Reflux or GERD?

CinderellaOctober 25, 2004

Anyone here suffer from eithe of these. I have a constant acid burn in the back of my throat. I am on Nexium and have been for a month. Before that I was on Prevacid (one a day) when this started. I was switched to two a day but no improvement. Had the upper endoscopy and was told that all is well BUT it isnt! This acid burn is there all the time no matter what I do or do not eat or drink.

I am just looking for anyone that might have had such a similar problem.

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gandbb

That's pretty much where I am. I haven't had the endoscopy because I am not sure what the point is. I am taking nexium twice a day, alka seltzer before I go to bed and I have maalox next to the bed for when I wake up in the night. Sucks doesn't it!! I have to admit that I have gotten somewhat better since watching my diet much more carefully. No onions, garlic, tomatoes, curry, candy, milk, chips, hot sauce, or much of anything else that might make food interesting. I am in a lot of pain from fibromyalgia and other ailments, but I take no anti-inflammatories because there are none my stomach can tolerate. I can't take codeine either. I make do with a little bit of Tylenol, but it doesn't help much.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 7:35PM
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Nina_MD

I have had Acid Reflux for about 6 months or more. I was taking Prevacid once a day and now take two. I was losing my voice and sent to ENT (ears nose throat) and was told my voice box was very irritated and put on Zantac (two a day). I was told it can take 6 months or more for my voice to heal. Occasionally, I will get that acid burning in my throat and it is horrible. I go back the doctor next week and I am going to ask that my Prevacid be changed to something else.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 9:17PM
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gooseberry_guy

I heard or read something recently about acid reflux and why medications prescribed to help with this problem do not work because the problem is actually caused by a deficiency of stomach acid. I don't remember what the source was, so I did a search for something relating to the use of vinegar and acid reflux and found the link below.

I do know that the stomach is supposed to be a highly concentrated source of acid for your digestive system to operate properly. It doesn't make sense to me why eliminating something that is required for digestive processes would be in your best interest. That's why the supplementation with an acid should make sense. It would seem that stomach acid is a normal condition, but when the stomach allows the escape of this acid, that some other problem is occurring. JMO

GG

Here is a link that might be useful: apple cider vinegar remedy

    Bookmark   October 26, 2004 at 11:19PM
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PeaBee4

Gooseberry-guy, GERD is Acid Reflux. It means that because of one thing or another, the acidic contents of the stomach manage to get back up into the esophogus and eventually erode the protective lining. Sometimes, it will even reach up farther and erode the bronical tubes and lungs. Trust me, the last thing on earth that an eroded esophogus needs is vinegar. If the erosion is too deep, bleeding can occur.

Reducing the amount of acid in the stomach is one means of reducing the problem. Another is surgery to tighten the muscles controling the opening from the stomach to the esophogus.

Cinderella, have you been checked by an ENT physician? I just wondered if that burning in the back of your throat could be caused by something connected with your sinuses or throat polyps. It's a little high to be caused by an acid reflux unless you were doing a lot of belching and hiccuping.

There are several different medications that work a little differently than Prevacid. Maybe one of them would work a little better for you.
PB

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 1:51PM
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Cinderella

Oh yes, I have gone the ENT route. ENT found a small growth in my throat that I went into the hosp to have removed but that was just something he found in the search to find out what the sore throat thing is.
In the end the ENT said it was reflux and the gastroenterologist says it was my sinuses. There is a no win situation here but the sour burn is getting worse. Going back to regular dr. on Fri. but I don't know what to expect there. I am tired of this since it has been 5 months. I have had reflux before and it was taken care of with Prilosec but what ever this is isn't being touched by anything. I was already on Prevacid when this hit. I am just frustrated. I have been on Nexium for over a month now with no improvement,in fact the sourness is worse.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 3:56PM
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PeaBee4

hmmmmm, I think I would be inclined to see a second ENT. At least, maybe you could get an opinion as to WHY it isn't your sinuses or post nasal drip. Since you have had a bout with reflux before, I am sure that you can tell when medication isn't working well.

Do you have confidence in the gastroenterologist? Let's hope your regular doctor can come up with something.

I have a friend that was not getting much relief. After years of treatment with little improvement, she happened to mention something about having her regular drink after dinner. Her doctor's mouth flew open.....don't you know you aren't supposed to drink? She told him that he had NEVER told her that!! Maybe he did, maybe she didn't listen,,,, but anyway, there may be something in your diet that your stomach can't handle that keeps your throat from healing. My problem is raw veggies. Especially onions and carrots. Any kind of high fiber cereal will cause problems too.

Anyway, I sure hope that Friday's appointment will shed some light on your problem.
PB

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 4:28PM
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pamven

I think everyone has different triggers that set off the reflux. Mine was refined sugars combined with lard like shortenings. Like what you would find in Twinkies or Raspberry Zingers etc. I can eat all the spicey food in the world with no problem but let a Zinger pass my lips and im in a world of hurt. I guess the sugars combine with stomache acids to form a vinegar-like substance more potent than real vinegar.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 6:37PM
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Cinderella

Well Peabee4, I don't have much confidence in the gastro at all but I don't have a choice of who I go to due to the insurance that we now have. I'm not all that sure about the ENT either. I am hoping that there might be someone else that they can send me to but I have my doubts.
Thanks for the good wishes for Fri. I am getting kind of desperate lately. That is why I am looking for any answers that I can find on any of my forums.
I appreciate everyone's comments.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 7:07PM
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gandbb

Between diet and medications I was starting to do reasonably well and then today in my desperate search for flavor I ate a huge glob of garlic soft cheese. I am sooooo paying for my sins. I think you will have to figure out exactly what foods work for you. The best way is to start with 5 bland foods and add one new food every couple of days. I did that, but it was hard and it is harder still to consistently utilize what I learned. I began with turkey, white rice, canned sugarless pears and peaches and sweet potatoes. IF you were to try this, you might find yourself feeling quite ill and headachy 1 -3 days into it because your body will be throwing off toxins. Good luck with whatever you decide and please let us know what you find out from the doctors.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2004 at 11:25PM
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jenn

My acid reflux and heartburn improved dramatically when I drastically reduced (in some cases eliminated) the following from my diet:

Coffee
Chocolate
Sugary/fatty foods (like cookies, cake frosting, cream pies and casseroles)
Onions
Garlic (including seasoning)
Tomatoes
Alcohol

In addition, eating smaller meals (without the above foods) makes a big diffence.

I have not taken any medication. Just making those dietary changes (and losing some weight through exercise) made a world of difference.

Did your doctor discuss the dietary angle with you? Sometimes doctors are just quick to prescribe a pill without suggesting any other remedies. If I had not gotten relief from making lifestyle changes, I surely would have tried medication.

I occasionally eat those foods but I don't have a big problem now because I am not eating them all the time. And I no longer drink coffee at all which is a big culprit.

Jen

    Bookmark   October 28, 2004 at 3:24PM
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gooseberry_guy

PB,

The information I referred to would only be for someone who would be in the early stages of this problem, and who may not yet require advanced treatment. Certainly, anyone with acid reflux disease that has major erosion of the esophagus, would be beyond any potential relief from using vinegar to try and correct imbalances of digestion. It's interesting though, that the first thing that people do when they start to have problems with acid reflux, is to begin using things like Rolaids, Tums, or Bicarb of Soda, to reduce the amount of stomach acid coming back up. If you take a pop bottle and fill it with a cup of vinegar and then add a little soda, you may reduce the acid, but you will also cause the contents to foam up and push up out of the bottle just as you would if you used some Rolaids for acid reflux. I would think it would make more sense just to drink plain old water instead of using an antacid. You'd be washing the acid back into the stomach, and diluting it at the same time, and not pressurizing your stomach to push this material back up.

A website that discusses some options for relief of acid reflux is at ths site:

http://www.greatestherbsonearth.com/nsp/gastro_health.htm

Some other information I came across, discusses the relationship of ulcers caused by H.pylori bacteria and acid reflux. Apparently H.pylori is one key factor involved with acid reflux problems. Here is the website for that:

http://www.acu-cell.com/dis-hpy.html

About 10 years ago I was diagnosed with having an ulcer. My condition caused me to have stomach pain which was most severe after a few hours of sleep. I accidentally discovered that taking very large doses of vitamin C would ease the pain, and I could sleep. Now, vitamin C is an acid just like vinegar, and although I don't recall having any symptoms of acid reflux, this did provide relief for the pain, so somehow this was affecting the ulcer. One website even goes into a little detail about the use of vitamin C for ulcers. My doctor tried Prevacid and one other prescription, which I can't recall, neither one helped. I don't know why he didn't suggest an antibiotic for the ulcer at the time. I found a recommendation for a product called Mastic which was supposed to be effective on H.pylori bacteria. I used the product for about a month, and I have had only one problem with an ulcer since. I went back on the Mastic for another month and no longer have any problems.

Anyone having digestion problems should also investigate Digestive Enzymes. These are beyond the papaya pills normally available to help digestion. A good quality product should contain a variety of enzymes which will work to digest fats, sugars, starches, and proteins. I've been using them for the past couple years with good results. Here is a website that goes into some detail:

http://www.wholehealthmd.com/refshelf/substances_view/1,1525,10051,00.html#Health_Benefits

GG

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 12:05AM
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PeaBee4

Cinderella......did you get to the doctor Friday? I sure hope that he was able to give you some relief. It just takes soooooooo long for a stomach or esophogus to heal. I think changing the diet is the worse. That cup of morning coffee was my downfall for a long, long time. And skipping good tasting salad dressing made with vinegar? I don't even want to think about it.

I just happened to think.....do you still have your tonsils?
PB

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 10:26AM
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Cinderella

I did go and he thinks I have sinus secretions on the back of my throat. He gave me something called Pamine that is supposed to 'dry things up' I am supposed to give this a couple of days to see what happens and call him. So far it makes my mother taste more sour and dry. I will try it and see what happens but this just isn't something I expected to try. I'll try almost anything. This med is also sometimes used for stomach acid but I am not crazy about that idea. I don't want to use too many things that affect my stomach.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2004 at 5:05PM
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Jonesy

Quit taken the meds for awhile and see what happens. I have gone from mild to horrendous indigestion/gerd and I found out the anti acids and PPIs are rebounding. Now I am just using 2 or 3 pepcid like meds a week and some soda. I am much, much, much better. My husband and I have had trouble with aspirins, antihistamines, pain meds and anti acids rebounding on us. I reached the soda and it will not hurt you, as a matter of fact most of the sites I visited recommended 1 tsp with a half glass of warm water after each meal.

    Bookmark   November 8, 2004 at 6:24PM
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