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GERD/Hiatal Hernia
LadyofDecepticons posted:
I am a 31-year-old female who has suffered from difficulty swallowing for three years now. I visited my general physician, who referred me to a gastroenterologist. The gastroenterologist diagnosed me with acid reflux. The test ordered was an endoscopy, which discovered a hiatal hernia. The hiatal hernia was the size of a golf ball. The acid reflux symptoms persisted while I was on a treatment of Prilosec 40mg, 2x a day. I had my gallbladder removed, which the doctor discovered was mildly infected without any stones. This all occurred in July of 2011 and I stopped visiting the gastroenterologist as well as stopped the Prilosec treatment. However, the surgeon who performed the gallbladder surgery warned me that surgery might not alleviate my symptoms. He was correct. About two months later, I suffered from an episode where I blacked out and went missing for an entire day. When my family found me, I could not remember what happened at all that day, only the night before. Once again, I went to see my general physician, who referred me to a neurologist. I was diagnosed with Basilar Migraines. I am now taking Topamax to prevent the migraines, which has this problem under complete control. However, I still am problems with the acid reflux. This entire time I have to stay away from certain foods because it will trigger an attack. As time passes, I am starting to notice that the issue with swallowing is starting to reoccur once again just as it did a year ago before the gallbladder surgery. However, I noticed that it does not go away when I try OTC Prilosec. The swallowing issue is getting so bad that I have lost around 25 pounds from 2010 to 2013. I am 5'2 and started out weighing 132 in 2010 and now I weigh 100 lbs. and cannot swallow liquids and solids. I can barely swallow liquids to take my migraine medicine, which I have to crush to mix into applesauce or pudding to take. Someone please help me find out what is wrong! I went back to see my original gastroenterologist after visiting an ENT specialist. The ENT specialist felt the gastroenterologist did something wrong the first time, because when the ENT ordered a barium swallow, it showed a narrowing or stricture of the esophagus. My gastroenterologist ordered another endoscopy, except this time decided to take a biopsy as well from three different areas within my esophagus. I am awaiting the results; however, I am losing hope that anyone medically licensed can help me.
Gingy11 responded:
Wow. I am so sorry to hear that. Don't lose hope! I know it's frustrating and you feel overwhelmed but don't give up! Go for another opinion to a different gastro doctor.
juliansmama07 responded:
Lady of deception, wow I am so sorry for all of your suffering. Your story is almost a mirror image of mine. I began having reflux and stomach pain in August of 2007. From then till about May 2010 I lost multiple jobs,dropped out of college and lost weight from the nausea and reflux. During that period I began seeing general doctor who tried a few treatments and tests but found nothing so they sent me to a gastroenterologist. At the 1st GI doctor I had an EGD and tried more medications and to no avail I was miserable as ever. After about 3 months they told me that there was nothing wrong with me and I just was crazy. I then got referred to a 2nd GI who did another EGD which said I have a hiatal hernia but he said it was not worth fixing and multiple blood tests and scans. He recommended I have my gallbladder removed thinking that was the cause. When I had the surgery nothing changed with my symptoms at first. Soon after my reflux got more severe. I returned to the GI and was told he would not help me unless I lost weight. At that point I gave up. I felt hopeless and became a shell of myself laying in bed. I took a break from doctors and would end up in the er multiple times from dehydration and nausea but nothing ever showed up on tests. In February of this year I figured I would try 1 more doctor. I saw a GI in phoenix who said I sounded like a great candidate for the GERD surgery and that it would relieve a good amount of my symptoms so I was scheduled an EGD and once again diagnosed with a hiatal hernia but also told that my esophageal spincter that connects the esophagus to the stomach was very large and weak. He sent me to a surgeon who could perform a Nissen Fundoplication and hernia repair.I had the surgery April 25th of this year. I have had a complication that will be fixed soon but other than that my reflux is almost gone. I felt relief as soon as i woke up. It is a tough recovery but so worth it. if you have any questions feel free toemail me for more info

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