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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:
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.
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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