally, when I developed night sweats, my GP ran a full hormone panel. My estrogen level was 0...non detectable. I was placed on a bioidentical transdermal estrogen patch and after tweaking the dose a few times and to my great surprise, ALL of my symptoms went away including the acid reflux and all the symptoms associated with it. In my case, it was the lack of estrogen and the dominance of progesterone still in my body that caused the relaxation of the sphincter. However, I have gotten my estrogen levels a little too high before and experienced heartburn from that, too. So, it is very important that you get your hormone levels checked and INSIST that your doctor hear you! Perimenopause and menopause symptoms are about SO much more than hot flashes and night sweats. I feel so badly for those of you who are experiencing this. I was convinced that I had throat and/or stomach cancer. It was a very scary time in my life. It also caused me to develop an esophageal spasm that bought me an ambulance right to the ER because I was certain I was having a heart attack.

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    • Posted

      Reading this makes me not feel crazy.   You experienced everything I am experiencing.   The reflux the, lump in my throat and sore.  To top it off the anxiety and my emotions all over.    I am 43 years old and single mom.   I was in shock to hear your going through the change!  I feel like I am falling apart.   I too think the worse...ugh!   I just want to cry oh wait I already do that.   I am glad I found this thread!   I don't feel as crazy.  

       

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    • Posted

      beth88852, I feel like an old menopausal pro now...lol. I'm now 54. I had a partial hysterectomy when I was 35...only my uterus was removed but the removal of my uterus sent me into ovarian failure. I was immediately placed on estradiol pills a few weeks after my surgery. That was back when the study that we now know was badly conducted had all women afraid that HRT caused cancer. I stopped taking my estradiol pills when I was 44. I was also totally ignorant about some of the crazy symptoms that low hormones can cause and never considered that stopping the estradiol was connected. I developed all of these symptoms over the next 14 months after stopping the estradiol pill. But, even the doctors didn't put make the connection until I started having the nightsweats which was the LAST symptom I developed! And, I have NEVER had a day time hot flash even when I had NO estrogen. But, I have found that MOST doctors only recognize a limited number of symptoms as being hormone related. So, please join all the peri, menopausal, or hormone groups you can find so that you can talk with other women. You'll find that you have a lot in common with them...even the bad experiences we have with doctors' unwillingness to connect a lot of our symptoms to our hormones. I have since learned which symptoms not to even bother mentioning to a doc and which ones they'll recognize that will still get me the replacement I need to address all of my symptoms. Stay in touch and good luck to you. And, by the way, it NEVER hurts to get checked for other conditions but try your best to convince a doc to check your hormone levels more than once. What is within normal range certainly is not for ALL women. The range charts they use are totally outdated.
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    • Posted

      so lets say someone can't take the HRT - do you know if the reflux etc goes away after one is fully in menopause (and the hormones have settled dow )? perimonoapus/beggining menopause is also a time of great hormonal flux and the body has to get used to the changes as well (wishful thinking...)
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    • Posted

      This occured during perimenopause?  You indicate you have been postmenopaual for  13 years, how is it now and are you till on hormones?

      I experienced same problems at onset of meno and again now, 7 year later.    They suspect my gallbladder.

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    • Posted

      I'm going through this right now.  Hope to find a solution soon.  It is a very scary time in my life.  Thank you for your story.  I'm going to print it and give it to my menopause doctor.  eek

       

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    • Posted

      Hi there! Oh my goodnes, I had totally forgotten about posting my story here and see that I missed some questions from others over a YEAR ago. I haven't had this problem in years but I've used estradiol replacement ever since and NOBODY is going to take it away from me! Because I don't have a uterus, no doctor has ever required me to use progesterone. I've tried it a few times on my own over the years and the heartburn, reflux, choking, etc. came right back even though I was still using my regular dose of estradiol. I could have probably have tolerated the progesterone if I had of increased my estradiol dose since progesterone sometimes OVER opposes estradiol but I decided I didn't need it since I don't have a uterus anyway. I'll be 56 in less than a month and I'm still here and feeling well. 
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    • Posted

      Omg i went through the exact same experience. Ive just had my hormones checked and im estrogen dominant and progest is non existant. Doc wants to put me on bioidental hormorne and natural thyroid med as thats under active. Im hoping and praying this will resovle reflux cos i cant live like this anymore!!!!@

      Dominique

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    • Posted

      I had private hormone tests done recently which also showed i am oestrogen dominant with very low progesterone levels and have had acid reflux and allsorts of stomach problems in particular pain near the gall bladder area. All tests have come back clear and 3 GI's have discharged me saying i dont have stomach problems. Why is it because their tests are clear they dont believe you can be in pain.

      My nutritionist has put me in Agnus Castus tincture and particular foods like tofu, walnuts etc that are meant to be good to regulate hormones. At the moment its early days whether they are helping and also i have been put on amytriptaline as its supposed to be good for nerve pain, again too early to say if its helping.

      Can i ask what biodental hormone is so i can ask my dr about it.

      I hope you soon get to the bottom of your problems as i know how you feel sad x

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    • Posted

      I've used a bioidentical form of estrogen replacement for over 20 years. It took some time to work out my dose. I don't have a uterus but still have ovaries which failed prematurely immediately after my partial hysterectomy. You have to be careful when dealing with BHRT docs. A lot of these docs believe that ALL women over 35 are estrogen dominant. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Did you have your hormones tested through blood work or a saliva test? It has now been determine that blood work is the most accurate form of testing. And, did you actually get a copy of your results so that YOU can see for yourself or ask ladies who have been dealing with menopause for awhile if INDEED you are estrogen dominant? ALWAYS get a copy of your labwork...you paid for it and it is yours. It is most always progesterone that is the culprit behind the stomach issues...NOT estrogen. When my estrogen crashed years ago, I had all of the problems I mentioned above. That was also back during the time when Dr. Lee became well-known for determinging that all women needed progesterone whether they have a uterus or not. I fell for that and tried adding various forms of progesterone from low to high doses. I honestly believe that I could sniff progesterone and it would cause my gerd and stomach problems to return! You WILL need progesterone if you still have a uterus to prevent the uterine lining from building up. But, there's a good chance that you just might need estrogen, too! Get those lab numbers!
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    • Posted

      See my response to dominque64820. Also, I encourage you ladies to research the connection between progesterone and stomach problems. Try to avoid ads that offering products or services. Googling "progesterone and gerd" might produce some pretty good articles.
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    • Posted

      I am due to have my ovaries removed later in the year, do you think this will help my symptons or make them worst or is it just a case of getting the HRT right. Many thanks for your help x
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    • Posted

      Hi ! Wow ! Just read your post . I have been in menopause for 2 years. But I have been using bio identical progesterone cream on and off for 10 years. My estradiol is close to 0. And I have LPR. Mucous in my throat, constant clearing , no heartburn. But it's so annoying and I can't stand it ! In thinking, it started 2 years ago, when I went into menopause !! I'm thinking to just wean off the progesterone cream, and stop altogether . I did give it up for 2 weeks but no difference in the LPR. I guess I need to give up for longer ? I would love your opinion and glad you fixed your LPR/reflux. It's awful !

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    • Posted

      Hi Dominique

      i came across this post, i know it was a year ago. But how are you doing with the acid reflux? im dealing with it eith perimenpause along with gastritis and its horrible! i also believe that i have issue going on with thyroid which could be worsening it. did you get better?

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    • Posted

      Hi Mary

      I'm still living with reflux on a daily basis but not so bad in the day. I know I reflux at night but it doesn't wake me up any more! Not sure that's good sign might just mean the lining of my oesophagus has changed after 4 years off acid coming up. I feel it in the morning. My breath is awful and my chest is sore. I still sleep with two bricks under top of my bed. I can tolerate more foods though but I can't drink coffee or eat choc or crisps. I was on bio progest for year. I recently stopped! I just haven't seen any benefit from it. In fact the tablet gave me reflux I'm sure hence I changed to the cream. My mood is awful and I get so angry but I have got very challenging family circumstances. I've just started St. John's wort and I read last night Angus castus is good combo with ST JW for premenopausal women! I've also started Bowel restore to clean out my intestines. 

      But I'm convinced the main cause of reflux is STRESS. 

      I'm considering the Linx device if nothing else works because I won't live with this forever! 

      Have u had your thyroid checked? I was on natural thyroid med too but not sure that did anything either. Have u looked into foods that balance your hormones. I can't drink milk and so I have soy but I'm sure soy milk is not good for me from what I've read. Do u have much soy in your diet? Have u heard of maca powder? That's a food that can help balance hormones. All the best Mary stay in touch. Hope u get some relief. It's a nightmare condition. 

      Regards Dominique 

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    • Posted

      I started Bioidentical HRT in Dec 2017. In Feb 2018, the Dr added an oral progesterone 100 mg daily to protect the uterus. March 25th, 2018 I woke up with what felt like a lump in my esophagus. This feeling continued for 2 weeks non stop 24/7. Then, added to the lump feeling, I started having what felt like a heart attack, tightness in my chest, feeling of slim in my throat, burping, throwing up after I eat and losing 15 pounds within two weeks. I have had CT scan, MRI, EKG, Barium Swallow, Chest Xray, and Endoscopy. The only thing that showed up on any test is mild Gastritis. I was put on PPI 40mg 2x daily. This just seemed to make everything worse. This has been going on for 2.5 months and I was losing all hope of feeling normal. I quit drinking caffeine, went gluten-free and removed soy from my already healthy diet. I am 53 yrs old, pescatarian and weigh 135. I don’t smoke or drink and I have never had any stomach/esophageal issues at all. I came across an article today, when trying to make sense of this miserable issue, and stumbled across the possibility of Progesterone/Estrogen being the culprit! It makes total sense! I have an appointment in 1 week for Hormone blood work. For now, I will discontinue the HRT. I would much rather have the night sweats and fatigue than the feeling I’ve been having for the past 2.5 months! Has anyone else experienced this with HRT?
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    • Posted

      Just curious as I am perimenopausal also and struggling horribly wuth LPR. What type of dr helped the most? Gyno?  Ent?  Gastro?  Hormones were never addressed by my physicians. I always thought they should have been. 
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    • Posted

      What type of dr addresses your hormones issues?  Not one mentioned it to me....ent, gyno nor GI. I often suspected hormones.  
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    • Posted

      I have just completed first month of hrt. I am 39 perimenopausal (confirmed with bloods) and with lpr reflux. I agree that hormones and stress started the reflux. I had never had any issues before then I get reflux and menstrual flooding, dizziness, headaches, insomnia and awful panic attacks at the same time out if the blue. I think it is too much of a coincidence to be unrelated.

      The progesterone element of the hrt made the reflux flare horribly to the point where I couldn’t breathe or swallow properly. It has been three days since stopping it and the symptoms are slowly starting to fade. It also made me feel really anxious and depressed which is also gone now it is out of my system. I am going to try some bioidentical progesterone but if that doesn’t work I may have to consider a hysterectomy. 

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    • Posted

      I went to an internal medicine doctor that specializes in compound hormones. Neither my GI or my Family Physician brought up the fact that hormones can play a huge role on your stomach/esophagus. I had to research it on my own. Since none of these doctors seem to have the right fix, I took it into my own hands and spent countless hours researching. The HRT is the only thing that makes sense. I have been off of the hormones for 1 month now. I am feeling better but still not normal. I have read that it can take months to get the HRT out of your system. I'll continue to eat only smoothies until then!

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    • Posted

      That is frustrating they chuckle when you mention the hormone issue but it’s in many well documented reports that it can cause these issues. They have specific GI specialists for McGee women’s hospital in Pittsburgh because the needs are different for a woman because if hormones.  Very frustrating. 
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    • Posted

      Thank you for posting this. I cried when I read this because it was something I could have written myself. I believe I am in menopause. I haven't had my period for 10 months (I took a blood test and I will find out for sure in a few days) and have hot flashes. At the beginning of May, I began having indigestion, throat clearing, hoarseness, etc...all that you and Beth8852 have mentioned. I've been on lansoprazole 30 mg since the beginning of June (before that it was pantoprazole for May). While I don't really have heartburn/pain, my symptoms are nagging. My throat has become a little better since being on lansoprazole, but I still feel reflux. I am 52 years old and have never experienced discomfort like this. I take gaviscon at night so I can sleep and wake without a hoarse throat. I am going to the gynecologist on Monday, so I'm hoping I can get a hormone patch to help.

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    • Posted

      ive tried both bioifentical and patches and they both didnt help altgough im thinking i need more estrogen than progest!! i think its a case of tweaking it until u get the right balance also i remember someone saying that their symptoms got worse the first two weeks and then all the reflux went away eventually so what ever you try i would give it at least 4 weeks before making decision to continue or stop

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    • Posted

      hi

      i had op last year for gerd i had linx fitted. which is titanium magnet around my LES muscle. 5 holes in my stimach and $40,000 poorer and i still have GERD!!!! ive tecently had stool test and it showed bacteria overgrowth im going to see natropath soon. i still think its hormone related. im thinking of giving hrt another go and tweaking the bakance. i thjnk i need eostrogen more than progest

      every morning i wake up with a fowl taste in my mouth and my chest burning. its living hell. im also angry with everyone most of the time!! living just aint fun anymore

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    • Posted

      hi i have an update

      its been two years now since my reflux started. I have found I am about 90 percent better now doing three things so I thought I would share. i did not have any surgery and I dont take any reflux medication

      firstly I have balanced my hormones using bioidentical (not normal synthetic) progesterone lozenges. I was getting heavy menstrual bleeding and anxiety attacks which is a sign of being oestrogen dominant. From further research this seems to happen to around a quarter of women leading up to menopause. When the manufacturer ran out of the progesterone BhT for 2 weeks i was coughing up acid again so absolutely hormones play a big part. i dont have the gynae synptoms any more and the anxiety is way better

      secondly I follow a low FODMAP diet and have cut out all grains. My LES was functioning ok so in my case the reflux comes from a kind of ibs response. looking into this ibs is caused by a shift in the gut bacteria which can be caused by stress, hormones and also an inability to digest FODMAPS . this causes the small intestine to not process food properly so it hangs around and ferments like a compost heap - this gas it creates pops open the LeS and causes reflux. i am using natren probiotics which also help .

      the diet is difficult but so worth it. i also look so much better on it

      thirdly I realised that whenever a stressful event happened I got reflux. this is consistent with the way people experience ibs but instead of the diarrhoea it goes up as reflux. i have done the Michael Singer course and it has hugely helped the anxiety too

      I hope this helps.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      How are you now? Have your symptoms subsided a little? How did you get on with the gynecologist? Did you get prescribed a hormone patch?

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    • Posted

      I have used bioidentical progesterone lozenges and after 6 months my oestrogen is at normal levels rather than 3 times higher than it should have been as it was before the reflux is still there but about 90 percent improved. worth checking hormone levels if you have gerd and a normal LES

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