I was diagnosed with Reflux a couple of months ago

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I was diagnosed with Reflux a couple of months ago having been feeling unwell since March this year, although now when I think about it I've probably been suffering with it for a lot longer than that, it's just that before March the symptoms were milder and more sporadic.

What prompted me to visit the doctor initially were the severe acidic heartburn and chest pains I started getting, mainly in the evenings just before bed. I was also experiencing regurgitation on a regular basis, particularly when ever I bent down. I was also wheezing a lot and felt short of breath due to the constriction pains I was getting in my chest.

When I lay down in bed at night I had what felt like a large lump of mucus in the back of my throat that wouldn't go away and made swallowing very difficult.

In the month prior to all these symptoms starting up I had started working out and running at the gym four times a week and, had also upped my intake of veg and reduced the amount of sugar and fat I ate. My diet wasn't particularly bad before this but I wanted to make an effort to get fit and healthy and lose the extra two stone I carry. I gave up smoking and booze a few years ago.

My GP initially suspected a hiatus hernia and suggested I was producing too much stomach acid so prescribed me Omeprazole for a couple of months to see how I got on. He also gave me a Salbutamol inhaler to help with the wheezing and shortness of breath which he felt was being caused by acid vapour getting into my lungs.

At first the Omeprazole took away all the symptoms and I felt ok, then after six weeks I started getting the dreadful pains in my chest again and feeling very unwell. I also started experiencing extreme nausea on a regular basis. I went straight back to the docs and he referred me to a consultant for tests.

Within a week I went to see the consultant and he straight away suspected Reflux Disease and booked me in for an Endoscopy a few days later (fortunately I have private health insurance through work so everything moved very quickly). He gave me the option of sedation and left it up to me to decide whether I wanted it or not. After talking to a few people who all unanimously agreed that sedation was the way to go I opted for it and I'm glad I did as I have absolutely no recollection of the entire procedure. I had the Endoscopy done at 7.30am so that I didn't have to go all day without food or drink!

I also had some bloods taken and these were tested for Lupus and liver problems amongst other things which I've completely forgotten.

The consultant said that my oesophagus was definitely inflamed despite being on the Omeprazole but that there didn’t appear to be any other problems. He then prescribed me Nexium. The blood tests all came back negative.

The Nexium were initially excellent and all my symptoms disappeared again but on the seventh week of taking them I started to get overwhelming nausea again, then the pains and constriction in my chest came back sporadically. I went back to the consultant and he booked me in for an Ultrasound. This showed up nothing sinister and the consultant said that he was confident that all my symptoms were as a result of the Reflux Disease which he felt had ironically been aggravated by my fitness campaign at the start of the year! He said that running, sit-ups, cycling etc all increased the likelihood of any excess stomach acid that was present getting into the oesophagus.

He then took me off the Nexium to see how I got on without it but prescribed me Domperidone to take three times a day as and when needed for the nausea. Within three days despite taking the Domperidone I was feeling extremely ill again with all the usual symptoms back with a vengeance. As the consultant had done all he could he told me to go back to my GP if the symptoms returned and that my GP would then manage the illness for me. My GP was off work sick but I managed to get hold of him by phone and, when I told him how ill I was feeling he wrote me a prescription for Nexium again. I'm lucky in that my GP also suffers with the same condition so understands how bad it can make you feel!

So, I'm back on the Nexium and am feeling ok some days, good on others and rough on the rest. My symptoms are as follows and on an 'ill' day I usually get the nausea first followed by the other symptoms:

Extreme nausea.

Pain in the centre of my chest.

Tightness & constriction in the chest which make it hard to breathe normally.

'Lump' in the back of my throat & difficulty swallowing particularly when lying down.

Sore throat.

Tiredness.

General feeling of being unwell.

If I eat a fatty and spicy meal (Chinese or Indian takeaway for example) I suffer badly for it and feel unwell for a few days after. The other triggers that I've discovered so far are pastry, coffee (which I can't give up), pineapple, fruit smoothies, chocolate (I tried a small amount as a test - bad mistake!) and just about everything else which tastes nice. I've also discovered (I think!) that stress can bring it on. Hunger also seems to trigger the nausea which in turn triggers everything else and, as someone else has mentioned on here, the hunger pangs can be extreme despite not really being that hungry.

I have another appointment booked with the consultant in six weeks time to see how I'm getting on. At the moment I've been feeling unwell for the last three days (since stupidly having a Chinese takeaway) and am slowly coming to the conclusion that this is how it'll be from now on.

I've done a lot of reading on the internet about GORD and all the synopsis I've read so far make it sound fairly mild but, I don't think people without experience of this disease can imagine how bad it makes you feel and how much it affects your quality of life.

I completely sympathise with everyone else who suffers with it.

[i:ce1dad9eae]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:ce1dad9eae]

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Your comments about reflux and its accompanying feeling of illness was interesting to me as I have also been suffering with this problem for a short while. I recently had an endoscopy after an episode of extreme chest pain during eating, which was suspected to be a heart problem but which, as it turned out, was related to a hiatus hernia with reflux and gastritis. Since the endoscopy things have been Ok until last week when I started feeling quite ill with a sore throat, chest pain and developing cough. This, I thought was a viral problem and when it did not improve and the cough got worse, together with insomnia, I went to my doctor who examined me and put me on Nexium tablets as he said it was a reflux problem. I did not agree but took the tablets anyway! However I now think he is right as when I stopped the tablets the other day I had a dreadful night. I certainly symnpathise with your symptoms which are far worse than mine, but I thank you for the comment as it does correspond with some of my problems and I shall await hearing how you are doing and how my own symptoms progress or regress.

    [i:c37927bc35]This message was automatically imported from the original Patient Experience[/i:c37927bc35]

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  • Posted

    :lol: So pleased to read your post.. I thought i was the only one suffering so badly with this awful condition.. You have really helped me, just by writing your very informative piece.. thankyou
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I can totally relate to your experiences and remember vividly feeling mortified at how many times I had gone back to my G.P to say that the new reflux medication I had been changed to wasn't working.

    After 8 months of symptoms I was 5 stone 10 and feeling very unwell. I was absolutely convinced from what I had read on the net that I had developed pretty bad reflux disease whilst my Doctors had been treating me for a \" little bit of heartburn\".

    I took the best decision of my life and used my Visa card to pay privately for an endoscopy followed by an Acid PH test ( hideous but well worth it).

    I was diagnosed with Severe reflux disease immediately + hernia and after that things got quite a lot better. Straight away, my G.P then prescribed liquid food and oral morphine to manage the pain and build my weight back up so I would be fit to have Reflux surgery. I could have waited and had the surgery in an NHS hospital but my trust had gone to be honest. I was devastated at having felt \"not believed\" for all that time - doubting myself and how bad I was feeling. I was on the verge of losing my job and after that my house.

    I used the net to check patient reviews for all the consultants who do Reflux surgery privately, found the best consultant, borrowed more money and have genuinely never looked back since my surgery! Surgery isn't a cure....but it gave me my life back! I don't miss the wheezing or regurgitation, the cough, the thick yellow tongue, the chest pains like you are having a heart attack ( oesophageal spasm) the nausea the perpetual sore throat etc...

    Anyone who has this disease knows just how distressing it can get... it is just a shame that the medical profession haven't caught up yet - still convinced that a pack of rennies will do the trick!

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  • Posted

    I found it so uplifting to read of your experience, particularly in regard to the attitude of the medical profession. Each and every member I have seen has said \"Well, at least it's not serious\". How more serious do they want it to be than being unable to eat because of the chest pain and having no social life whatsoever. I have a general feeling of no support, with a succession of different drugs constantly being prescribed and the underlying feeling that I've had my three score and ten, what more do I want!!
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I have been suffering with acid problems for over 8 years now. I have tried all medications, diets, sleeping with raised bed head, had numerous endoscopys, Ph monitoring and barium meals. My Ph test was showing well above normal acid levels and low oesophagus pressure (motility). My last endosocpy showed oesophagitis and I was advised to have the operation as over time this would get worse not better. Since having the operation I have read that patients with low oesophagus pressure should not be considered as operation would be unsuccessful - this is something I AM going to question my Consultant about!

    I took the surgeons advice and had keyhole surgey on 6th November '08. I have been back on medicaiton & Gaviscon since week 1 post op

    (mediaction isn't helping), still get tingling tongue, acid heartburn in chest etc, however now I am also coping with reduced appetite, painful ribs, and wind as not able to burp, considerable weight loss, struggling to swallow food and generally fed up with the whole post op experience.

    Reading posts this surgey does seem to be the answer to some people, but if it isnt successful you end up with original acid reflux & many many more issues to contend with. I am due back to see my consultant on 21st Jan and hopefully he will have some answers for me......although i'm not hopeful!!

    If I had a wish I would turn back time and be pre op again at least I would have only the acid reflux to deal with everyday and as many acid sufferers know that is enough!!

    If you are considering this operation please please be more than 100% it is right for you.

    Bye for now

    Mandy x

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  • Posted

    :roll: I'm so confused!! I have been in agony for a few months now, unable to work or look after my children as well as I normally do. I have had an endoscopy confirming inflamed oesphagus and the medics give me the impression that all will be well in six months time. Prescribed Omeprazole, then Lansoprazole, pain killers and Gaviscon. I have kept a food/pain diary and I have no definite triggers yet - everything seems to cause excruciating pains (and sadly, now constipation, sore eyes and mild depression to boot!!!). Has anyone recovered from this or is this how it's going to be for ever?? I am only 40, don't smoke, don't over indulge with food or alcohol and am a petite frame (albeit a few pounds heavier than pre-children). What can I do? I am so desperate to talk to people who are struggling with this too. My doctor, whilst very kind, tells me I am stressed - of course I am!! This reflux is enough to send anyone over the edge. Have all the ususal symptoms, but bizarrely don't feel the acid \"burps\"....the pain is just always there..... :cry:
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  • Posted

    There is an outside possibility that you and your doctor perhaps should consider?

    Constipation, sore eyes and depression can all be symptoms of thyroid problems. (From your description of being only a few pounds heavier, I am not putting any emphasis on that as a sign.) And acid reflux, of course. But probably caused by weak muscles rather than excessive acid production. (Also the lump in the throat mentioned by an earlier poster.)

    Better to get tested than to suffer the often reported spiral of worsening symptoms and not being diagnosed.

    Rod

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  • Posted

    Did you find out how to control or what it actually was I'm 22 I have had reflux for a year now mainly on the night but iv been struggling to swollow I mean all the time like when you have to til it is you close your eyes and struggle to get spit even down that's me now but no pain I do have a gut feeling im inflamed in my chest somewhere I feel it like a weord feeling I had when my bowel was inflamed before but anyways this is obviously very scary not been able to swollow or forgetting how to swollow and it's happening more and more it's near constant now and embarrassing.

    I woke up this morning feeling my throat was so tiny it went back to normal like 10 minutes after having a drink and cig yes I do smoke I know I need to quit .

    Iv been having chest pains on and off and I'm short of breathe near constantly I don't understand what's going on doctors have no explanation I haven't mentioned the swollow thing that's just started im seriously worried xx

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