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hyperactive gag reflex
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sasiddiq posted:
Hello, I am a 24 year old male. I have no preexisting conditions, never had surgery, I do have allergies during the spring, and I take peroxatine (20mg) for anxiety. I have an unusually active gag reflex and I can't seem to figure out why. The doctor told me that I had GERD, however, I have no heartburn. I tried taking nexium which did not stop the gagging. My gags are generally dry gags, in other words, I gag, but nothing comes up with the gag, with the exception of some mucus. I noticed that I gag mostly during the morning and particularily when I bend down or twist my stomach in some fashion. I tend to be quite stuffed up when I wake up and moderately so throughout the day, in case nasal drip is the cause of this. What could be the cause of this? Furthermore, are there any supplements/medications I can take to suppress this gag reflex?
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Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
This certainly can be related to GERD, so once that is in control your gag reflex may improve. Chronic sinusitis can cause post-nasal drainage and contributed to gagging on mucous.

Here is a little article that you may find helpful:

www.wikihow.com/Suppress-the-Gag-Reflex

There are no specific medications (other than the anti-anxiety medications you are taking) that are specifically designed to suppress the IMPORTANT gag reflex.
 
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An_187838 replied to Rod_Moser_PA_PhD's response:
Why do you say 'when the GERD is under control'? Dentists and some physicians routinely say this, as if that's a normal course of events. We'll fix this when the GERD is fixed. GERD is not controllable - it results from a non-functioning, weak LES muscle. The surgery to possibly correct this has been judged to be ineffective and risky, so GERD must be mangaged as best possible by patients who just have to deal with it.
 
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JesusFreakKaren replied to An_187838's response:
I have to disagree with your assessment of the surgery. I had the surgery 6 years ago and it took my proximal 24 hour refluxes from 96 to 0 and my distal from 128 to 4. Sometimes doctors say GERD is under control when they look at your endoscopy and find "beautiful anatomy" like mine because I was on PPI's for 1.5 years before the scope, and you have to convince them to do the "torture" test (24 hr pH monitoring) before they understand that it isn't. If you think my surgery hasn't worked, understand that I physically can't throwup, in addition to the pH monitoring findings - I'd say that's a success.

Another piece of information - when people eat twice what their stomach can hold, they will reflux, and it isn't due to a bad LES. Mine was, and surgery was a complete success, but in the case of my father for example - he would eat for 5 people and then puke, chew and swallow. That is from overeating, not a flawed GI tube.

Also, my gag reflex is "amazing" and obnoxious. I can't floss my teeth properly (trying to do the upper left teeth always gags me) in addition to cleaning my tongue. However, I deal with it by not flossing and that's it. Recently, my URI has caused my gag reflex to be a bit more than normal (as it should with all the phlegm), but I don't consider that a problem.
 
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anne002 replied to JesusFreakKaren's response:
It sounds like you've done well after your surgery, and you have adapted to some of the effects. However the results you describe are among the reasons this surgery has become contraindicated more and more. I have consulted 11 GIs in Chicago, and none will perform this procedure by policy. They would not even give me a physical examination before answering. Six of these were surgeons who had previously done fundoplication. They indicated the new endoscopic procedures may be more viable, but they are also too unproven at this time.

The surgical after-effects of difficult swallowing, unmanageable gag reflex, re-weakening or undoing, inability to vomit, and others are considered unsafe in many cases, undesirable and risky in all cases. So the common phrase I heard was that the current state of the science is to manage this disease symptomatically only. This means for most people GERD is never totally "under control".


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