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Old 02-05-2010, 07:13 AM   #1
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awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Hello - new here - looking for reassurance. Do you recognise my story...

2 months ago started to get gnawing, burning pain in central abdomen - typically on an empty stomach - but doesn't particularly subside on eating. Not clear what is triggering it.

Then started getting pretty bad heartburn after eating, virtually every day - not so bad I can't sleep, but I couldn't shift it with Tums.

When I don't have heartburn I have the sensation that something is stuck in my chest - quite low down, sort of behind left shoulder blade. This leads to tense feeling btwn shoulders - like I've been bending over for too long.

Quite often feel very sick on waking - passes when I have a bowel movement. No constipation or diarrohea but stools are looser.

Blood work done and all normal, h. pylori negative. No blood in stools.

My doctor diagnosed acid reflux, prescribed 150g Ranitidine daily - took for 2 wks with no effect. Now trying 20g daily of omeprazole, 2 wks in and still no improvement. Have an endoscopy scheduled in 10 days, in the meantime, looking for some comfort...

I had my 2nd baby 4 months ago - could pregnancy/labour have caused this - maybe I've developed a hernia that is causing the reflux? Any ideas fellow sufferers?

 
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Old 02-05-2010, 02:52 PM   #2
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Oh yes, those babies push everything around in there. Little stinkers. My insides have never been the same since my second, big, baby boy entered the world. Guess he's worth it. If you have a hernia, the endoscopy may or may not diagnose it. Most hernias are "sliding" hernias - which means sometimes your stomach pushes into your esophagus, and sometimes it doesn't. It may be there on the day of your scope, or it may not. Or you may not have a hernia at all.

Have you tried elevating your upper body at night? You can either raise the head of your bed to incline it, or raise your body with a wedge pillow or extra pillows at night. As for the heartburn and no relief (yet) from ranitidine or omeprazole, have you tried a liquid antacid while you wait on the endoscopy? At my worst I took Gaviscon liquid (at my doctor's advice) to treat the pain in my chest, and it did help during my first month of misery. I took it at night before bedtime. Can't hurt to try it and see if it helps you. After a month on the omeprazole (20 mg TWICE daily), I no longer needed the Gaviscon. You may need a stronger dose of the PPI, but check with your doctor before upping your dose. My family doc also started me on 20 mg of omeprazole. It did nothing. The ENT doubled the dose and soon I was feeling better.

Good luck to you!

 
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Old 02-05-2010, 11:12 PM   #3
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

150 mg of Zantac is not a very high dose. Your doctor may need to double that to 150 mg in the morning and 150mg at night so you can get better relief. I second the suggestion to take a tablespoon of Gaviscon at night before bed.

Many doctors now immediately prescribe PPI's, but your doctor may be wise to try the older medications like Zantac first.

Taking PPI's is very tempting and you may need to take them for a while if your symptoms are severe. Resist the urge to stay on them for very long periods of time, though. I developed osteopenia in both hips after only two years of taking a PPI. I started to take a PPI when I was still not menopausal and I am still producing estrogen. Therefore, I was shocked upon discovering that I had developed bone loss. Doctors are pretty convinced the bone loss was due to the PPI use.

I worry about a young woman taking a PPI for ten years and then finding out years down the line that she has osteoporosis.

I recommend you read on all the different types of medicines used to treat reflux. I knew nothing about reflux three years ago and have learned a lot since then through trial and error and after having suffered side effects from some of the medications.

There is relief for reflux, though so I wanted to give you encouragement. It is also possible that the hormones associated with pregnancy have contributed to you developing reflux. Hopefully, your symptoms will recede after a while. It can't be fun to have reflux and a little baby to look after.

Congratulations on the baby!

 
Old 02-06-2010, 08:24 AM   #4
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Thank you ladies, so you think it sounds like classic acid reflux then ? I've been scaring myself it might be something more sinister. Maybe my PPI doseage needs increasing to get symptoms under control and then hopefully, once things settle down, I can come off the meds. It's all complicated by the fact I'm still breast-feeding. Stomach is really hurting today - gosh this is pretty miserable x

 
Old 02-06-2010, 10:57 AM   #5
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

I'm sorry you're feeling so lousy. Given that you're breastfeeding, do check with your doctor before you try any of the meds that we discuss here. Doctors are so quick to prescribe PPIs now. These are strong medications, suppressing stomach acid by as much as 85-90% I think, but some foods and minerals need that acid to get digested and absorbed by the body properly. I am worried about my calcium absorption and asked the GI doc about that just this week. He confirmed that yes, calcium absorption is a problem with PPIs, although he seemed to think the issue was minimal for a pre-menopausal woman. Rose's experience tells me otherwise. I'm going to try to get off the PPI as soon as possible and back to just an occasional H2 blocker as needed.

 
Old 02-13-2010, 05:52 PM   #6
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Good morning from Japan,
I think I have some rather important news for you. And, considering your multi pregnancies this may have a lot to do with the problem you wrote about. Please Google it to find out more about the condition for yourself. I copied some of it so here goes:

"hiatus hernia (also hiatal hernia) noun Medicine
The protrusion of an organ, typically the stomach, through the esophageal opening in the diaphragm."

This problem occurs frequently among weightlifters. Squat 10X with 500 pounds and *BINGO* a portion of the stomach is frequently pushed into the esophagus. And it's heart burn once this syndrome kicks in. The esophagus isn't equipped to neutralize the acid, so when reflux appears there's no mistaking it; it's the exertion that's the culprit. How many times did your doctors and nurses tell you to "PUSH" during your delivery? The symptoms? Exactly as you described them. To a "T", in fact. Also endoscopy is not necessary for confirming hiatal herniation. A barium swallow visualizes it very clearly. Not a tasty dish to set before the queen, but it beats the endoscope by a country mile. Nice going on becoming a Mommy for a second time. I wish you well. MIke

Last edited by MT483; 02-14-2010 at 01:10 AM.

 
Old 02-13-2010, 06:36 PM   #7
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Actually, depending on your doc and his/her procedure, the endoscopy can be a piece of cake (mine was). I had propofol for the sedation; it was instanct lights off/lights on again with absolutely no discomfort either during or afterwards. I remember NOTHING except the very pleasant, nice-looking male nurse who attended me in recovery. LOL I'd do an endoscopy again in a heartbeat AS LONG AS I was completely sedated again during the procedure.

 
Old 02-14-2010, 01:02 AM   #8
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Hello abby,
You are absolutely correct regarding how endoscopy can be a piece of cake - so to speak. A good doctor, and adequate anesthesia should do the trick nicely. However as the song of way back when succinctly put it, "It ain't necessarily so". I underwent the procedure three times, and each time it was more like a gagging marathon than anything else I can think of. "Gagging marathon", I just made that term up. Explains it pretty well though. Anyway - if I ever need the endoscope again, I'm gonna relate the procedure you described. And I'm not being facetious. Thanks for the info. Mike

Last edited by MT483; 02-14-2010 at 01:03 AM.

 
Old 02-14-2010, 10:02 AM   #9
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Thank you so much for your interest in my post and your replies. The hernia theory certainly makes sense - that said, my daughter arrived very quickly with very few pushes. But as it was a very fast and furious birth, I wouldn't be surprised if there was some damage done during her arrival.

My endoscopy is scheduled for Wednesday and am feeling fairly relaxed about the procedure - just hopeful it will throw some light on my condition so I can get the right treatment. I'll let you know how I get on.

 
Old 02-14-2010, 12:46 PM   #10
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Hi, Mike. Yes, many people here on this message board have reported uncomfortable EGD procedures and only light sedation where you're still aware of what's going on. Not for me, nope, not gonna do that! Having had a great experience with the propofol, that's how I'll want to have it done the next time I must do it. I tell people about it here so that people know it's an option. That, of course, depends on your doctor and the sedation agents they prefer to use. You need to ask how your sedation will be done. I was very lucky because I just happened to be referred to a doctor who does it this way routinely. Now, I'm not sure I'm gonna use this doctor again (for a couple of reasons), but the procedure itself was one of the easiest I've ever had done.

 
Old 02-17-2010, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Harris View Post
Hello abby,
You are absolutely correct regarding how endoscopy can be a piece of cake - so to speak. A good doctor, and adequate anesthesia should do the trick nicely. However as the song of way back when succinctly put it, "It ain't necessarily so". I underwent the procedure three times, and each time it was more like a gagging marathon than anything else I can think of. "Gagging marathon", I just made that term up. Explains it pretty well though. Anyway - if I ever need the endoscope again, I'm gonna relate the procedure you described. And I'm not being facetious. Thanks for the info. Mike
yes I can identify with that term 100%, my endoscopy was quite horrendous hope my colonoscopy next week is better

 
Old 02-17-2010, 11:10 AM   #12
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Different people can tolerate different levels of discomfort. I saw a guy get scoped (all the way into the stomach) on TV one day while sitting on a stool and with NO sedation. I was impressed! The laryngoscopy I had done a few months ago also a breeze for me, but I've had other people tell me they found this procedure very uncomfortable and slightly painful. I rate it as only mildly uncomfortable, more "weird" feeling than anything else as you swallow the probe and down it goes. The ENT went to about mid-chest with me and I probably could've tolerated being scoped further with no sedation. My ENT projects this quiet competence that I think kept me very relaxed during that office visit, and I do think being very relaxed counts for alot when you're getting scoped. Sedation does the trick, too. LOL

I do think it's good to be empowered and to know ahead of time what to expect from the sedation. I'd be ticked off if my doctor told me I wouldn't be aware of or remember a thing and then find myself gagging all the way thru the procedure!

 
Old 02-17-2010, 11:38 AM   #13
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Re: awaiting endoscopy - in the meantime do you recognise my symptoms?

Well I had my endoscopy this afternoon. Decided to pass on the sedation - just wanted to get on with it and be compus mentis afterwards to hear the results. Whilst it wasn't a picnic (I wretched a lot) it was totally manageable. In fact there was only one point where I got a bit spooked and thought I couldn't cope and that was just as they 'hit the bottom' and said it was almost over. Was really surprised I was still able to breathe through my mouth - certainly no pain, and no ill effects afterwards.

Most importantly though, the consultant said everything was normal. He's given me another month's course of omeprazole and some domperidone to speed up my digestion. My follow-up appointment is in one month. I'm really hoping that now I know my symptoms aren't anything sininster, my outlook will be much more positive. This has been the first thing I've thought about each morning and the last thing on my mind each night for 3 months, and that in itself is completely unhealthy and is no doubt contributing to my discomfort.

I'll continue to let you know how I get on. Take care, and thanks for reading my posts.

Last edited by blettuce; 02-17-2010 at 02:22 PM.

 
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