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-   -   Are your doctors missing something??? (http://www.healthboards.com/boards/acid-reflux-gerd/485495-your-doctors-missing-something.html)

bethsheba 03-29-2007 07:07 AM

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

mkgbrook 03-29-2007 07:59 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
Bethsheba,

Well said.

Acid reflux is the result of your body for some reason producing more acid than necessary. This can be chronic due to year round alleregies and drainage.. or seasonal. It can also be the result of many other biological conditions.

But sleep is necessary for everyone allergy prone or healthy. If you do not get adequate sleep and long enough durations of ALL five stages of sleep, your body can not repair and regulate itself properly. This effects everything from you immune system to your pulmonary system and even growth. Treeating my sleep apnea has not fixed my acid reflux, but it has helped. I only have to take one pill versus two a day now. My food and environmental allergies just make me an acid factory.

Bethsheba is spot on. If your treatment is not working do not allow yourself to be talked into acceptance. Keep searching for the cause so that you can fix it to the best of the current art of medicine allows and improve the rest of your life!

respectfully,
MG

Ol'Line Rebel 03-29-2007 09:47 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
I'm not getting enough sleep because my husband is a horrible snorer (I told you about this in the SD forum), as well as my dog's allergies causing her to scratch so much it can be "awakening".

I fear my husband has sleep apnea, but I don't think I do.

Can just plain "not enough sleep" for any reason aggravate excessive acid reflux?

I have to say, that we were married for about 7 months when the alleged "GERD" suddenly struck - constant burping for 2 days that made me feel horrible, accompanied by slow deliberate hiccups. Anyway, I was disturbed constantly by husband's snoring for those 7 months, sometimes even then leaving the room. I read about sleep apnea and 1 of the recommendations for snoring was to raise the head of the bed. So I already HAD my bed-head raised 6" when the GERD struck!

The latter seemed to help but it sure hasn't stopped the snoring altogether.

But, here I am, 22 mos later, and all that time I rarely have gotten more than 5 hrs straight sleep. More often it is hard to get to sleep until 12:30 or so, then awakened about 4 am, then of course again after 6 several times. Usually I can ID all the disruptions as husband, and sometimes dog.

(Periodically, before we married, my dog would go through horrible bouts with her allergies where her ears were so bad she would deliberately wake me up hoping for me to help! But generally, the dog is only periodically bothersome.)

bethsheba 03-29-2007 10:38 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
Yes, Ol'Line Rebel, I remember you posting on the SD forum.

I don't know if just plain lack of sleep can aggravate acid reflux. I do know that many people have acid reflux at night and are not aware of it. Sleep centers are now becoming aware of this problem and have ways of testing for it during a sleep study (altho my sleep center did not).

I had no reason to suspect I had sleep apnea...it was a family member who told me that I gasped and stopped breathing for periods of a time while I slept. Although I saw my physician annually for a check up, I did not tell my doctor about my gasping or breathing problems at night, and the symptoms that I had reported to my doctors (one being acid reflux) went unrecognized . Five years later I was still sleeping "light" and blaming everything for it--back pain, shoulder pain, stomach acid, diet, my critters, the am newspaper carrier, stress, drinking too much milk/water/coffee/soda, etc. I finally asked to see a sleep specialist and was diagnosed with apnea. Now that I'm sleeping with my little machine, my aches and pains, my diet, my critters, the am newspaper carrier, stress, and liquids do not interfer with my sleep!

I'm telling you this because you may have a sleeping disorder without realizing it. You might want to learn more about sleep apnea to see if the symptoms apply to you.

Bethsheba

mkgbrook 03-29-2007 11:02 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
On'Line Rebel,

[B]But sleep is necessary for everyone allergy prone or healthy. If you do not get adequate sleep and long enough durations of ALL five stages of sleep, your body can not repair and regulate itself properly.[/B]

This was not an attempt to say everyone has sleep apnea, you may not. But we couples are not just effected by our own sleep habits, but those around us. There are sleep centers that require pairs to be tested together. My husband and I literally beat each other black and blue in our sleep if we get too close. Now we sleep on our CPAP's we are tethered and don't trespass into each other space as much. One can not get good sleep when their spouse literally kicks them out of the bed into the crevice between wall and bed.. or sleep well as a light sleeper when external noise is a factor.

My grandparents had to sleep in separate rooms to get relief from snoring. My mother and father just snore over each other until the disturb all others in the house.. that is still amusing to me. My husband and his father do the same... along with my border collie.

As Bethsheba said.. I didn't know of my sleep apnea, I don't snore like my parents or husband, or brother. But I do gasp, stop breathing, wake up more than three times a night, and sufferer from the characteristic fatigue and inability to lose weight with out my machine CPAP. If not for you, for your husband's sake you might want to try and talk him into a tandum sleep study.

Sincerely,
MG

bethsheba 03-29-2007 01:22 PM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
MG,

Again you taught me something new...now, can you teach me how to get a husband? :)!

Funny how the apnea thing runs in families. My grandparents also slept in separate bedrooms because of my grandfather's snoring. He was lucky because he was diagnosed at a university medical school with apnea years and years ago--(MG, do you know when they first identified the condition??). They didn't have machines back then (at least to my knowledge they didn't) so he always slept on an elevated bed but even then my aunt would panic because she could hear his breathing stop at night.

No, not everyone has a sleeping disorder--it's just that many people out there, doctors included, do not have any idea of what sleep apnea is or how to find out if they have the symptoms. Even if you don't have a sleeping disorder, it's very likely someone you know or someone you care about does have and perhaps your increasing knowledge can help them in some way.

Bethsheba

~K~ 03-29-2007 05:02 PM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
I do not have apnea, but have VERY little sleep due to fibromyalgia/nerve pain syndrome

mkgbrook 03-30-2007 07:15 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
Bethsheba,
Husband? Well I met mine at a martial arts clinic. Tossed him across the room and he followed me about ever since.. I have no idea why. The guys that I attracted liked me for my strong bubbly.. don't mess with me personality. I was not much of a player. The key to meeting someone is exposure go places where you like the people and activities and can meet guys. Church, self-defense classes, the park or Gym.. I do not and never will recommend a bar.

Even with my parents they were not given anything to help just given the basic sleep hygiene mantra and told to live with it. I think CPAP and many of the newer technologies have deceloped in that last twenty years. I wis my parents would go back and get tested, but they assure me they are fine. Even on the blood pressure meds and with the difficulty losing weight. They have had the related ENT relief surgeries minus the UPPP so they feel that there is nothing else to be done. If they would borrow my CPAP for one night I am sure they would be hooked.. gotta keep working on it.

As far as reflux.. we have been a tums consuming family until the release of previcid/nexium/protonix. Now we all exist on that. I am still up in the air over which is better protonix or nexium.. I need to investigat a bit further on the matter.

Sincerely,
MG

bethsheba 03-30-2007 09:56 AM

Re: Are your doctors missing something???
 
[QUOTE=mkgbrook;2892044]Bethsheba,
Husband? Well I met mine at a martial arts clinic. Tossed him across the room and he followed me about ever since.. I have no idea why. The guys that I attracted liked me for my strong bubbly.. don't mess with me personality. I was not much of a player. The key to meeting someone is exposure go places where you like the people and activities and can meet guys. Church, self-defense classes, the park or Gym.. I do not and never will recommend a bar.[/QUOTE]

:D :D :D I would have loved to see the expression on his face as he flew across the room! Yes, I agree with you about going to activities you like and meeting people you have something in common with. Must get out and about once again now that I've got the bp/med thing under control. Perhaps a class, as I've mentioned before. I've got about 3 years to catch up on! Oh, and I was never a "bar" person so we're in agreement there, too.

[QUOTE]
I think CPAP and many of the newer technologies have deceloped in that last twenty years. I wis my parents would go back and get tested, but they assure me they are fine. Even on the blood pressure meds and with the difficulty losing weight. They have had the related ENT relief surgeries minus the UPPP so they feel that there is nothing else to be done. If they would borrow my CPAP for one night I am sure they would be hooked.. gotta keep working on it.[/QUOTE]

My grandfathers' been gone about 20 years now but I don't remember when he was diagnosed. I know what you mean about sharing your cpap...my insurance company made me rent one for 3 months before letting me "buy" it but I knew the very first night I slept with it that it was staying with me. That's not to say I went throughnasal masks, facial masks, chin straps, etc., etc. and I still tweak.

I didn't realize your reflux didn't go away....but then you had more tissue issues than I did. I can say that I didn't notice any side effects from the antiacids but I suppose that doesn't help.

Take care, MG. My last post here...:wave:

Bethsheba


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