Constant horrible heartburn

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I've had constant horrible heartburn that won't go away even on meds worried it's cancer anyone else going through this?

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    Have you had any tests ?

    It could be gerd

    I would suggest you see you doctor if your

    Worried

    Best wishes

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    • Posted

      I go on Tuesday for the scope. I also have a feeling something stuck in my chest when I swallow food. Thank you for responding.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    Firstly it's unlikely to be cancer but do go and see your doctor.

    How long have you been getting the heartburn and how often?

    About 25 years ago, I'd get such vicious heartburn (like a blowtorch down the throat) that I would be sitting up for a couple of hours every night in agony. I used to eat Rennie like sweets (as my father had before me - he'd died when I was a young teen of a heart attack thinking it was just indigestion again). Being a typical man, I buried my head in the sand thinking it's just heartburn.

    It was when I developed a kidney stone (from too many Rennies), I had to see the doc. He sent me for a scope. The camera down my throat 21 years ago revealed Barrett's Oesophagus, the possible precursor to cancer.

    It can typically take 20 years for the caner to develop through various stages dysplasia that are detectable via endoscopy but once cancer is detected, prognosis is bad with survival measured in weeks rather than years. Those of us with Barrett's are scoped every few years: my next one's just over a week away and I expect it will show my 3cms hasn't changed and still shows no signs of dysplasia. If it did I'd be offered ablation therapy which would remove it.

    So hopefully your doctor will send you for endoscopy to look for Barrett's (or, heaven forbid, cancer).

    Despite a Be Clear On Cancer campaign in February in UK focussing on gastro-oesophageal cancers, unfortunately too many doctors are still insufficiently clued up thinking this is something that mainly affects white males over 50 (which I'm guessing by your name, you're not) so you may need to ask if you should have a scope. Otherwise you'll just be given acid suppressant medication (probably omeprazole) and sent away.

    Omeprazole, a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), is a powerful drug that effectively turns off many of the cells lining the stomach wall that produce acid. Meantime, you may help yourself if you can identify which foods cause your acid by keeping a food diary. We are all different and these trigger foods differ from person to person though you'll find "banned" lists on the internet of the most common triggers which may or may not affect you.

    You can also try to control the reflux element (which can still be harmful even with the acid removed) by following these lifestyle changes: Lose weight (if necessary), avoid over-filling your stomach by eating small portions and more frequently, avoid tight clothing, avoid exercise after meal (including bending) that will compress or tilt the stomach, leave at least 3 hours between last meal and going to bed, raise the head of the bed by 6 to 8 inches and sleep on your left hand side.

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  • Posted

    Karen I cannot add more than 3 barrats as told you and I wish him well for his next test.What I can say however is that your not unusual in thinking you have cancer. I think as soon as any of us begin to feel I'll in someway we all fear its the big C but thankfully for the majority of us it never is so try not to worry that you have it. In my experience the real tell tale signs of having it is sudden weight loss and fatigue although I know it can take a more silent route but any way think positive it isn't. Kind regards.
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    • Posted

      Thank you ted. I lost 10 pounds this week but I started at 180 so I had a bit to lose anyway. I also have been avoiding foods in fear of the burn and sensation of a lump in my chest when I eat. I will try so hard to be more postivie because in the long run its the positive people that battle and win.
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  • Posted

    Hi Karen

    I have had it for several months, tested positive for helicobacter, which was resolved by course of two antibiotics. Am on Lansoprazole 15mg daily which has minimal effect really so now waiting for an endoscopy to find out what is going on. Like you am scared of cancer (am a nurse and we are the worst ha) but trying not to think about that. Best to get it looked at. I will let you know how I go on. Best of luck to you. Jen x

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  • Posted

    Go back to the doctor and ask for different meds. If you are on ppis there are lots of different ones. Omeprazole didn't work for me but rabeprazole did. Your doc. Will arrange an endoscopy if he thinks you need one. I know the pain is dreadful but as well as the other advice try to keep calm. Deep breaths before you eat and do something that distracts you from the pain. I found a hot bath also helps
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