View Full Version : Gerd!!!


KarmanMonkey
09-08-16, 09:51 AM
Hi all,

I've had reflux for a while, and have been on a pretty hefty PPI (Dexilant) for a while, and it's done a good job of managing things. On Sunday, however, without warning I had the biggest flareup since the one leading to my diagnosis.

If I had eaten something out of the ordinary, I'd understand it, but I didn't overindulge, didn't eat anything GIRD unfriendly on the day it hit.

Since after dinner on Sunday (steak, broccoli & rice) my throat has been on fire. I have done everything imaginable to manage it, and there has been no improvement, and I still get splashes of acid in my throat. I've been eating nothing but GERD friendly foods, which has been getting more and more restricted as my throat gets more and more sore (last night's dinner was mashed potatoes). I saw a nurse practitioner last night, who basically said "suck it up", so I'll be following up with my family doc on Saturday.

In the meantime, can you give me any suggestions on how to manage it? I haven't slept more than 10min at a time since the flare up started, and I'm constantly managing headaches and migraines due to the lack of sleep.

It'd be one thing if I knew what triggered it, but I am incredibly frustrated that it happened when I was doing everything right! It didn't hit when I stuffed myself at a buffet a couple weeks ago, so why did it hit with a simple dinner that I've never reacted to before?

I'm exhausted, I'm frustrated, I'm in pain, I'm nauseous from the pain, and I feel helpless to change my situation. Please offer some suggestions!

Fuzzy12
09-08-16, 10:17 AM
Is this similar to heartburn? What worked wonders for me was liquid gaviscon. It's an antacid. Not sure you get it in Canada but I'd assume so.

Also, very soothing on the throat is coconut water or milk.

And have you tried sleeping propped up rather than flat ie lots of pillows behind your back or while sitting up

Hope you feel better soon.

Unmanagable
09-08-16, 10:23 AM
Have you ever tried eliminating meat, dairy, and eggs? My husband suffered greatly from reflux and gout prior to me making drastic dietary changes for myself (to help with gall bladder attack).

He eats mostly plant-based now, but still chooses to eat meat and dairy, and while his gout hasn't returned for quite some time, and his reflux symptom flare ups have lessened, they still show up in full force, at times.

He isn't willing to give them up for a while to see if it helps, but keeps going back for more tests hoping a doctor can find an answer.

I know I used to eat tums and rolaids quite frequently when I was still eating all of the above. I no longer have any issues with indigestion, unless I choose a bad food combination, like eating fruit after other food groups. I had been diagnosed with severe IBS and "nervous stomach" as well.

KarmanMonkey
09-08-16, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the replies; The other night my wife and I inclined the bed by 6", which helped mildly; I've also further propped myself up on pillows.

As for diet, oddly enough, food doesn't seem to affect my reflux much. I don't know what does, to be honest. My stomach just sometimes decides "I'm going to produce tonnes of acid and send some of it up your throat". Every time I cough or hiccup or burp since Sunday's dinner, a little bit of stomach acid comes with it, further irritating my throat.

I've tried a few things the past several days food-wise... Bananas, rice, mashed potatoes, steamed fish, low fat milk... All things that supposedly help GERD, but nothing. I even had awful reflux when I ate nothing for 14hrs on Monday when I had a migraine at the same time. Nothing I put in my stomach (or not put in my stomach) seems to have any effect one way or the other.

I'm on a protein pump inhibitor called Dexilant, which is a pretty heavy duty prescription to prevent acid production. I've also been taking over the counter antacids the past few days to try and help it along, and tylenol for the pain and inflamation.

I'll be dropping by the pharmacy on the way home to see if they have any further recommendations, but please keep your suggestions coming!

Toss4n
09-08-16, 01:52 PM
For me the best thing was getting off PPIs, sleeping with my body raised by 6" and taking liquid gaviscon when needed. Made the mistake of taking an extra PPI and had an instant flare up. Pretty sure no Dr has told you that PPIs cause delayed gastric emptying which is incidentally linked to reflux. A low carb diet also works for some reason (still eat the occasional bad thing, but overall I'm much better than when I was on PPIs). PPIs should never be a long-term solution. Another you might want to try is d-limonene - no idea how it works, but somehow it does (only need to take one every second day). Oh, and it also protects you against some types of cancers:

"Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). D-limonene has well-established chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer."

Source (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18072821)

KarmanMonkey
09-08-16, 02:32 PM
Wow, you're right, nobody told me about the delayed gastric emptying with PPIs. I'll definitely have to talk to my doctor about it on Saturday!

Thanks so much! Now at least I feel like there's an option I haven't explored... My dad ended up having surgery for his reflux, which ended up only being partly successful, and not in the long term. Wanted to avoid that road if possible.

p.s. Just wanted to share... Started reading about d-limonene, and found the heading "Digestive Balance of Power". Struck me funny... Like the d-limonene is a diplomat between stomach, esophagus and gall bladder...

sarahsweets
09-09-16, 02:24 PM
For me the best thing was getting off PPIs, sleeping with my body raised by 6" and taking liquid gaviscon when needed. Made the mistake of taking an extra PPI and had an instant flare up. Pretty sure no Dr has told you that PPIs cause delayed gastric emptying which is incidentally linked to reflux. A low carb diet also works for some reason (still eat the occasional bad thing, but overall I'm much better than when I was on PPIs). PPIs should never be a long-term solution. Another you might want to try is d-limonene - no idea how it works, but somehow it does (only need to take one every second day). Oh, and it also protects you against some types of cancers:

"Because of its gastric acid neutralizing effect and its support of normal peristalsis, it has also been used for relief of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). D-limonene has well-established chemopreventive activity against many types of cancer."

Source (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18072821)

I completely disagree with PPI's not being a long term solution. I didnt treat my hiatal hernia with PPI' cause once I lost a lot of weight and didnt feel anything bad anymore-I stopped taking medication. Flash forward to an endoscopy 3 years ago and I now have Barretts esphogus. My GI specialist doesnt think all cases of reflux require long term medication, but when its this erosive you are doing damage long before you feel the damage.
Karman-
Personally with this kind of an abrupt flare up, I would take myself to the ER and have an emergency endoscopy.

aeon
09-09-16, 08:44 PM
For sure, PPIs are a heavy-handed solution to the problem, and given their known and scientifically-validated side-effects and long-term consequences, I would never want to take one myself.

That said, there are times when the benefit is greater than the risk, and the consequences of not using PPIs are going to be far, far worse than what their use will present.

PPIs do have their place, but I think it is foolish to make them OTC, and I think there needs to be explicit education for a patient so treated.

Like any other drug, they are a means to an end, a tool in service of a better quality of life. That said, both doctor and patient have a responsibility, in my opinion, to do their due diligence of other approaches both before, and in concert with, any treatment with PPI medication.

THAT all said, my sense is protect that esophagus at all costs.


Cheers,
Ian

KarmanMonkey
09-13-16, 03:37 PM
The really stupid thing is that when I went to the ER last monday, they took care of my migraine, but I was so relieved that the migraine was receeding that it was only on the way home that I realized they didn't even talk to me about the GERD.

I've got an appointment with a gastro specialist in DECEMBER!!! (yay, free health care!) and hopefully will get some answers soon. My flare up seemed to start clearing up on Thursday, and now I'm just left with a persistent and nasty cough that's making it harder for the throat to heal. Of course, reading up on reflux online means now I'm paranoid about the thought that the cough is from aspirating stomach acid that came up with the reflux!

I've also established through both experimentation and a conversation with my doc that my reflux isn't diet related. There aren't any particular foods or combination that set it off. My GP seems to think that stress is the common underlying factor, but I sometimes feel that's a bit of a cop out.

My dad actually had surgery for his GERD around the same age I am now, and my brother has similar reflux issues. I don't want surgery if I can avoid it, but it's possibly in my future.

I'm back on a low dose of my PPI again, and I'm fine. My ongoing concern is that my stress levels don't seem to correlate to the flare-ups either, so I'm wondering what other underlying factors could be at play.

I just hate not knowing what the heck is going on!

Thanks for all the help and support, folks!

aeon
09-13-16, 04:17 PM
I've also established through both experimentation and a conversation with my doc that my reflux isn't diet related. There aren't any particular foods or combination that set it off. My GP seems to think that stress is the common underlying factor, but I sometimes feel that's a bit of a cop out.

It has been rare to reach this point, but do you know how I know I am under a severe amount of stress?

I get gastric reflux. :rolleyes:

Otherwise, I have no issue with it whatsoever.


Cheers,
Ian

ginniebean
09-14-16, 12:44 AM
I find carbs do this to me. Just veggies and meat seam to really help. I guess this won't help you tho. Sorry.

BellaVita
09-14-16, 02:24 AM
Maybe in December they'll prescribe you Ranitidine if you haven't tried that already.

I was prescribed that once and had a horrible reaction to it(I react poorly to antihistamines) but I think it might help with GERD? Or maybe just for ulcers idk....

There are other PPIs the doctor could prescribe that they don't sell OTC.

Or, you might have to have the surgery.

GERD is a pain. I hope you can find some relief!

sarahsweets
09-14-16, 04:24 AM
Karmon- do you have a hiatal hernia?

KarmanMonkey
09-14-16, 09:54 AM
Karmon- do you have a hiatal hernia?

Not a visible one... Reading up on swallowing disorders I'm find myself musing about the idea that if I grew up with a mild case, would I know my experience was abnormal?