I've been suffering Reflux on and off since last december when I had my first bout of it, never even knew of it's existance until then. It would happen overnight when sleeping, a burning throat upon waking at say 2am or 4am or even earlier. This happened for 4-5 days until it intensified one monday morning when I woke around 5:00am with a throat on fire, a temperature which was soaring, low level headche and very dry mouth. I had googled around with the symptoms I was suffering and after some time stumbled across this thing called Acid Reflux. It seemed to match my symptoms so I hit the local GP with this and he agreed with what I was saying. He prescribed me Somac, one of the PPI's and said to take one each morning before breakfast and that I should feel better with 3-7 days or so. He also said to avoid acidic foods and I also read the booklet that came with the meds on what to avoid. The rest of the week was much the same, the odd daytime symptoms such as that rush of stuff into the throat and and then it goes back down as quick as it appeared. That happened on the monday but not again. I had a Pink Lady apple on the Tuesday night and it flared the acid up with such vigour that I was regretting eating it as all this stuff settled in my throat for about 2hrs. Each morning I kept waking around 1-2am with the raging sore throat and hideous fever which worried me more. My daytime symptoms were mild, just the feeling of stuff sitting in the throat making me swallow constantly to try and dislodge it from there.
By the weekend my overnight symptoms were starting to drop a little, the throat wasn't as burnt and the fever was settling down to low levels. I had radically changed my diet and on the Saturday evening decided to try another apple as I'd seen so many people online raving about them; about how they were the one thing to have the most effect. So I tried a different apple this time, a Red Delicious, mid afternoon and had no reflux this time at all. I continued to have an Apple around mid afternoon and a few slices before bed time and my reflux by tuesday of the next week was literally a bad memory. By the end of that second week it was completely gone but I still took the Somac each morning and laid on the tilted bed on a few pillows. I then went on a reflux-free period for over 2 months but this just made me go back to my old diet a bit and it re-emerged for a short time in mid March, but it was different. This time I would wake with a hideously dry tongue and mouth with an extremely faint burnt feel which at times just felt immensely dried out. This happened for a week and then went away again. I then went reflux-free for around 6 weeks and it re-emerged in May and has settled since then, hitting me on and off. At first I could see possible triggers and would expel them from my diet but it was hard because 99% of my reflux happens while sleeping. I can eat a chocolate bar and feel perfectly fine in the 2 hours after eating it. I can eat a donut and feel the same. Can eat a takeaway meal and feel normal. Can use a bbq sauce with dinner and feel fine. My symptoms would just hit at 2am or 4am or 7am. I don't eat within 3hrs of bedtime and drinks lots of water, cutting right back on my old milk intake. It became hard to know what was bad and what was good as I never suffered any negative symptoms after eating anything, it would just hit in those early hours when sleeping. I hardly ever feel bloated and never have stomach pains or body aches like so many here mention. I just have this at times awful early morning reflux which hits my mouth mostly, and mostly doesn't even affect my throat at all.
It's really frustrating like when I told my GP last evening about it. I can go right through each day feeling perfectly normal and when I hit the bed at night I don't know what my sleep will be like. When I wake each time during sleep it's all I can think about, how am I? and all that. After reading this site earlier I didn't even realise you had to take the PPI 30mins before eating. I would just take it at anytime during the morning, usually after breakfast when I remembered to take one. My GP last evening said to change to taking the Pariet just before dinner instead of the morning seeing as I have literally no problems during the day. When I changed over to the Pariet a little time ago it killed off a rather bad acid attack I had over a few days where my mornings were full of the stuff, not just the sleeping time. Within one day of taking the Pariet my sleeping was far improved and most days I just woke with a slight warm feel in the throat around 7am. But I have lapsed with foods here and there and this has caused the rollercoaster effect this last 3-4 weeks. I really miss the old days of having my glass of milk right before bed which I did for years and years and years, laying there in bed sipping it all down while listening to the radio.
I read on here just before that an empty stomach over a long period of time, from say 8pm to 7am could actually be a cause for overnight acid problems. Do others here just suffer from reflux while sleeping like I do? And if so what remedies have helped out with that and allowed a reflux-clear sleep on most nights? Sorry this was so long but I made much to say.
I take Nexiun one hour before dinner and that seems to work for me. Although most symptoms are gone my sore throat is still hanging on. Annoying to say the least. My ENT said this is a longer healing area because it's very sensitive.
Thanks for the replies. I went to my GP today and talked to him about all this and how the posts of yours [neddyflanders] were as if I had made the posts myself, about how your problems were exactly like mine. I got a script off him for the Pepsid (Famotidine 20mg) and may start that tonight in the same way you do.
I was also telling the doc about how I always had a glass of milk before bed for over a decade or more. When my reflux first started in December last year I jumped online to find out what could be troubling me and came across many health sites which gave out all their reflux remedies and what to avoid etc etc. One of them was avoiding milk within 3hrs of bedtime which hit me hard. From that sunday when I read it I stopped my milk intake last thing before sleep and the reflux which had hit around 6am until then suddenly started to hit around 1am, just 2 hrs into sleep. I remember on about the 3rd day into that hideous week I gave in around 2am and got myself a full glass of milk which I slowly drank over 20mins or so and lulled back into sleep around 3am. Each wake-up after that I just suffered from the residual feeling of what happened back around 1am with no new reflux occuring.
Since that week I have completely stopped drinking milk within 3hrs of bedtime and only this morning did I decide to undertake it again around 4am when I woke with a slightly warm throat and minimal other problems. I drank a full glass and laid back down and fell asleep again around 4:45am and woke again a bit after 6am and felt fine. Only when I woke again around 7:30pm did I have some minor reflux, some 3 and a half hours after drinking the milk. Today the doc told me that's what people used to do before reflux meds ever became available, to drink milk during the episodes and right before sleeping as it coats the stomach and acts as a settling agent. I started to think that the removal of my milk before sleep could have actually worked against me as drinking milk during the day doesn't affect me at all and possibly acts as a calming agent to me as it's been my lifelong favourite drink to have. Well I can only try these new methods to see if my nights can again be ones to actually sleep and rest rather than be ones of trepidation and the unknown.
Can't comment on the milk, I haven't drank any milk in years (never liked the taste). These days I still get minor issues with reflux but they are always my fault, like forgetting to take pill or taking it the wrong time. Also I eat whatever I want now but have to admit I have cut back on the major junk foods (except chocolate chip cookies). I drink wine, eat spaghetti and love hot wings. Of course those things never made my reflux worse even when it was bothering me big time.
I took my Pariet yesterday at 5:30pm for the third day and tried the Pepcid just before bedding down and I woke around 2hrs into sleep with a real taste of acid in my throat like never before, like there was a pool of it just sitting there. Never experienced that before, would only have a mild burn feel or dryness of late or nothing at all. I went back to sleep about 30mins later after drinking some water and woke again an hour later with pretty bad reflux in my throat and mouth, it was so disheartening. I fully believe it was the Pepsid as after I took it I got alot of gas from both ends while laying in bed for those 45mins before falling asleep and my stomach had these slight cramps and slight aches to it which have continued to this morning (11am now). My stomach hardly ever has any cramps or aches and pains, it's just this sleeping issue that affects me with the odd times of mucous pooling in the throat for short periods once a week or so. So I guess I just need to go back to the Pariet just before dinner and leave it at that and hope for a dramatic reduction to the sleeping problems. I did the PPI (Pariet) just before dinner on monday and tuesday and my sleeping problems were a slightly warm/irritated throat around 4am and minor mouth issues hitting around 7am. Before taking the Pariet like this, I had a rather bad patch of 5-7 days leading up to monday where the sleeping was a lot worse.