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Old 07-23-2011, 04:59 AM   #1
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Does Lupus cause GI problems?

I never had acid reflux until taking Actonel, which I stopped taking after 6 months (and wish I'd never taken it). I've had moderate acid reflux ever since, although it seems worse during a lupus flare up, along with IBS. I take Lomatil (the generic brand), which helps immensely, but I seem to be needing it more frequently. I take Omeprazole for the reflux. My pcp said I need to watch what I eat(ya think?) and I can take the Lomatil when needed. The reflux causes a mixture of vomiting and diarrhea on occasion, and I just wonder if it is related to lupus flare ups. I seem to feel yucky for a few days, although I haven't been incapacitated so far. PS I also have osteoarthritis and osteoporosis, for which I take Calcitonin.

 
Old 08-16-2011, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

although i am by no means an expert lupus can most definitely cause gi problems. my girlfriend has lupus and this is something we have had to deal with on occassion and we just recently had to go in for surgery to correct a fairly severe GI issue. a diet can always help with acid reflux. simple things like cutting out fruits such as grapes cranberries and of course any citrus fruits is always helpful. it could always quite simply just be soda. i know when my girlfriend started taking topamax she could no longer drink soda. my girlfriends disease will cause her to get really intense ulcers. but the plaquenil she takes, the doctor said could cause ulcers. to be honest the fact that the doctor has began to prescribe different medications implies that your lupus is just progressing and unfortunatley acid refux is just something that can tend to go along with that. youre taking the right course in trying to contradict it with medication which will help and hopefully keep the issues from getting more severe. but a high fiber diet and a low acid diet will also be very hepful. i hope some of this has been helpful and let me know if there are any ways i can help in finding you some tasty food alternatives as i also deal with fairly severe acid reflux.

 
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:47 AM   #3
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

Thanks so much for your reply. I would like some tasty alternatives, because I get sort of tired of things like baked potatoes (although they're good) and other fairly bland foods. I worry about not being able to eat healthy foods such as oranges and other fresh fruits, and can't take juices. I also can't eat tomatoes or green peppers. I don't miss sodas, because I have osteoporosis and shouldn't take them anyhow. I drink a little coffee (Folgers, so-called mild) and eat cereal with cinnamon in it. I eat lean beef, chicken and turkey but sure do miss spaghetti (with tomato sauce), pizza, and salads with fresh tomatoes, peppers, etc.

 
Old 08-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #4
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

SheWolf, what lupus med(s) do you take, and when did you start? I'm curious because I suffered 20+ years of IBS, took Librax for years, but still had IBS episodes so severe that I'd end up in hospital for tests & rehydration. Weird thing was that when I was finally diagnosed with lupus, a few months into Plaquenil, my IBS problems receded to almost nil.

But even so, I must limit/avoid certain foods. Fatty foods are huge no-no's for me (butter, milk, coffee creamer, ice cream, fried foods, salad dressing). Red meat (makes stomach hurt & bloat). Tomato products are iffy: I can consume when not flaring & if not too "seedy". Big amounts of seeds (poppy, sesame, etc.) can annoy. I limit acid, but can get away with small amounts. Whole wheat bothers me, but oats don't. I can eat many green veggies cooked; if frozen, I get the "no sauce" version & add a yogurt-type (fake) butter. That said, I imagine triggers are individual, requiring personal trial & error, unfortunately...

I'm on a Fosamax holiday; but when on it, it bothers me. But so does my daily calcium, which I think is common. You could check your bottle for side effects. Also, do you take with food?

Have you had an upper GI test? I know stomach acid from reflux can damage the esophagus, so I hope the reason you have it is FULLY understood & that the med you take is appropriate for your root cause. I hope you can get some improvement. Sending my best wishes, Vee

 
Old 08-17-2011, 08:16 AM   #5
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

thanks for your reply, Vee-J. When I was diagnosed w/lupus about 3 years ago, I took Plaquenil for a while, but it upset my stomach so bad that when I went to a new rheumy, he took me off it. I also took steroids off and on for a while, but they kept me so hyper that my rheumy also took me off them. As for calcium, I take it from other sources but can't take pills, as they, too upset my stomach. Neither my p.c.p. nor my rheumy consider my reflux a serious case, and I take Lomatil for diarrhea. I was just told by both doctors that I have to watch what I eat. I don't have pain, no stomach cramps, and the diarrhea is generally controlled by Lomatil. I got lupus late in life and so far have escaped many of the bad things that can happen with it. I, too, can't eat ice cream, nor, of course, chocolate (sigh), and I, too, do better with cooked veggies. I see my rheumy every two months regularly, and my p.c.p. when needed. I'm really relatively fortunate considering I have lupus, osteoarthritis, and osteoporosis, but am able to do without painkillers. You know how it is, sometimes we all have to vent, and I'm thankful for this forum, and for kind folks like you.

 
Old 08-17-2011, 08:36 AM   #6
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

acid reflux is when the acids from the stomach leak into the esophagus. this happens because your esophagus has become irritated over time from high acid levels. there is a flap that normally keeps this under control. think of it like an overflow valve. but the high acid levels of your previous diet have made it so that this flap has become irritated and can no longer do its job. if you switch to a low acid diet your esophagus will eventually heal it self and this flap will begin working correctly again. once this happens you can enjoy some of the foods you did before as long as they are less frequent and not extremely high in acid. spaghetti should become possible again and it cant hurt to take an otc an hour or so before eating, something like prevacid which tends to not irritate people suffering from lupus. also some low acid alternatives if you like pasta possibly try an Alfredo sauce, pizza can be made with it as well and its delicious. chicken is good, i know my girlfriend cant handle any red meat at all, you may consider cutting it out and seeing if you feel better. if you like baked potatoes, maybe try a baked sweet potato with brown sugar. green beans are always good anything high in fiber should also be helpful. avoid anything spicy. maybe even cut out cinnamon just until we get your esophagus healthy again. there are a lot of people that suffer from acid reflux and there are many low acid cook books out there. i even saw a few recipes for a low acid tomato sauce. i suppose it all depends on how sever the reflux has gotten. i dont know if your a milk drinker, as i am not, but milk can be helpful in negating the symptoms of acid reflux. i hope some of this has helped seeing as acid reflux can be very uncomfortable.

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Old 08-17-2011, 09:24 AM   #7
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

Hello, I'm certainly not an expert on lupus and am in process of being diagnosed but I know that my history of IBS was part of my regulars drs decision to have me tested for lupus and other auto immune ... so it must be a part of those disorders!!
I have changed my diet and thus my cooking radically to keep my IBS from taking over my life, yet still one cannot remove all causes of ibs from their lives. I recently got a sunburn (something that hasn't happened to me in decades of tanning) and it made me so sick... My IBS was kicked into high gear and is still tormenting me! UGH!
Hope ya feel better soon!

 
Old 08-17-2011, 09:49 AM   #8
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

Thanks for your reply and good wishes. Hope you feel better, too.

 
Old 08-17-2011, 01:32 PM   #9
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Re: Does Lupus cause GI problems?

SheWolf, I'm sorry you had to discontinue Plaquenil. How long did you try it? I felt icky initially, but I was flaring, so not too surprising... For approx 2 weeks, I had nausea & saw blurry rings around lights at night; then both those problems cleared. The odd thing that persisted was my heating up like a blast furnace an hour after taking a pill.

I've read that some people do better if they start @ 200 mg daily, then go to 400 mg daily (if needed). Have also read that some people can tolerate only name-brand Plaquenil, not its generic forms, maybe due to fillers. Also, that Plaquenil takes from 4 to 6 months to reach its full effect.

I take OTC NSAID's daily, more when a weather front is approaching. Coated pills only. There's one that's barely coated---I forget which---that hits my stomach & leaves an terrible aftertaste like rancid oil.

And I avoid sun scrupulously. Looking back, I can't fathom why I didn't realize for so long that it was a major trigger for my various symptoms, incl GI.

Alfredo sauces & the like aren't do-able for me, but I can tolerate skim-plus milk & coffee with fat-free "creamer". Anyway, I hope you've gotten some useful thoughts from your new Board pals & that something helps. Very sympathetically, Vee

 
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