I'm pretty sure I have GERD but have not been diagnosed...

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So over the past couple years I have noticed some changes in my body and what happens after I eat.

It all started in January of 2014. It came out of nowhere. I went to Olive Garden with my boyfriend at the time, ate some pasta and was fine. A few hours after OG I started getting severe pain in my belly and middle of my back that had me curled into a ball. Eventually it passed. I assumed it was a kidney stone but since it went away I never had it looked into. The following day my family and I went to a different Italian restaurant in my area. The pain that I felt from the previous day was intensifying. I felt it all through dinner. Finally, the next day after having enough of it I went to the ER. They did an ultrasound of my kidneys, and checked urine. They said all was fine except they seen I had ovarian cysts. So, they sent me home. Well, after leaving the hospital I was starving so my boyfriend and I had Arby's. By the time I got home, I was dying in pain again! It was so severe I couldn't even finish my food. Sleeping at night was a joke because I cried in fetal position the majority of the night. It was severe, intense pain in my mid to upper back, pain in my chest, and pain in my sternum region. I called my doctor to make an appointment and they recommended I just go to the ER again. Ugh- so frustrating! I remember I wasn't able to go right away because the first week of college classes arrived and I couldn't miss statistics. I sat through 40 minutes just in complete agony. I was hunched over as much as i could be without it looking too noticeable, with my arms folded pressing on my stomach because it relieved some of the pain. After class, I went to the ER. They did a CT scan and an ECG and both came back normal. They did let me stay for a little while and gave me pain killers and they helped somewhat. I think about a month went by by the time I was actually feeling better. However, over the course of this month I did some online research because no one knew what was wrong with me and I couldn't take the pain anymore. I came across something called GERD and the symptoms of it were almost identical to what I felt. I also came across peptic ulcers, hiatal hernias and sour stomach. I had no clue but I knew I was in a lot of pain and it was so hard going about my day feeling like I felt. One night during dinner, we had fries and I dipped them in ketchup like always, and I noticed I felt worse when I had tomato based products. And when I put the 2 together, all this started the time I had pasta. Which i love italian food and have had it my whole life with 0 issues so I was baffled as to why would this happen now? After 20 years? 

Since this all happened I now have on and off lower to mid back pain. It gets pretty bad but nothing like before. I get bloated at the slightest amount of food or drink. I get bad pain in my chest like severe heartburn that lasts for weeks. It feels as if my chest is on fire. I get what I'm assuming is acid, it's a sour tasting fluid that comes back up into my mouth after meals. I get a heavy pressure on my chest that feels like I have to burp really badly but just can't. Also, when pressure is applied such as folding my arms on my belly it kind of hurts and aches and near my ribs is sore and tender to touch. 

So I guess I'm just wondering if this sounds like GERD. How do I go about being treated because I've talked to my DR about this but he says the tests come back clear. I highly feel an endoscopy would probably be in my better interest but I don't know how to go about getting one. I've been trying to watch what I eat but anymore even water burns once it reaches the esophagus area. I've done lots or research into this and I don't know how I got it or if I have it. What do you think?

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4 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi April,  Please go back to your doctor, and tell him that you have looked on line at this site and tell him you can match some of the feeling Ill areas with this site.  If you leave it  it could make you "more" ill   Please pleasew go and talk to your doctor  if need be print out the symptons from here.  Take care and I wish you well.. Jocelyne (Cambridge UK)
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  • Posted

    Yes, just tell him you want to see a GI so he can order an Endoscopy.  Is a pretty simple procedure but you will need someone to take you home and be with you a few hours until you fully wake up. Yes, I love Olive Garden as well and Italian food and I had to completely stop eating just about everything. In my case I do not have the heartburn and my belly feels fine but I have every other symptom you mention plus chest and breathing heaviness all day long even without eating.  PPI's did not work for me and I'm still looking for a answer 2 1.2 years later.   I can honestly say that I was better before I stopped eating these foods an taking medicatons ;-(
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  • Posted

    You mentioned belly pain and curling up in a ball...

    Several years ago we took our son and his girlfriend (now his wife) to Eastside Mario's, an Italian restaurant we had gone to many times before. Part way through dinner Crystal was feeling a pain in her belly and we packed up our food and headed out to the car. She NEVER complains about ANY physical issue, so we took THIS one very seriously. Within a few minutes she was rolled in a ball and moaning. We headed straight to the ER.

    Fast forward about a month...

    Medication for stomach and bowel issues helped a bit, but a talk with a doctor in the hospital where she works as a PT gave her the best help. HIS daughter had just been diagnosed with Celiac Disease. When Crystal asked him the little girl's symptoms, they matched Crystal's exactly!

    She eliminated all wheat gluten and any product that was not Gluten-free. She read labels A LOT. Within a day she felt better than she had for years! By THREE days she was able to stop all medication.

    This experience at the restaurant came on suddenly as though her body had finally reached its limit! (Crystal also had eaten several wheat rolls at dinner that night!)

    This may NOT be your problem, but ELIMINATING gluten for awhile won't harm you, and it MAY help you get some welcome answers!

    Let me know how it goes!

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