My Journey ( Please Read )

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Hello,

Iv been hovering around on this forum for maybe about half a year, just reading other peoples posts etc.

Im a 23 year old male based in the UK, iv been suffering from Heartburn, reflux, gas etc, the usual GERD symptoms for around 4 years maybe 4 and a half.

For me it started from dieting due to being over weight, started with reflux and some heartburn but this was managed with gaviscon for 2 years. I mean being naive as a young adult you don't really dwell into these things.

Last year which was my 3rd with this condition my stomach was on fire literally, so I went to the doctors and was prescribed omeprazole, it didnt work. Due to the pain I went to the local A&E and if you know the waiting times, you know it's horrendous right about now. They diagnosed me with gastritis prescribed me with lansoprazole.

A week into the lansoprazole the heartburn went, so I came of medication for about 6 months with no heartburn nothing. Since December last year Ito has come back and it has been constant some months and some weeks it's been under control.

Iv been to the doctors 6 times this year and have finally been given a referral to see a GI. I'm due to go this coming Wednesday and I imagine il have a endoscopy. Past 3 months have been the worst, it's been so hard to control, the medication doesn't work like it used to. Just to point out I have not undertake no diets or tried to control it with anything else apart from medication.. I have stopped smoking.

To finish off, this is one of the most hardest conditions to treat and yes I know their are long term complications which usually occur when you have been suffering over decades with this. Me personally I want to get to the bottom of it in my youth. I started uni on Monday, so wish me luck smile..

Thank you for taking the time to read this, sometimes you need to vent.. I hope the your all blessed with good health. Feed back and advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

1 like, 11 replies

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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi sorry to read that you have been suffering for so long but glad to read this forum as been providing you with support.As you will know by now its a sensible forum so any questions you may have I am sure can be answered by its members.Good luck.
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    It's good you have recognised the potential danger of ignoring this problem.

    Too many young men like you (and me many years ago), bury their heads in the sand and say, "It's only heartburn." And for many of us it then seems to go away but this can be due to the protection afforded by the development of less sensitive Barrett's cells.

    Unfortunately what can also happen is when these young men are approaching their 50's, the heartburn comes back and then they see their doctor too late as it's started to become cancerous and the prognosis is typically just 6 weeks!

    I personally know 3 women widdowed in their 40's in this way and I consider myself lucky I was diagnosed with Barrett's and am receiving regular surveillance so I won't get the cancer.

    Good luck on your journey.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice.

      If you don't mind me asking how long does it take to develop Barretts? I mean theirs case studies on people whov had heartburn for 20 odd years never developed barrets. Do you think it's genetic?

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry I have no idea how long Barretts might take to develop, equally I have no idea if it's genetic but you can ask those questions when you see your GI on Wednesday.  Why don't you write a list of questions concerning all the things you're worried about and take it with you.  Try not to worry, I've had my problems for six years and I'm still here, tests come back clear apart from some inflammation in my throat which I am trying to get on top of through diet and herbs and amitryptiline because I have a chronic chough.  

      But hey good on you for giving up smoking that's fantastic!  and a step in the right direction.  so don't worry yourself silly by looking up all the worst case scenarios on Doctor Google.  

      Best of luck for Wednesday wink

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    • Posted

      How long does it take for Barrett's to develop? It just takes the formation of one goblet cell. Think of it like how long does it take for mould to appear on a piece of bread. One day it still looks the same as it's done for a few days and the next there's the tel-tale green spots.

      Barrett's develops as a protection response by the body to stop it digesting itself. It is caused by a presence of acid and bile in the oesophagus. Acid alone just causes burning and scarring. Bile acts as an emulsifier permitting the acid to dissolve animal tissue.

      However, some people are more at risk than others of developing Barrett's and there's much research going on to determine the risk factors.

      There are familial tendencies and a number of genes have so far been identified that show although not an hereditary disease in that it's not inevitable for offspring to develop it, you do have a greater risk if your parents had it.

       

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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I really feel for you I have had similar problems for a number of years and have yet to find something that really works.  One thing is certain though diet is a big part of the issue.  I see in your post you mentioned you have not adjusted your diet, from my own personal experience this is an area you can't afford to overlook.  You should try and avoid acidic foods especially soft drinks, tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate, garlic, fatty foods.  There is a book by Jamie Koufman called Dropping Acid: The reflux cookbook.  It is an excellent read and there's a list of alkaline and acidic foods so you know which ones to stay clear of.  My problems have improved greatly to about 90% free of symptoms.  Make sure you drink plenty of good water preferrably with a low ph there is lots of info on these forums about the benefits of drinking alkaline water.  

    The good thing for you is you have youth on your side and I'm sure you will find some relief by adjusting your food or drink intake.  The other thing I have learnt is not to eat food or drink for 3 hours before going to bed but that may not be an issue for you.  It helps if you have acid reflux.  

    There is a saying we say in NZ kia kaha, stay strong, keep looking and you will find an answer.  If you're anxious or stressed about Uni that won't be helping either so try and chill a little more.  

    All the best smile  

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Yes I'm looking into diet, but I want my endoscopy first to see what I'm dealing with, then I'm going to start experimenting with different foods.

      Iv had this issue for a 4 years now and I want to resolve in my youth. The potential dangers of leaving unresolved for decades are scary. I do believe theirs more to Gerd than meets the eye. I don't think it has anything to do with how the mechanism in your stomach which shuts out the acid.

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    • Posted

      Although I have great respect for Jamie Koufman for raising awareness of the dangers of extra-oesophageal reflux by popularising it by giving it the names LPR and "silent reflux", and for her advice about not eating too late at night, she is an ENT doctor not a gastroenterologist and some of her dietary advice is in fact suspect.

      The idea that acid or alkaline foods change the stomach environment is one of the oldest myths that is continually perpetrated.

      The stomach is a reservoir of very strong acid that would cause permanent scarring if some were spilled on your skin. In comparison, aicdic and alakline foods are far too weak to have any effect. If you were to spill lemon juice on your skin it would just feel wet. The effect of adding alkaline or acidic food to the stomach is like pouring a kettle of hot water in the ocean. The stomach attempts to maintain its own balance, If you did take enough acidic food, it would produce less.

      And alkaline water is a myth perpetrated by the bottled water industry. Some years ago New York tried making their mains water slightly acidic to prevent the pipes furring up from limescale. It had absolutely no effect on public health but some water companies saw an opportunity to make a quick buck by selling alkaline water and suggesting it would be better for us. In fact there are studies that show alkaline water may actually be bad for us.

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    • Posted

      That's an interesting observation as I brought the book and quite honestly felt that the recipes were too complex and expensive to create and the book was aimed at the american market rather than for us in the UK.
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    • Posted

      If you want a free "encyclopaedia" about acid reflux, visit the DownWithAcid org uk site.

      And for a free heartburn-friendly recipe book, download "Coll Food" from the bottom of the LINKS/downloads page of BarrettsWessex org uk

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