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Acid Reflux - Help!
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needhelpfortummy posted:
About me: I'm 37, 115 pounds, healthy and active female. I have no other medical conditions and have never been on any medication for any length of time. I am negative for H Pylori.
My story: About three months ago I developed acid reflux. It seemed to come on overnight. One day I was fine, the next day I couldn't eat anything without severe discomfort. I've never really experienced traditional acid pain in my throat or chest. My main symptoms were: extreme pressure just under ribs (making it difficult to breathe at times), extremely dry and hoarse throat in the mornings and stomach discomfort. At one point prior to diagnoses, the discomfort was so bad (shoulder pain, back pain, etc.) that I went to my local urgent care clinic thinking I was having a heart attack.
After a few weeks of this I went to see my dietician. She said that my diet was already excellent and that she couldn't make any significant recommendations. I've never been a coffee/tea/alcohol drinker, so that wasn't an issue, but I did cut out tomatoes, chocolate, citrus, garlic and onions.
From there I went to see my doctor who put me on 20mg of Losec / day. I did that for a week and felt great! I decided to taper off the drug. Almost immediately the acid returned — with a vengeance! It seemed to be worse than ever. The doctor told me to go back on the meds for a minimum of 2 months straight. He upped my dose to 40mg / day and suggested supplementing with Gaviscon when I noticed symptoms.
It's been 6 weeks now since I've been on the double dose of Losec. Felt great for the first couple of weeks, and then I started to notice symptoms again. They are definitely manageable with the medication — but still noticeable. My main symptoms now seem to be difficulty swallowing, throat clearing and sweet taste in mouth on occasion.
I'm feeling very alone in this right now. I seem to lack any focus at work, am feeling depressed and the difficulty swallowing is starting to make me anxious. I'm wondering if the Losec might be making me depressed.
I plan to go see my doctor in a couple of weeks once I've been on the medication for 2 months. I really feel like at my initial meeting he really didn't address many of my concerns — or discuss any underlying cause of this — just put me on the meds and pushed me out the door. To this end, I want to make sure I have my questions lined up for the next appointment.
I'd appreciate your answers to these questions, and any additional questions you might recommend that I ask my doctor. I'm generally pretty Type A about things and I am really determined to get to a solution.
My major concern at this point is that my husband and I would like to have a baby. At 37, I need to get on this as my biological clock is ticking. Unfortunately, Losec is contraindicated with pregnancy. I'm concerned I'm going to have to be on this medication long-term and won't ever be able to try to get pregnant. Help!
Alright, here are my questions:
1) What might be the causes of this condition?
2) Why might it have come on so suddenly?
3) Should we be investigating an underlying cause?
4) Aside from medication, what else should I be doing to treat this?
5) What alternative / complimentary treatment options should I be seeking (i.e. acupuncture, chiropractic, nutrition, exercises, etc.)?
6) Who are the experts in this field?
7) Who are the best specialists?
Who is conducting research into this?
9) Where can I find the most recent research?
10) What is the purpose of the medication?
11) Is this medication treating an underlying cause of the issue or just the symptoms?
12) What is the plan if this medication does not work?
13) How / when do I taper off of this medication?
14) Is there a high likelihood of "withdrawal" making my symptoms worse? If so, what is the plan for that?
15) What is the next step if the medication doesn't work?
16) What are the latest developments in the treatment of this issue?
17) Is there an alternative treatment plan that I can be on while my husband and I try to have a baby?
Any and all help would be tremendously appreciated.

Reply
 
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sheba_q responded:
I had acid reflux come on suddenly (in my case as a side effect to medication) so I can understand how you feel. You may never get answers to all your questions, but I figured I'd send you this reflux 101 link and hopefully it answers some of them: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease
 
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Bicaci responded:
I lived with acid and acid reflex my entire life with some exceptions. The cause is the liver not stomach. How do I know that? I was lucky that before they cut my intestines I met a doctor in Italy and treated me with shots of Metheonine, B12, and Vitamin K. Never had stomach reaction to any foods for 3 years. I did it again on my way to USA and lived another 3 happy years. When I showed the prescription to the doctors in California they told me that there was no such thing. After 35 years I realized that the doctors here are drug trained and know very little of nutrition. I was in a health market and asked if they had Metheonine and when they said yes I was in shock. I experimented and did help but nothing like the shots. I took them from time to time if I had too much problems. Lately my stomach did similar thing I couldn't swallow. I went to Mayo Clinic and was told I had inflammation on my digestive track. Knowing from Crohn's that such condition can exists I tried a pill from the Vitamin Store: Liver Support Factor by Country Life. It helped immediately first by stopping acidity and acid reflex. Now I know for sure that it is a liver problem. I am searching for a doctor that really understand the liver and nutrition but so far no luck. My best wishes to you.
 
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mtseme01 replied to Bicaci's response:
Hi,

I am having a really strange similar story and i am trying to figure out what it is.

So it all started with a feeling like a lump where the appendix is and it felt like a bunch of pressure and twisting in my stomach and chest. There was also pressure and pain behind my eyes. It was most uncomfortable and painfull when i would lie down. I could feel my eye being compressed from the inside and my temples would hurt really bad.
So sometimes -like once every 2 weeks i got no sleep and eventually ended up having to sleep sitting up practically. Does anyone who experiences acid reflux also experience temple-aches? And I also have pinching pains in my legs when i lie down...could this be tied to acid reflux? I am getting worried because it's been a year, acid reflux medications don't help. So i am about to get a CT scan tomorrow,

Why my symptoms to me seem partly like acid reflux is because i throw up easily after any exercise but only a little bit in my throat. And also i feel pinching like burning in my neck as well as constantly feel a lump in my throat as well as between my stomach and intestine.

Please tell me if the headache at the temples is seen in acid reflux and what in the world could be causing the pains in my legs....if you possibly know

Ofcourse my doctor thinks i have anxiety like all docs who can't figure out the cause of the problem, but i don't have anxiety..i mean i have some. Despite disagreeing with my doc, I still took the antianxiety pills (gabapentin) she perscribed and that has not helped..only made me really tired.

Also i got my esophagus checked with an upper endoscopy today and the doctor said it looked "fine". Could it still be that i am having acid reflux dispite the fact that he said it looked "fine"?? Like does the fact that he said "your upper endoscopy looked fine" involve that he did not find any acid to give evidence to me experiencing acid reflux? Or could i be having acid reflux, and he just doesn't notice it with the upper endoscopy?


One other thing i should mention: I was diagnosed with bipolar in 12h grade and throughout my life with bipolar, i have had manic episodes where they put me on pretty "poisonous" drugs in the hospital...like Depakote and Lithium. Both can cause liver/kidney damage although i do not know how bad...also are there tests you know of which could test liver and kidney damage?

Please respond as soon as possible. I am at a loss for what to do. I am not that old-I am turning 22 in September and I am slightly overwieght (like 10 pounds).
 
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Monkey208 replied to mtseme01's response:
An endoscopy does not necessarily show reflux. It didn't in our family. An upper GI series (Barium) will show reflux as will a 24 hour impedence PH probe. The second test will show acidic and nonacidic events. The member in my family had very serious refluxing which was shown on both of these tests but not an endoscopy. Two endoscopies also didn't find the hernia. Also research non acidic reflux. A really good ENT with a probe can also see refluxing. Symptoms prior to diagnosis over the years included persistent inflamed tonsils but rarely strep, severe headaches, sinus infections, stomach pain, non stop nasal drip, and eventually asthma and non stop vomiting. This went on for at least seven years before this was found.


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