GERD? Please help!!

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I'm 23 and I have never experienced anything like this before. I have been traveling and was sick for about 2 weeks with pharyngitis. After finally recovering from this sickness, a new problem started and I started experiencing heartburn especially bad at night when I lay down to go to sleep. I've seen a few doctors and all have told me it is GERD and given me medications - Omezaprole 20mg, gaviscon liquid, air-x -which I have been taking for a week but my pain persists. It seems to be getting worse for me. I now have a dry sore throat, lump feeling, cough, ear pain, chest tightness, heartburn, burning sensation in my whole upper body. I also feel stiffness/soreness in my neck/back. I have little appetite and can not sleep well at night so I feel extremely fatigued during the day. It's really affecting my mood and causing me anxiety. I'm generally pretty healthy and I don't eat spicy foods, generally just drink water. I usually do drink coffee but I haven't since being sick. I don't feel the heartburn is triggered from eating - I am eating just so I can take my medication but not generally very hungry lately. It's been every night that I have trouble sleeping. I've taken sleeping pills some nights but I don't want to rely on them so I try not to. I feel like this is never going away and I just have no energy during the day and haven't felt like myself. I just want to get back to normal but I don't know what to do. Please help!!

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  • Posted

    Sorry to hear about your symptoms. You can try raising the top of your bed up, use blocks rather than just pillows. Raising it up will help gravity keep your stomach contents away from the top of your stomach. Also don't eat three hours before going to bed but take some Gaviscon Advance just before you do. These actions will not cure you but should help relieve your nighttime symptoms. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Hi, Ive been having these symptoms for 2 years 5months now. 

    I did the barium swallow and it resulted that I have a hiatus hernia.

    I did an endoscopy and resulted that my stomach valve doesnt close properly and there is nothing I can do. I took a course of emoprazole(it has been months now that I finisehd them), I am much better at least I am managing to sleep but I am nauseous 24/7 and that feeling of lump in my throat is always there for me. 

    Gaviscon chewable tablets are the only thing I take when I have heartburn.Going to try and do the acupuncture next wednesday, hopefully it will help!

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  • Posted

    Hey,

    I'm sory to hear you're feeling this way. I'm starting to think any stomach upset causes this level of anxiety since I have never been as anxious as when I began to exprience stomach issues last year.

    First things first - did you take antibiotics for your throat? a LOT of people here developed GERD after an infection, especially if they took antibiotics to allegedly clear things up.

    Secondly - where are you travelling? Are you in Eastern countries? Do you have any other stomach issues or lower GI/IBS symptoms? You might have picked up a bacteria, which would be treated by your doctor.

    I'm not a doctor, but I have been assaulted with symptoms over the past few months so I've learned a lot from other people, peer reviewed medical journals, my friends in medicine, and friends who I have discovered also have GERD. A number of things can cause it. If you have excess gas and bloating, it can push your stomach up, and consequently the acid. It could be an infection called h pylori which is treated with antibiotics. A round of antibiotics may have been too strong for your system and it's knocked it off. Then structural issues would be looked at, like hiatal hernias or a weakened lower oesopageal sphyncter muscloes (LES for short). Occasionally bacterial infections or yeast like candida can affect your oesophagus and cause this.

    For me, the first 3 months were hell because I had oesophagitis after 2 rounds of antibiotics. I don't know if I swallowed a pill that didn't go down right because I was always too scared to get an endoscopy. Or if it was a bacterial imbalance. I developed huge anxiety too and I think my stomach being off makes my anxiety go through the roof because it physiologically feels unsettled and like it's nervous. I wouldn't say I was better, I don't want to dishearten you, BUT I am 70 - 80% better than I was when I was just diagnosed with this. And I had additional symptoms like not being able to swallow, tingly irritation and extreme nausea and tightness, which is why it took me longer to heal I think. Here's what helped me:

    - Omeprazole for 12 weeks to heal the oesophagus (ppi drugs lower acid). It did make me feel sick sometimes and like food wasn't digesting. I am now off these since February.

    - PROBIOTICS. I take a 7 strain mix every day. They are wee life savers.

    - Eating bland foods for a while.

    - Propping up my pillows at night.

    - Digestive enzymes helped me when it was really extreme.

    - On worse days I reduce my portion sizes, eating little and often, not letting my stomach get empty.

    - Marshmallow root, ginger and lemon tea. I know, lemon is a contradition but it has really helped ease my stomach.

    - Not going anywhere near raw veg, citrus fruit.

    - A stool sample to let me know what bacteria are in my gut (I have high levels of strep and staph which I don't think are doing me any favours).

    I think my own symptoms are caused by bloating and gas build up that I now exprience after certain foods. When the food ferments and bacteria feed on it in the colon, I will burp a lot and this is when I get bubbly burps in my throat. But I rarely get heartburn now, have a very healthy appetite most days, and am still working on reducing anxiety. There is hope, try and research some remedies and maybe see a nutritionist. Good lucksmile

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    • Posted

      Hi MJ

      Sounds like you've done as much research as me. I'm very interested in knowing the brand of probiotics you take and enzymes. I've tried probiotics and they make me worse. This made me suspect SIBO. But test came back negative. Do you think candida alone can cause GERD? I met lady who said she had to go 2 yrs without sugar and yeast to heal her chronic reflux?

      I have fungus on my toenails and I'm now paranoid I have candida in my system!! I've tried so many different protocols it's not funny but like you I'm about 70 to 80% better. Just wish I could wake up without the chest pain between my breasts. This must signify acid has come up at night and I sleep on an 8inch incline!!! There's no way I could sleep flat. Which makes holidays and camping very uncomfortable.

      What have you done about bad bacteria in tummy. I suppose probiotics help this?

      Dominique

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    • Posted

      Hey Dominique! I'm glad you're getting relief. Some days (like today) I feel completely fine, but I am resolving to use forums even on these days because it's comforting for other people to read that they can get to a stage where they have good days!

      I'll PM you the name of the brand, posts sometimes get deleted when you endorse something here. They are really great for my digestion. I didn't take them for 4 days last week and totally noticed the difference. I wasn't pooping as much and by Saturday a fair bit of anxiety built up in the evening. I also notice that I am immediately "off" when I eat onions and tomatoes. So disappointing since I love them but I don't know if it's put me off for life since I now view them as little shards of evil. Poor onionssad

      So yeah, had onions and tomatoes cleverly disguised and pulped in a sauce the other night. Heart and mind were racing for a full day after. And then when I pooped yesterday morning I was fine again, mentally and physically!

      So I think I have some kind of fermentation thing going on. Sadly that can affect a healthy intake of food. I felt better eating chips and takeaways all weekend and last night than I do when I eat healthily. I used to aim for 5 portions of fruit and veg a day so this is difficult for me, and I'm going to try and introduce low FODMAP foods again this week (bananas, some leafy greens etc).

      On bad days, I can eat potatoes, chicken, cooked veg (as long as it's not high FODMAP or fructose), and go easy on caffeine and spicy foods. On good days I can eat most foods but tomatoes and peppers have to be cooked now, and I do run a high risk of them making me feel like I'm having an allergic reaction now.

      I have a yeast called rhodotorula confirmed by a stool test. It's a pink mould that clings to plastic in bathrooms. There is an issue with it in my old flat at the moment which adds up for me. I have high strep and staph which I might have mentioned above. I think they just eat up the foods before good bacteria get to them, and I think they grew totally out of balance after a course of antibiotics in August. 

      I've heard that allicin capsules, berberine, neem and tumeric aid in killing the bad bugs off. Garlic extract is good for yeast too. Apparently it killed the yeast in the lab as effectively as fluconazole.

      I am quite bloated and I think my reflux comes from everything being pushed up. It happens to pregnant woman and I bloat intensely towards the end of the day now.

      Probiotics have really helped me which isn't typical of SIBO, but they do move my digestive tract along and help with my mood, so they must be keeping the "commensal" bacteria like strep and staph at bay. It's normal to have them in your internal ecosystem but you can live comfortably without them, so they shouldn't be in high numbers. I believe they've giving me gas which sets everything else off. I also don't know if I have a hernia and will probably need a referral when I'm less anxious to confirm that!

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  • Posted

    Omg I feel your pain Hun I have been there. Look it can and will get better. Raising the top of your bed is a brilliant suggestion and should bring u some relief. I took sleeping pills but never the full dose. I halved my tablets. I was on them for about 4 months when I was at my worst! You gotta do what you gotta do. I didn't like taking the tabs but they saved me from a nervous breakdown.

    Where did u go travelling? I'm wondering if you have picked up parasites?

    Have you had a barium swallow test or an endoscopy? You need to find out if you have a hiatus hernia, this can stop the Les muscle closing properly.

    The difficult part of all this is finding out what is causing the gerd? The docs don't seem interested in that, they just wanna give u meds. Here is some stuff you could research:

    Food allergies

    SIBO

    Hiatus hernia

    Parasites

    Candida

    I use dgl licorice tabs and licorice tea to help with heartburn. I also use gaviscon extra when I'm really bad. Have u tried probiotics or digestive enzymes?

    I'm trying L-glutamine at the mo and having acupuncture weekly.

    Are you a very stressed person? Cos this messes up your digestion big time. You need to manage your stress. This is so important when dealing with this disease.

    Diet is very important too but don't stress over food. Do you know what your trigger foods are?

    Some suggest a low carb diet is very helpful. I don't feel good on low carb diet though. I get really cranky and lose a lot of weight.

    There are operations available if nothing else helps but I don't think your anywhere need that stage yet.

    Good luck Hun. Hope this helps

    Dominique

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  • Posted

    Sounds like extra-oesophageal reflux. Find the www DownWithAcid org uk encyclopaedia for more info - and see attached graphic.

    It's not what we eat that's important but how we eat. Small meals (little and often), eaten slowly, chewed well and no exercise whilst the stomach empties.

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    • Posted

      Hi

      Sorry I've forgotten your name. Do you know who moderates this site and how to contact them?

      Many thanks

      Dominique

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    • Posted

      The forum is mdoerated by EMIS. There are more than one moderator but I previously contacted them as emis moderator. Can't remember how to start a new message to them though - apart from using the Report this flag at the bottom of a post. 

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