Can you die from GERD?

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Now I'm simply out of my mind with worry. It's been 7 months since my first diagnosis. Another doctor told me I may have gallstones, went tested for that and the doctors couldn't find a thing. Went back to the doctor and was once again told that if nothing else I have GERD. I have done everything from losing weight to raising my bed and dieting yet I am still unable to breathe properly, still have a burning sensation in my chest and stomach and I am at my wits end. At this point I am convinced I am dying. The PPIs I've been prescribed only make me feel worse.

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  • Posted

    Have a HYDA scan done on your gallbladder. It is specific to the gallbladder. That is the only test that shows if it is functioning properly or not. Normal scans won't show if a gallbladder is not functioning. Also do comprehensive blood work to see if you are low on any vitamins or minerals. Try gaviscon. It helps me some but short term. Sometimes we have to take charge of our own health care.
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  • Posted

    Dear Tamsyn, I have the same, burning  every where from my mouth to my stmach. I  had my gall bladder removed some years ago so it isn't  gall stones. Had every test  known to man and was given esemeprazole. Then dumped by the hospital to get on with it.  I havre had mine for a couple of years but is now dtarting to ease off with the meds. Ask your doc about esemeprazole. 
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  • Posted

    Hi tamsyn:  I'm sorry to hear that you're still suffering with this condition.  Please tell us about any other tests you have had done and the results. 

    Endoscopy? MRI? Lung function? Heart? Blood work?  Also, are you taking other drugs for other issues?  Asprin or pain killers?

    Sometimes, raising the bed is not enough to protect against the reflux.  I know of some people who have to sleep in a recliner because their esophageal sphincter won't close.  If you have that condition, then even leaning over can cause acid to go up the esophagus. 

    Acid blocking drugs can also cause some damage.  If they get caught in an pocket in the esophagus they can cause severe chemical burns.  This can also occur in the stomach.  If they disolve near the stomach lining, they can burn and make a sore.  These sores add up and can end up as gastritis.  So, always take medication with some food and alot of water.  I always open the capsules and swallow the tiny time pills.  That disperses them.

    Plus, our body can become resistant to the acid blocking drug.  Then your back to making acid between doses.  Some people take huge doses of two different ones at the same time because they don't work anymore.

    And, unfortunately, yes, a person can die from GERD.  It is called aspiration reflux.  If the reflux gets up into the throat, a sleeping person can inhale the acid.  If that happens then it can stop a persons breathing.  This happened to me and I was barely able to get my breathing started again.  And, I've been told that it happens to many people with GERD.

    That could be causing your breathing problems, since the inhaled reflux can turn into aspiration pneumonia.

    Sorry for the long reply, but this GERD can be very complicated.

    If you have a non working LES, then you may need surgery to repair it.  There are new methods to do the repair.  I don't usually recommend this surgery, but I believe your condition is extreme.  Once that is done, then the esophagus can heal and the aspiration reflux will hopefully resolve on it own.

    You need a second medical opinion right away.  Some doctors get frustrated and stop looking for answers.

    Keep us informed, regards, Jonathan.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Jono. All tests done was bloodwork and an abdominal ultrasound. Ekg was done as well but nothing else. Thanks for your reply. I'm really grateful for the information.
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    • Posted

      The surgeon I consulted only referred me for those tests. They couldn't find a thing wrong with me and kept insisting that it was all in my head since I looked very healthy, was eating and living healthier so I just had to keep this up and it will go away in time. I woke up this morning with a painING stomach and a terrible pressure on my chest and I truly thought I was done for. all this at the age of 27. I've even been told that I am too young to have this.

      to shut me up doctors first gave me ranitidine and then lansoprazole and both made me feel ill. I was given 5 nexiums as well but it didn't help at all. Been in and out of hospital for 5 months and they would offer me no words of advice or solace. My family won't believe I'm sick either. I don't know what to do....

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry that you've been treated lik that.  I know that when people question me or act like I'm making things up, it can trigger me to make more acid. 

      If your doctors are not going to be helpful then you may have to do this yourself, like I did.

      Some people have criticized me on this but I'm going to do it anyway.  And in this forum, they limit us as to placing links for information.

      Try this, drink 10 oz of some non chilled carbonated water or soda pop and tell me if your stomach builds up pressure or not.  Try to not burp for 5 minutes.  Let me know when you have done this and what happened.

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    • Posted

      I didnt know you could die from GERD' - Iv posted on this forum quite a bit in regards to what Iv had - ACID REFLUX all that stuff . can A pain in the throat , like a feeling of food stuck inside your esphogus  be caused by a Spinal Problem '? Thats what One of the doctors I saw had told me, though to be honest I didnt believe him One Little Bit' - What he think I am Stupid? I had told him I was finding it had to breathe and that there was a feeling like food stuck in my throat and he turned around and blamed the Spine that everything Im experiencing is to do with My Back - I find it had to believe' I would like to be referred to a Specialist'. If Possible'. What You stated Jonathon that if the Reflux gets up into the throat and a person sleeps and inhales the Acid and can cause a person to die, well Quite frankly Im too scared to sleep Now'. Im hoping I have just an inflamation and that it can be cured and Im really sorry for the person who is experiencing bad Acid Reflux its HORRIBLE and AWFUL, alot of people look at you like youre making things up and Doctors tend not to like dealing with this kind of Stuff because its almost like you're wasting their valuable time, sometimes Im scared to yawn and Cough or Sneeze incase it triggers of a pain in my throat - 
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your sympathies aryt. Sometimes it gets better and sometimes it gets worse. The sad thing is that I look healthy enough to be considered to be in good health. But the cold sensation I get in my chest and throat and the gassy and painful feeling I get in my stomach truly makes me feel as if I don't have long to live. For all I know I could be getting cancer. I have tried everything and all that's done has made me feel worse. My last hope is a homeopathic doctor who I am seeing in June. if I don't get any help there then I don't know.
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    • Posted

      I am so sorry to hear your discomforts with this aggravating painful health issue. I have had similar problems. Ive been misdiagnosed 3 times to discover some true & factual information. GERD being one question in the scheme of things. Come to find out I had a high h-pylori count, which is a bacteria responsible for stomach ulcers. Also after giving two sputum samples I was diagnosed having another bacteria that was found. The name of this bacteria is one im not familiar with, but can reap havoc if not handled. I do apologize, I tried to find the correct spelling of the bacteria but it starts out "pseudo" & I was put on cipro (antibiotic) for this. And two other antibiotics for the h-pylori. And my symptoms started with ones very similar to yours. I suffered and still am from mucous in my throat, and found out, I had oral thrush. Which is a yeast ( fungus). I started feeling as though it was an candida overgrowth, perhaps in my esophagus as well. But the question is why? Yeast is a natural part of the intestinal tract, when the body suffers from a illness that lowers the immune system, there becomes an imbalance of natural bacteria in the gut to control the yeast. In which causes an overgrowth not only in the digestive tract, but it can travel to the stomach, esophagus, mouth, really anywhere there is warmth & moisture. Yeast can cause symptoms that other common health issues can as well. It is hard to diagnose unless you get the correct test done. Im not even sure if a colonoscopy & endoscopy will be able to detect this form of fugus. I will find out wednesday. I need answers to these health problems as well. Also antibiotics helps yeast grow in our bodies, which upset me that I got put on 3 different types for 2 bacterias found in my body. I almost had the mucous in my throat cleared up completely, with diet (candida diet) & natural herbs & spices. Now its back. But its changed from white to slimy clear mucus. Almost like allergy phlem... Im so lost. but hopefully not for long. Good luck hope this helped a little.
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    • Posted

      Did you get a burning sensation in your cheSt each and everyday? I haven't tried the carbonated water method but I will. My friend also told me that maybe I should increase the window periods between meals. Was also advised to drink lots of water (which I am already doing). Noticed that if I drink water while I am exercising that it really helps. Planning to see a naturopath though. Most people recommend them, apparently they provide better remedies that are natural and will not harm your health. How are you doing now by the way?
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    • Posted

      Yes, I did have the burning behind the lowest spot of the breastbone.  Often, almost unbearable pain.  Likely, that is just above the LES. 

      However, I am 99% cured in that area.  I rarely feel that pain.  Now, I only have the feeling of acid in my stomach, which I deal with using a small dose of acid blocker before bedtime.

      i can eat whatever I want and don't feel 'acid indigestion'.  During the day I eat small meals to soak up excess acid.

      I still do the cabonated water treatment.  And I plan to keep doing it to maintain my LES.

      And yes, some of the treatments people get from the medical community for acid reflux actually end up causing more severe problems. 

      I'm trying to tell as many people as possible that if they strengthen the esophageal sphincter they can resolve many digestive problems.

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    • Posted

      Sorry, I was typing and my computer died.  I live in the USA, so you may not find the same brand (Crystal Gyser carbonated mineral water ) but I often buy the store brand.  I like the orange flavored one.  Plain Seltzer water will also work.
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    • Posted

      "Now, I only have the feeling of acid in my stomach, which I deal with using a small dose of acid blocker before bedtime."

      Could you possibly tell me what you take and the dose please?

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    • Posted

      I have a presciption for Nexium and I pour out 20mg of the capsule and take with lots of water and some food.  Don't chew or crush any acid blocker pills, that can cause stomach burn also.  I have found that Pepsid AC Maximum 20mg is easier on the stomach, but I've run out.

      And also, I eat lots of plain probiotic yogurt.  First thing in the morning, followed by only water for 30 minutes.  Then some yogurt every 2 to 4 hours.

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