Possible underlying causes of gastritis/LPR/indigestion

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My symptoms began as LPR reflux, almost 4 years ago.  The symptoms have remained, sometimes strong (high-fiber foods and oil make it worse) and sometimes mild.  About a year ago, I also began experiencing a burning sensation in my stomach, usually between meals; not every day.

My wife began experiencing LPR symptoms about 2.5 years ago.  And she just began noticing the burning sensation in her stomach a few weeks ago.

We've both recently had endoscopies.  Hers turned up nothing noticeable -- the GI thinks it's just acid reflux.  Mine (two days ago) showed redness of the mucosal lining ("erythematous mucosa").  I'm assuming that's gastritis, but I'm still waiting for the results of the biopsy.  My wife is still waiting for the results of her biopsy, too.

Like many of you, I've spent a lot of time researching LPR and indigestion.  The fact that my wife and I are both having the same symptoms leads me to believe it's *likely* the underlying cause is something we have in common -- not just a coincidence.  Below are some possibilities.  If any of these seem like they might apply to you, please let me know.

1.  Excessive dieting/Calorie restriction.  We're both healthy eaters, and we're both thin (my BMI is around 20, and my wife's is about the same).  I've been on a paleo diet for just over 10 years, though I do incude white rice.  My wife has also been eating a high-protein, low carb diet for the past several years.  I've read reports that long-term restrictive eating can slow gastric emptying, which can lead to indigestion/reflux.

2.  Bacterial or viral infection.  It's possible we picked up an infection somewhere.  Maybe our bodies haven't been able to clear the infection.

3.  Something in our environment.  I don't think this is likely, but I suppose it's possible.  We've been drinking filtered water (reverse osmosis) for the past several months, with no improvement.


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  • Posted

    Hi Scott, I'm sorry no one else has replied to this. I found this thread from your comments on the "how I cured my gastritis" thread.

    I think all three that you posted are possible. I myself started to have IBS type symptoms, indigestion and strange LPR type symptoms after my eating became very restricted. I Also went abroad during this time drinking ice and tap water so I feel like I might not have had enough good bacteria to fight anything off,

    I'm not as bad as you, I resisted going on acid suppresants. However the stomach cramps remain. The chest sensitivity, breathlessness cone back if I go too long between meals but not as bad as before. I facet had to stick to a lie fat diet although I do suspect when I eat "bad" food it first digest as easily as it should. I still burp a lot which is something I never used to do.

    Like your ex wife my endoscopy was clear. No inflammation which surprised me. I'm interested to know how your ex wife is? Furthermore, I wanted to add, my boyfriend now also suffers from indigestion and constant burping. So it seems like we might have the same thing. No h pylori found.

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    • Posted

      Hi Search45.  Sorry to hear about the problems you and your boyfriend are having.

      You know, when I was on that high-fat diet, when the LPR symptoms first began, I was also eating a very restricted diet.  I had lost a lot of weight.  And a co-worker I work with had the same problem, and she was dieting and exercising a lot at the time.  Her problem has since disappeared, and I noticed that she's gained weight, so I assume she resumed her normal diet and probably laid off the intense exercise.  Also, the nutrition blogger Matt Stone wrote about how he had bad reflux for a long time (while eating a very restricted diet and doing lots of exercise), and how it all cleared up when he said to heck with it and just started eating whatever and whenever he felt like.  And I've read articles about eating disorders and how they can result in GI problems like constipation (from a slowed transit time) and reflux.  So it's possible that it has played a role.  I started my restrictive eating about 11 years ago.  The first LPR symptoms began about 4 or 5 years ago.  Also, I have a history of anxiety, and I think that's been linked to GI problems -- it's certainly been linked to eating disorders.  I'm about 140 to 145 lbs, and 5'9".  So I'm thin, but not excessively so. I'm gradually introducing more foods into my diet to gain some more weight.

      My ex-wife is still having problems with reflux.  But now it's worse because she's pregnant.  Hopefully she'll find relief after the baby is born.  She's not really anxiety-prone like I am.  However, she was also eating a restrictive diet when we were married.  She kind of adopted my diet, some of the time, and often restricted her calories.  She began to weigh her food, as I did (and still do).  Now she's eating more normally, and I'm glad for that.  I wish I hadn't introduced her to those silly habits.

      So does your boyfriend also eat a restricted diet?  And do either of you have a history of anxiety?

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    • Posted

      Hi Scott, I was very similar to you. I've actually had an eating disorder for as long as I can remember (I'm 28) and it had spiralled out of control before this started. I went down to 6 stone (I'm 5ft 3). I am normally around 6 stone 7/8 (would never let myself go above 7!) so I am starting to think this is all related too. I'm now eating more (and struggling with the changes to my body) and I'm around 6 stone 8 again. 

      On the flip side, I also know incredibly skinny people in their 40s who obviously restrict their diets (and skip meals) and do not have these problems, so I also feel that perhaps an opportunistic pathogen/bacteria managed to strike when I was vunerable. I have made a new friend who also had odd stomach complaints (her dad has also just been diagnosed with IBS) which makes me think I might have picked something up. 

      I'm just hoping my system will prevail at some point so I can just eat normal food again without problems. 

      My boyfriend burps frequently, is now starting to feel indigestion again after eating which had disappeared for a few months. But healso gets a strange chest ache which he seems to think is his heart but all the tests have proved other wise. He doesn't get heartburn or reflux. Not sure if it related. 

      Either way, something has definitely gone awry. So are you now eating normally? Normal sized portions? 

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    • Posted

      Hi Search45.  I'm glad you're gaining weight -- that's great.  Yeah, I got pretty low in weight last year.  I think my BMI was close to 20.  Not good.  I'm better now.  I eat normal sized portions, yes.  I eat 5 meals a day, for a total of about 2200 - 2300 calories.  Also, I've realized recently that one possible reason why I have difficulty gaining weight is because I move around alot.  When I'm at home, I pace around quite a bit while eating and watching TV.  Although I sit at a computer during the day.  But I've got quite a bit of nervous energy.  Probably something to do with the anxiety.  I'm working on that -- trying to slow down and relax.  Hopefully that will help.  smile
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