Severe chronic acid reflux/ GERD, no cure, and I’m only 18

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I'm 18 and I've been suffering with what I believe to be acid reflux/ GERD for the past two years. In the last 6 months, though, I had a really bad flare up that hasn't gone away. I had to drop out of college, quit my job, and essentially put my life on hold. I regurgitate everything I eat so I'm currently only drinking formula and smoothies which I can somewhat tolerate. I have very severe symptoms ranging from chest pain/tightness/pressure/burning, to a lump in my throat feeling/ a tight throat, I have a lot of phlegm in my throat when I eat/drink as well, and again I regurgitate/ reflux literally everything. No medication has worked for me which is why I'm currently off all anti-acids/ PPIs. In the past, omeprazole has shown good results, but now it doesn't even touch my symptoms. I don't know what to do. I've been taking digestive enzymes for about 2 weeks now and no change. I've had 2 endoscopies, gastric emptying study, barium swallow, and no answers. I was also misdiagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis which I DO NOT have. I'm supposed to have the 24 hour PH test done this week, even though I'm hesitant. I will mention, as someone else did, that I have really bad anxiety and stress that I have subsequently been dealing with for the last 2 years and do believe a lot of that contributed to how bad my acid reflux has become, however, I have struggled with lowering my anxiety and stress so of course the symptoms are very bad. I do not think all of this is due to stress/ anxiety though. I'm hoping for answers soon.. hoping someone responds.

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  • Posted

    hi, so sorry you are suffering so much, ask your gp to try a different PPI, definitely go for the manometry test , it's a bit uncomfortable for 24 hours but not painful, raise head of your bed at least 6 inches, have you had recent endoscopy?

    You might have a hernia, and with a camera down into your stomach you will know if there are any ulcers etc from the reflux which wud help doctor's to know what strength ppi to put you on.it is truly a horrendous disease, I've had it 4 years now, I eat a very bland diet, try not to stress, get as much rest as I can and take omeprezole and ranitidine each day, I have a hernia which I believe caused the problem. wishing you best of luck and better health.

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  • Posted

    I would try to take a PPI medication if I was you try something else there are different ones and I think stress as a light t o answer for I've had burning and reflux for years all down to stress had endoscopy done three times had the stuff you swallow four times all comes back its stress so I sat a very bland diet take my ppis and zantac every day some days are ok others are really bad

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  • Posted

    Hi Sarah

    i can relate to you so much. I have pretty much had the all the same symptoms even a endoscopy and nothing it was driving me mad i couldnt function work was awful couldnt sleep etc etc. The amount of times i have been in hospital was getting to much. i was crying out for help. I to suffer with bad stress and anxiety. I was forever researcing. I started to get regular b12 injections which os supposed to help with GERD but i also was put on a mild anti depressant for chronic head pain. I couldnt believe the diffrence i now go most days with not even so much a hicup and the pain is gone. I no longer need omerazapole and my anxienty has almost gone i have a few bad days but not like i was having. If someone said to me last year i was getting GERD because of stress i wouldnt have believed it. My only advice of you havent already done so is have all your vitamin levels checked and iron. Good luck

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  • Posted

    Are you overweight? (No judgment here, it just makes our insides squish which could cause the reflux.)

    One thing that helps me is to eat smaller meals more frequently so that my stomach is not so full. Also, I used to drink LOTS of water (at once) and I'm spreading that out throughout the day.

    Do you take any medications? I take 4 prescription meds daily and I have discovered that at least one of them causes my stomach problems. Instead of taking them right at bed time, I am taking them earlier, by 5:00 p.m., and it has made a HUGE difference.

    You say you had an endoscopy? Is there a hernia? A hernia can make you miserable.

    Good luck. I hope you find something that helps.

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    • Posted

      Hi Michelle, thank you for your response! I am actually very underweight right now. I'm normally around 107lbs (5ft tall) and because if this very bad recent flare up, I have lost a lot of weight and I am now 88lbs. I've tried eating smaller, etc. but my symptoms became so bad I haven't been able to eat at all. I now drink Kate Farms Formula, eat bananas, and occasionally fruit/vegetable smoothies. When this all started 2 years ago when I was 16, I actually was on a lot of medication for chronic migraines. I was on up to 7 prescription anti-inflammatory drugs a day. I am also prone to infection so I have also been on a lot of antibiotics. I believe all of the anti-inflammatory prescriptions pills and antibiotics contributed to my current state of health. At the moment I am taking no medications whatsoever. Only digestive enzymes. I have had 2 endoscopies and a recent one in February but no hernia, and my biopsies also came back normal.

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  • Posted

    Oh! I'm so sorry! You poor thing! I have no advice for you except to try to eat protein and get as much nutrient-rich food as you can into your body.

    Stress will have amazing impact on our bodies. I'm not saying that's what is behind your condition--I am no doctor. I think I'd try probiotics? Can you put some acidophilus (sp?) and some Udo's Oil 3-6-9 into your smoothies? The Udo's is a good balanced Omega Oils. You only need a spoonful added to your smoothies.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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  • Posted

    i was diagnosed with GERD over two years ago. i was perscribed oemperzole which did wonders for me. 2 months ago i started getting severe anxiety (which ive had most my life so nothing weird about that) then my GERD symptoms flared up bad. my gastro dr told me my anxiety likely stirred things up and to just eat a bland diet for 2 weeks. well that was 4 weeks ago and im still miserable. my acid reflux is constant, i get no relief no matter what i do. its intense pressure which makes me feel like i cant breath, sore esophagus, choking sensation. its miserable.. i feel fatigued most the time. i cant do much because i feel so run down. so this past monday i called my gastro dr back in tears because of how awful i feel and that i need help. the nurse i talked asked if i had an ultrasound on my gallbladder before, i said no. she said the gallbladder can cause acid reflux symptoms.. so im getting an ultrasound done this sunday. i obviously dont know if this is what the problem is but if is it certainly makes sense to why my medication has randomly stopped working after 2 years. you should request to get an ultrasound done on your gallbladder to at least rule that out. other symptoms include pain between the shoulder blades, chest pain, and pain on your right side by your ribs.. i dont have any of that except mild pain between my shoulder blades and constant reflux.

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