Hello this is my first time posting, so I'm sorry if someone has answered a similar question already...
In April I have developed problems with feeling stomach tightness and discomfort after eating and most of the time, difficulty breathing. It feels as if even if I take a big breath, the amount of air I breathe in can no satisfy the air I need...
Later in May I felt that there's a lump in my throat. And starting in June, the symptoms have worsened and I found myself having to constantly belch to make myself feel better. But right after I push the gas out, I feel that there's gas stuck in my throat and the need to belch again to relieve it. There can be soft belching as soon as I wake up and loud belching during the day and especially after eating. About in August I started to feel throat irritation after I wake up... I was really stressed with school, so now that I dropped a few classes, even though I still need to belch everyday, the frequency of belching has decreased. (Before I could belch constantly every few seconds or so!) I don't feel lump in my throat, and the breathing problem is not as bad.
Right now I still have belching symptoms, but I am more worried that I have constant throat irritation even up to my palate. I went to a gastro doctor who said that my belching symptom and throat problems are probably irrelevant. Because I was reading this board before, I mentioned to him about LPRD (I think I fit the symptoms described), and he said "that's very rare"
I did my upper GI endoscopy yesterday and was found negative. So I'm wondering, does negative upper GI endoscopy ensure that my throat problem is not LPRD because acid must pass the sphinctor and esophagus to get to throat? And what should be my next step?? Should I see a throat specialist instead? I was under the impression that when they put the scope down to my stomach, they would examine the throat on the way... but I guess I need to do another exam just to examine the throat?
I'm an international student here so sorry for my bad English. And I am also quite confused about the U.S. health care system... Any feedback is appreciated!
An upper GI endoscopy will show any damage from acid reflux. You could still have reflux but not damage. I had 5 upper GI endoscopies over 7 years and none of them showed any reflux. I then had a 24 hour ambulatory pH test which showed severe reflux. My score was 28 and over 20 is severe. My experience is the pH test is important to identify reflux.
Both GI doctors that I went to did not see my reflux as a problem. I then went to the local hospital's Heart Burn Center and they have been great. Is there a Heart Burn Center in your area?
I can understand your confusion over the U.S. health care system. It is confusing to me also. Good luck with your reflux.
I have belching and breathing problem quite often but never feel Acid or Heartburn. I often have the lump feeling in the throat.
My symptoms started with H.Pylori and then Hiatal-Hernia was found.
I guess if you had an Endoscopy a biopsy for H.P. would have been taken. You sound like you need PPI treatment and also you could try Gaviscon.
Eat small/often and nothing to eat three hours before bedtime. Solofelix.
Thank you solofelix and Tandem Rider for the prompt reply, I really appreciate it!!
So the upper GI endoscope shows that everything is normal, and I am still waiting for the result of H.Pylori in the mail. So if my endoscope is normal, it means that there's is also no hiatal hernia, right? Another thing is, when the doctor showed me the result, he only showed me 9 pictures of lower esophagus and the stomach. With upper GI endoscope, do they also closely examine the throat? I called back and they said that they did, it's just not shown in pictures. Again, everything is found normal, but I feel constant pain and burning feeling in my throat and palate all day long. It's surprising that there's no damage whatsoever. Since the gastro doctor said it's normal, am I good without a laryngoendoscopy? Does upper GI endoscope clear whatever larngyoscope examines?
Last question is... I am in the midprocess of requesting the 24H pH test... but the GI doctor is getting back to me pretty slowly. Can I call the hospital and just request for one???
It is my understanding that an upper endoscopy will show damage from reflux but you could have reflux with pain and no damage. Some GI doctors assume that if there is no reflux damage then the reflux is not too bad. My GI doctor said that I did not need the pH test but at the Heart Burn Center in a different city the pH test showed that I had severe reflux.
The hospital may require a referral from a doctor to do the pH test. The hospital will also want to know how you are going to pay for the pH test. Your GI doctor may be able to do the pH test. Good luck, I know that it is frustrating.
If you read all of these posts, you will go crazy and probably be able to associate atleast 1/2 of the symptoms to each person. I basically have the same symptoms you have. I had the endoscope, barium x-ray, ultra sound and blood tests. All negative. The 24 hr ph test is very good but not conclusive either. If you can get the new bravo version then that's the best one because they can place the probes at the lower and upper sphincters to measure exactly how much acid may be traveling back up. The other test is uncomfortable. I ended up going to an ENT who put a little camera in my nose and down to my vocal chords. The ends were red which she said indicated acid was coming up but a word of caution. I know a retired ENT who told me that could be caused by 100 different things. I would have to say for me personally, I don't believe the doctors really can diagnose beyond reasonable doubt why we were fine one day and then not the next and can't seem to fix the problem. I've been on Nexium 2 x day now for almost one month and really not seeing a difference. Be thankful your endoscope was negative. Be pro active but don't becone neurotic either. It's easy to do. Hope you feel better!
I almost had a chuckle when I read your whole post. Not because it's funny, but because of how closely you described my exact symptoms. You have Acid Reflux (GERD) and it's pretty obvious. Have you tried any medicine? Get yourself some Pepcid AC Maximum Strengh (Famotidine). When you have your symptoms, just swallow one pill and see what happens (I'm betting that your burping will stop). Like I said, I have almost identical symptoms as yours, and this drug has helped me quite a lot - I really hope you give it a try. Eventually you might be able to take it before you eat, and you'll maybe eliminate the problem before it starts.
If this gives you relief, then that's great. If not, turn to PPI's (they have been shown in studies to be more effective than H2 blockers) - I would suggest two 20 mg of something very widely available, like Prilosec. I would take one in the morning and one in the afternoon to start (doctors usually say 2 weeks); After that, maybe one a day for a couple more weeks. The hope here is that whatever needs to heal will heal, and that eventually you will be off of medications, if you can.
I don't want to say that the tests that you're trying to get are a waste of time, but to be honest, no matter what they find, they're pretty much just going to tell you to do the same thing they would tell you to do if you didn't take the test (i.e. Take PPI's, adjust diet, lose weight, etc.).
Let me know if you've tried the medications I've talked about.
I've had the 24 hour pH test twice. First time it showed reflux and I went on to have surgery. The second time I was symptom free at the time, but they still insisted I went. It didn't show reflux so I was discharged. But still I suffer......