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Old 03-29-2007, 07:07 AM   #1
bethsheba bethsheba is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Are your doctors missing something???

I experienced acid reflux for over 20 years...diet and medications did not help. Often at night I would wake up and run to the sink to vomit. There was no warning, no pattern, no relief.

My family doctors and employment doctors(I saw several over the course of 20 years) prescribed tagamet (prior to being sold over the counter), prevacid, and some other prescription drugs but they did little to ease the acid, sore throat, nausea, pain or the other symptoms.

But overnight, my symptoms disappeared.

What happened? I had asked to see a sleep specialist because I was always tired, irritable, had to get up during the night to go to the bathroom, and I was told by a family member that I gasped and stopped breathing for periods of time when I slept (I do not snore). My sleep doctor took a look at the chart my family doctor had sent over, and told me that the prescription meds for antiacids was a sign that I had the sleeping disorder, sleep apnea. Further tests confirmed his suspicions and I was prescribed a cpap, breathing machine. My reflux disappeared overnight when I started sleeping with my little machine--no meds!!!

IMPORTANT TO KNOW

I have read that 80 to 90 percent of patients who have sleep apnea go undiagnosed, despite having clear signs and symptoms (about 15 million Americans have this disorder). Patients have had symptoms of this condition for an average of seven years before being accurately diagnosed--over this period of time they have reported seeing a family physician about 17 times and a specialist about 9 times.

Why despite obvious symptoms and regular and specialized health care visits does this condition go undiagnosed? Because physicians get less than 15 minutes training on sleep disorders and as a result they do not recognize symptoms ( like acid reflux, high blood pressure, frequent nocturea).

Sleep medicine is a new science...they're finding correlations between sleep and diabetes, acid reflux, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Acid reflux is a complex condition, but if it is not responding to treatment it is your responsiblity to do some investigative work. Many reputable universities and clinics have done medical research on the correlations between sleep apnea and acid reflux....unfortunately, not all general practioners and/or specialists keep up with the research.

I was lucky I "stumbled upon" the answer to my problem. You may not have to stumble upon the answer to your problem---but you may have to do some research...your doctor probably isn't going to do it for you.

Wishing you the best of health.

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 03-29-2007 at 06:14 PM. Reason: typo