Just like all the rest? Help!

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My story maybe just like all the rest, and likely is.  Like so many, I'm sure, I suffer not only from gastric, esophageal  issues but my stress level and overall anxiety are off the charts.  I am 53 next week and can't remember a day when I didn't have anxiety.  I am successful at work and have a good life but just cannot avoid anxiety.  I have been on a number of medications finding little help.

So what's troubling me now.  In mid September I started to notice a sore throat.  At the time and still I was also suffering from sinus issues.  I assumed it was just a cold or sinus problem.  after a few weeks it progressed into ulceration in my throat.  I was having problems swallowing and  developing white phlegm.  I went to see PCP and he prescribed Zantac.  It was at this time I stopped all alcohol (lite drinker), coffee, tea, chocolate, mint in any form, gluten, dairy.  I did get relief from the ulcers, but started to also have hoarseness in my voice. I returned to the Dr. and was prescribed Prilosec 20mg 2x daily for several weeks.  This gave me little to no relief.  I then went to my Gastro and was told to go back to Zantac 150 twice daily.  I also have a bitter taste in the back of my throat which gets worse after eating.

There just have been no relief.  About three weeks ago I started to develop some amount of chest (center) and back pain.  Just nagging not real painful.  Of course this scares me even more.  I am scheduled for endoscopy next week and am scarred.  I have had two previous endoscopes once 13 years ago and one 6 years ago.  Both showed redness but no changes.  What damage could have happened since September?  Is the chest and back pain unusual?  I did start sleeping on an incline pillow which probably hasn't helped my back any.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Blessings to you all!

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  • Posted

    Hi Tom,

    I too suffer LNR and reflux symptoms including asthma like symptoms, sinus, throat and chest/back pain. 

    I have had this for about 18 months. I have had all four tests gastroenterologist recommend with two normal results and two indicating reflux. I’ve also seen a immunologist, asthma/ allergist, cardiologist, ENT, and a pulmonologist all with negative test results. I have also seen two surgeons, one recommended surgery the other said reflux wasn’t my issue but he didn’t know what my problem was thus all the visits to the other specialists. It’s very frustrating but I refuse to give up or use ppi’s because they are a bandaid not a cure and long term use has been linked to kidney damage and other issues so I have been trying natural treatments. 

    First Off i would recommend you raise the head of your bed 6” to 8” and don’t use the wedge. Also don’t eat 3 to 4 hours before you go to bed, eat smaller meals and snack between them, eat slowly and chew your food completely.

    When you have symptoms you can mix a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 4oz of water which will help calm them down. Take gaviscon extra strength a half hour after you eat.  Read up on what supplements are recommended for reflux such as slippery elm, aloe Vera, gastro-ulc, etc. to coat and soothe your throat and esophagus. Stay off the alcohol, pepper, spicy food, deep fried food and whatever else may bother you as they say it’s different for all of us. As for me I can’t seem to find all my trigger foods as one day almost nothing will trigger an uproar and on others the same food will not. 

    My biggest complaint are the asthma like symptoms and the chest/back pain discomfit and pressure. 

    Its hard to tell if that could be anxiety, reflux or something else I have been unable to discover but I keep trying. Stress and anxiety obviously are issues for you that can exasperate and other issues that may be going on. My advice would be to see a top notch therapist to instruct you on exercises you can do to control and mitigate your anxiety. There are treatments like feedback, meditation, breath exercises, etc. that help you to develop ways to control your episodes, if your on benzodiazepines like Xanax thosecan lower the pressure of your lower esophageal sphincter and cause reflux. Better you try hyproxazine and CBD to help but learning how to manage it is the best. As for your stress I don’t know why you are stressed but if it’s work I’m familiar with that as I hard an extremely stressful profession. What I found helpful ar keeping the hounds from the door was always having a plan because my stress was always much worse when I didn’t have a plan or it wasn’t working. I’ll tell you this, being concerned is normal and helpful being worried never did anyone any good and it’s a fact that your worst fears are rarely if ever realized. Avail yourself of a gastroenterologist and a top notch therapist, google them in your area and find the best ones that are available. Good luck Tom.

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  • Posted

    Morning Tom 

    Firstly Tom please try and relax I know it’s easier said than done basically everything you have wrote is me or can say WAS me up until about two weeks ago, I had all the same symptoms it was like one vicious circle and I couldn’t get out my health my anxiety was so bad due to the worry etc. I went through all kinds of tests which actually made me worse because they found nothing other than a very under active thyroid which I have now started meds for and guess what I’m now completely fine yeah I do have some days we’re my throat is bad but not as bad and my anxiety is almost none existent. I went through the NHS for five months they couldn’t do anything then I was transferred to ENT in a private hospital we’re my life changed basically he explained that anxiety creates your body to react in all different ways. I experienced GERD and a lump sensation in my throat which now I know is through worry etc etc. Have you had your thyroid tested ????? You may never honk it’s that but just go and see. Anxiety is cruel but now I know that it’s under control my life is so different. Rather than taken all this med which I think made me ten rimes worse get your blood done and take it from there. 

    Take care any questions please ask x

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  • Posted

    I want to thank the two people who left me detailed messages. It means alot. I go in for endoscopy tomorrow. I'm very nervous as many here are. My symptoms haven't changed. I'm trying prilosec otc (20mg) twice daily again with zero relief. I'm guessing I have a mechanical problem or the PPI's are making things worse. Dreaded sore throat, bitterness in my throat and hoarseness are barely tolerable. Praying for relief and answers.

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    • Posted

      Hi Frank - I had a successful endoscopy and not as a bad as I remember. Anticipatory anxiety is just the worst. Dr said he saw nothing ominous and the photos looked fine to my eyes except a bit red. He diagnosed me with gastritis and small hiatal hernia. Waiting for biopsy report this Thursday so still a bit nervous. Hopeful that it will be ok so If my symptoms don't get better, maybe I can rest my mind. Still suffering from all the same symptoms as of now. I'll update on Thursday.

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