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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board
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Old 04-05-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
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canadave HB User
heartburn+fatigue+irritable+nonrestorati ve sleep = GERD?

Hi all,

To start at the end, I'm seeing a doctor for all this in nine days, but I just wanted to get some opinions here about what might be happening with me before I go.

I'm 36 years old. About four or five years ago, I gradually noticed that I was having recurring heartburn, and had a sort of constant ill-defined burning sensation around my sternum. I also started feeling really rundown, had no energy, and didn't want to go anywhere or hang out with friends. I had a general feeling of "unwellness"...just a sort of malaise. It would come and go over the course of each day. During the "down" parts, I would become irritable and cranky, and also felt the burning sensation a little more pronounced.

My doctor sent me for various blood workups, which were all negative, and also sent me to a gastro Dr. I wound up having a barium X-ray, an EGD, and an abdominal ultrasound. All were negative, but the comments on the EGD report said that there was some signs of mild GERD.

After going on Nexium for a while, my symptoms seemed to improve, and soon after I stopped because it was expensive, things stayed relatively okay, although still not "how I used to be." So I just basically lived with it.

In the past few weeks, though, things are back to "bad"; in fact, worse. I'm now also having a sort of lightheaded "spacey" feeling, combined with shortness of breath, where it feels like my lungs are being stopped from fully expanding. I find myself unconsciously massaging my abdomen under my ribcage, to the left of my sternum, where I'm having a vague sort of discomfort. I'm constantly tired and irritable. I'll go through moments during the day when I'm sort of okay and functional, and then slide back into feeling crummy.

I've also noticed it's worse when I first wake up. I seem to sleep okay, but when I wake up, I can barely move out of bed, I'm so tired...even if I had plenty of sleep. Oh, and one other thing--when I stand up, I often feel faint and have to grab onto something. This happens more often than it ever used to.

So, in short, I have no idea what's going on. I assume I do have some sort of GERD, since I have heartburn and also have some very occasional regurgitation of bile up into my mouth. But what's more worrying to me is the constant fatigue, lightheadedness, unwell feeling, and shortness of breath. Are these also part and parcel of GERD, or indications of something else going on?

I was trying to look up what this could add up to, and the best I could come up with was ulcers, maybe causing anemia--but the EGD four years ago showed a healthy esophagus, stomach, and duodenum (except for the slight signs of GERD mentioned on the report). Plus, all blood work I've had was normal--except for a recent high triglycerides reading six months ago.

As I said, I'm seeing a doctor for all this in nine days, but I honestly feel scared to wait that long--every day I seem to be getting a little bit worse. Is GERD really capable of causing all this?

Sorry for the long post, just feel like April 14 can't come soon enough, and grasping at straws...

Thanks,
Dave

 
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Old 04-05-2008, 01:17 PM   #2
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bethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB Userbethsheba HB User
Re: heartburn+fatigue+irritable+nonrestorati ve sleep = GERD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by canadave View Post
... About four or five years ago, I gradually noticed that I was having recurring heartburn, and had a sort of constant ill-defined burning sensation around my sternum. I also started feeling really rundown, had no energy, and didn't want to go anywhere or hang out with friends. I had a general feeling of "unwellness"...just a sort of malaise. It would come and go over the course of each day. During the "down" parts, I would become irritable and cranky, and also felt the burning sensation a little more pronounced....In the past few weeks, though, things are back to "bad"; in fact, worse. I'm now also having a sort of lightheaded "spacey" feeling, combined with shortness of breath, where it feels like my lungs are being stopped from fully expanding. I find myself unconsciously massaging my abdomen under my ribcage, to the left of my sternum, where I'm having a vague sort of discomfort. I'm constantly tired and irritable. I'll go through moments during the day when I'm sort of okay and functional, and then slide back into feeling crummy.

I've also noticed it's worse when I first wake up. I seem to sleep okay, but when I wake up, I can barely move out of bed, I'm so tired...even if I had plenty of sleep....
Dave, some of the things that are happening to you suggest an unidentified sleeping disorder. Sleep apnea can cause acid reflux, a spacey feeling during the day, fatigue, irritability, and numerous other problems. Unfortunately, sleep disorders don't show up in lab work (unless they are contributing to acid reflux, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, etc.).

Just for your info, I had reflux for over 20 years and it disappeared (except for a brief stint with a blood pressure med) when I got a cpap machine.

Unfortunately, the docs are not well educated in sleep medicine so you may need to do the research yourself. I had symptoms for over twenty years, but it was a relative who "diagnosed" me, and my sleep specialist said all of my symptoms were on my chart....but all of my regular doctors missed them!

Bethsheba

Last edited by bethsheba; 04-05-2008 at 01:17 PM.

 
Old 04-05-2008, 01:31 PM   #3
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Re: heartburn+fatigue+irritable+nonrestorati ve sleep = GERD?

Hi Dave,
Your symptoms are very like mine, i get extremely irritable and tired when my gerd is at me. I do get light headedness but i put that down to sinusitis, which i suffer from. your stomach is one of the most important organs in your body and if thats out of sync your body just wont function properly. Your EGD was done 4 years ago so your gerd has probably come back. when i was getting all those crummy days i worried i might have been slightly stressed and my doc put me on antidepressants and even with those it didnt make any difference so i put it down to gerd. you probably need another EGD, mine showed nothing 2 years ago and they are sending me for another now, they are convinced it is gerd or hiatus hernia. my sympathy goes out to you i know what its like to worry about this awful illness, take care and i hope you get sorted.
Claire.

 
Old 04-08-2008, 04:04 PM   #4
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Boomerue HB User
Re: heartburn+fatigue+irritable+nonrestorati ve sleep = GERD?

I have had pain in my tummy and ribs and back and a burning in my tummy , so I took slippery elm tablets, they took away the pain in the back and tummy but then I felt like I had a constant sore throat and a feeling of some thing stuck in my throat.
I have been taking the tablets for 2 weeks and the last few days the pain is back again, would it be intergestion and heart burn I feel so sick that all I want to do is lie dwon and when I do it feels a bit better.
I feel it is worse when I am hungry any ideas please
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