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Old 10-01-2009, 03:16 AM   #1
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please help, im scared to death!!!


What a nightmare this is!!! Please read and give me some advice. First a brief rundown of my conditions: High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, moderate Sleep Apnea, Acid Reflux... I was diagnosed with acid reflux back in 2004 after a barium table tilt test came back positive for it. I never really thought too much about it. Never took the medicine. Since then I have struggled with my blood pressure and diabetes. (I take Glucovance for diabetes, and Lisinopril with HCTZ for BP) .... In this last month however I have been cursed with awful symptoms that I never had before. I have panicked thinking that I am dying on 4 separate times resulting in a visit to the Emergency Room. I had blood work, EKG's and two sets of chest Xrays done within a 3 week period. Everything comes back normal thus far... however these symptoms have me so worked up that I can't sleep or enjoy my days with family etc.

Here is my freaky symptoms:

*Constant Post nasal drip
* Frequent Throat Clearing
*Hoarseness
* Sensation of a lump in the throat area
* Chest congestion with no cough
* Chest and throat tightness
* Burping more than usual
* More frequent episodes of heartburn

Of these symptoms, the constant feeling that there is something in my throat has me freaked out the most!! It sometimes feels like I can't get enough air or that my throat is being squeezed.

I went to my doctor's AGAIN complaining of the congestion and lump in throat. She started me on Prilosec today to see if that will help. But I am so confused and worried. How on earth can something like Acid reflux cause this much symptoms?? How can it make you feel like you can't breathe or swallow at times?? I just don't get it.

I have had bad cases of bronchitis before with severe congestion and that is what this feels like but WITHOUT the cough. At least with bronchitis you cough and relieve some of the congestion when you expel the mucus.

I am so scared to death that I can't sleep. I need advice, encouragement and reassurance. Please tell me that these symptoms ARE indeed common amongst sufferers with acid reflux and GERD.

Thanks for listening.

 
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Old 10-01-2009, 04:14 AM   #2
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Quote:
Here is my freaky symptoms:

*Constant Post nasal drip
* Frequent Throat Clearing
*Hoarseness
* Sensation of a lump in the throat area
* Chest congestion with no cough
* Chest and throat tightness
* Burping more than usual
* More frequent episodes of heartburn
Those aren't freaky symptoms, those are very common symptoms for acid reflux. Nothing you describe is unusual at all (and all fit the textbook description of acid reflux).

Quote:
How on earth can something like Acid reflux cause this much symptoms?? How can it make you feel like you can't breathe or swallow at times?? I just don't get it.
It's actually fairly simple to understand. When you have heartburn you're actually feeling the acid irritating your throat and esophagus.

The acid from your stomach "refluxes" into your esophagus and creates areas of irritation. Those areas get inflamed which causes a "lump in the throat" feeling (because you actually have an inflamed lump in your throat). In order to protect those inflamed areas the body increases the production of mucus which is why you have post-nasal drip and have to clear your throat all of the time (to get rid of the excess mucus your body is creating).

Sometimes when the acid refluxes it reaches the tissues that line the entrance to your lungs and irritates them as well. Those tissues also become irritated and inflamed which causes asthma-like symptoms of chest tightness and difficulty breathing. The coughing is your body's natural reaction to that irritation as it tries to get rid of whatever is causing the irritation.

It will take some time for the Prilosec to start to work but you also need to consider making some lifestyle changes. Raise the head of your bed 4-6 inches, don't eat anything for 3 hours before you go to bed, avoid trigger foods like chocolate, alcohol, peppermint and tomato-based sauces, avoid tight-fitting clothing and, if you're overweight, try to get down to a normal weight.

The medication won't solve the problem but it should give your body a chance to heal, unfortunately it takes time - as long as 8-12 weeks for the more serious symptoms to subside.

 
Old 10-01-2009, 04:40 AM   #3
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

It is quite common for people with acid reflux to go to hospital thinking they are having a heart attack, because the pain can be so similar.

Take the Prilosec every day, and also, at the first sign of pain, take a liquid antacid such as Mylanta or Maalox (the liquid works more quickly than the tablets)

Losing weight is imperative if you are overweight

 
Old 10-01-2009, 08:27 PM   #4
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

LPR is a bit more challenging to treat, but through trial and error you should find a combination of things you can do to help most with your symptoms. For many of us, that includes taking the PPI's twice per day.

If you haven't changed your diet, you certainly need to do so. It can really help. The sleeping on an incline helps as well. You are letting gravity help your body. Also make sure you don't wear tight clothing around your waist.

Good Luck,
Mountain Reader

Last edited by Administrator; 07-06-2010 at 12:30 PM.

 
Old 10-07-2009, 02:40 PM   #5
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Things got much better for me after I went to a Pulmonologist (lung specialist).

I was previously diagnosed with asthma which is a lung disorder. My symptoms were difficulty breathing (wheezing especially at night), allergies, nasal drainage, earaches.

My GP had previously tried several different allergy meds and sent me to a allergy specialist which tried shots with little results. The best allergy meds that have worked for me are Allegra D or Allegra along with Sudafed which is what the D is in the Alegra D, (there are 12 and 24 hour pills available but have to be signed for at the pharmacy counter). For some of the allergies that cause my nasal drainage (usually running down my throat) only Sudafed is affective. Warning: Sudafed can cause heart or blood pressure problems!

The pulmonologist prescribed xopenex and a nebulizer which has been a life saver! I still get a couple of infections a year and have to take allergy meds as well as xopenex as needed and advair.

Some of my allergic reactions were caused by acid reflux.
Staying on acid reflux meds is very bad for your long term health!
The best thing that I have found for acid reflux is to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables along with a probiotic which is what the acid meds destroy over time and in turn keep your body from being able to metabolize anything that you eat!

May God bless you in all that you do!

 
Old 10-07-2009, 02:42 PM   #6
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

By the way, I control my blood pressure by eating Salmon 2-3 times a week!

 
Old 10-07-2009, 07:02 PM   #7
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Skane2009,

All the suggestions are good, but you might have LPR as stated by MountainReader. I have had acid reflux for years and had been on H2 meds graduating to PPI's eventually. No inflammation of esophagus.

I went to an ENT recently as I had developed, in last two years, a morning hacking cough with throat clearing. Also, in last 6 mos. I started developing problems with breathing. I thought it was my sleep apnes returning (I had double jaw surgery to correct 3 yrs ago-was not overweight). I went to my allergist, and despite medication I still suffered from the hacking cough. I had another sleep study, which showed I did NOT have sleep apnes - insomnia yes, sleep apnea no.

I was sort of at my wits end as I knew something was wrong. Finally, I decided to see an ENT. He CT'd the sinuses (not a problem). Then he scoped me and LO & BEHOLD-I had LPR. He showed me my vocal cords (took photo)-they were thickened from chronic reflux and I had a little nodule from inflammation. He upped my dose of PPI.

So then I decided it was time to see my GI doctor again. He did the EGD which was fine. Then he ordered the esophageal manometry and PH/Impedance test. (Note: the ENT said it was important do the PH/Impedance and wish more of the physicians would order the test).

Well, got my results from manometry & PH/Impedance tests - results NON-ACIDIC reflux (test was done on PPI). This was the reason for the laryngeal symptoms. I believe the breathing is related to a full stomach, but still have to see what GI doctor says when I see him next week.

I am one of those few people who have both symptoms. I still have a lot of belching, some chest pain-if I can't belch-drinking water helps with that for me.

I have controlled most of the laryngeal symptoms by not eating after 6-7pm at the latest. And that meal is a light meal-sometimes liquid. I can't believe the difference it has made most days.

My suggestion would be make sure you see an ENT and GI doctor, too.

Good Luck

 
Old 10-08-2009, 12:49 PM   #8
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

What were your manometry results? And was your reflux upright or when lying down?

 
Old 10-08-2009, 10:02 PM   #9
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

With my LPR, my refluxing was worse during the day when I was upright.

 
Old 10-09-2009, 09:01 PM   #10
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

PhilGer,

I see my doctor on Monday and will get the actual results of the manometry, but believe it will show a problem with LES. I will post later when I get copy of results. The nurse only said that it showed non-acid reflux (was done on PPI) and the doctor wanted to discuss results with me. I'm real curious about the manometry results, as everytime they gave me the water to swallow I felt it was coming back and had to swallow a 2nd time. And I've had times when I can get solid food down the esophagus.

My symptoms occur both during day for sure and at night I believe, too. I believe the breathing problem is a result of full stomach & hiatal hernia. I have many questions for my GI doctor. He had mentioned the Nissan Fundoplication as a possibly before we did the lastest round of tests.

I just wanted some definitive answers as to what is really happening. So now hopefully, I will have some answers. Then I'll have to decide what to do from there.

Last edited by TXGrama; 10-09-2009 at 09:02 PM.

 
Old 10-10-2009, 04:01 AM   #11
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

My UPDATE:

Thanks so much everyone for all the comments ..it really does help knowing that I am not alone with this.

My update is that I have been taking Prilosec for about a week now and I am actually noticing a big difference. Days 1-3 were not to much of a change but by day four, that horrible lump in throat feeling and heavy chest feeling was tons better!!

I think that my lifestyle had made my reflux problems increase to what it had become. Not so much WHAT I ate but the late night eating I believe was the main culprit.

Because I have sleep apnea and insomnia, eating even at midnight was becoming a routine for me to do. I really am trying to curb that behavior and stick to nothing after 7pm or so.

I will keep you guys posted as I progress with my Prilosec therapy. Thanks again ... and keep the comments coming!!!

 
Old 10-12-2009, 08:52 AM   #12
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

I would recommend going to a GI doc and having an upper endoscopy done. To me it sounds like you might have a heiatal hernia. This is where part of your stomach slides above your diaphragm and can cause the symptoms you are experiencing. I have a hiatal hernia and I burp often. Just a thought and maybe worth looking into. Hope this helps.

 
Old 10-14-2009, 12:14 AM   #13
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by skane2009 View Post
What a nightmare this is!!! Please read and give me some advice. First a brief rundown of my conditions: High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes, moderate Sleep Apnea, Acid Reflux... I was diagnosed with acid reflux back in 2004 after a barium table tilt test came back positive for it. I never really thought too much about it. Never took the medicine. Since then I have struggled with my blood pressure and diabetes. (I take Glucovance for diabetes, and Lisinopril with HCTZ for BP) .... In this last month however I have been cursed with awful symptoms that I never had before. I have panicked thinking that I am dying on 4 separate times resulting in a visit to the Emergency Room. I had blood work, EKG's and two sets of chest Xrays done within a 3 week period. Everything comes back normal thus far... however these symptoms have me so worked up that I can't sleep or enjoy my days with family etc.

Here is my freaky symptoms:

*Constant Post nasal drip
* Frequent Throat Clearing
*Hoarseness
* Sensation of a lump in the throat area
* Chest congestion with no cough
* Chest and throat tightness
* Burping more than usual
* More frequent episodes of heartburn

Of these symptoms, the constant feeling that there is something in my throat has me freaked out the most!! It sometimes feels like I can't get enough air or that my throat is being squeezed.

I went to my doctor's AGAIN complaining of the congestion and lump in throat. She started me on Prilosec today to see if that will help. But I am so confused and worried. How on earth can something like Acid reflux cause this much symptoms?? How can it make you feel like you can't breathe or swallow at times?? I just don't get it.

I have had bad cases of bronchitis before with severe congestion and that is what this feels like but WITHOUT the cough. At least with bronchitis you cough and relieve some of the congestion when you expel the mucus.

I am so scared to death that I can't sleep. I need advice, encouragement and reassurance. Please tell me that these symptoms ARE indeed common amongst sufferers with acid reflux and GERD.

Thanks for listening.
Have you been to a ENT, could be LPR and the larnyx is very irritated and causing the probem..it can be scarey, but once your doctor Identifies the problem, that begins a relief immediately and gives hope..

 
Old 10-14-2009, 12:17 AM   #14
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Quote:
My UPDATE:

Thanks so much everyone for all the comments ..it really does help knowing that I am not alone with this.

My update is that I have been taking Prilosec for about a week now and I am actually noticing a big difference. Days 1-3 were not to much of a change but by day four, that horrible lump in throat feeling and heavy chest feeling was tons better!!

I think that my lifestyle had made my reflux problems increase to what it had become. Not so much WHAT I ate but the late night eating I believe was the main culprit.

Because I have sleep apnea and insomnia, eating even at midnight was becoming a routine for me to do. I really am trying to curb that behavior and stick to nothing after 7pm or so.

I will keep you guys posted as I progress with my Prilosec therapy. Thanks again ... and keep the comments coming!!!
I believe your new eating habit will help you. That also should help with weight loss..I am trying the same discipline myself to help with my LPR..

Last edited by darryl57; 10-14-2009 at 12:19 AM.

 
Old 10-28-2009, 05:14 PM   #15
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Re: please help, im scared to death!!!

Your symptoms are exactly my symptoms. Today, I added wheezing when I inhale to the list. It all started for me with post nasal drip and constant throat clearing...that was about a month ago. I got so freaked out today that I finally went to the doctor. He Aciphex and assured me I have no life threatening illness. I pray it helps. Hope I made you feel better!

 
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