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  • 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

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    Old 03-31-2016, 04:20 AM   #1
    immacreep
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    25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    So I’d never imagine that I would be doing this- writing about my issues on a message board. But I suddenly had acid reflux in late January 2016 and I'm super determined to overcome this and the Internet has been a great help so far. I’ve read everything and anything I can find online about GERD and acid reflux and throat burn and it’s been an emotional roller coaster ride. Like honestly, in between commutes on the way to work, while waiting for trains and buses, all I do is google on forums or like go on reddit or on here to read about acid reflux. Some days I’m convinced that I will get oesophagus cancer from the constant throat burn, some days I feel super optimistic and feel that everything can only get better, and some days I’m just tired of thinking about my acid reflux.

    I'm 25y/o. Prior to having acid reflux, I've never had acid reflux or stomach related issues like gastric before. I had a moderately healthy diet; always ate vegetables and fruits regularly and took about 2-3 glasses of wine a week. BUT I also had a unhealthy soft spot for chilli. I love chilli and ate a lot of chilli padi. I was also a big eater who ate a lot more noodles and rice than the average girl. I'm not fat but I'm not fit either. I do not like exercising but I have a healthy BMI. An interesting point to note is that I had bronchitis and had just recovered from it like 2 weeks before I experienced acid reflux. Not sure if there is a relation between the two yet but I highly doubt it.

    So a short summary of my acid reflux: Started having it about two months ago, in the last week of January 2016. Experienced chest pains and I thought I was going to have a heart attack or something. This lasted a week before I went to my GP. I experienced a loss of appetite and I googled my symptoms and they tallied with acid reflux so my GP prescribed me some mild medicine (no PPIs) for gastric and after 2 days of eating my medicine, I felt superb. At this point of time, silly me had no idea that I was supposed to adjust my diet. So I continued eating a lot and taking lots of chilli with everything and continued with my 2-3 glasses of wine a week.

    Then in late Feb, I had random chest pains that lasted 1-2days. I took the same meds the GP had given earlier and they went away. But on the last week of Feb, I experienced more than just chest pains, I got the awful throat burn. I had no weird taste in my mouth before in Jan but one day I went to bed and suddenly I could feel my throat burning and my mouth tasted funny.

    I took meds for 2 days, the throat burn didn’t go away. I went back to my GP and he prescribed me omeprazole. I took that for 3 days and still the throat burn was there. I finished my prescription and went back for more. That was when my GP suggested referring me to a specialist at a hospital for an endoscope to figure out the root of the problem. I stopped taking my omeprazole after a week of eating them to no effect because I read about the side effects and I wanted to see what would happen. Nothing changed, the pain was still there.

    I did my endoscope. No hiatal hernia, no H.pylori, no loose sphincter. But my doctor noted that my stomach was 'hyper-acidic' for some reason and I had mild inflammation in my oesophagus and duodenum (a small organ near your small intestine). After the scope, he gave me Gaviscon advanced, Pantoprazole (PPI), and Motilium. The PPI dosage, at 40mg is higher than what my GP gave previously.

    The meds lasted me a week. And during that time my throat burn persisted. It was so awful UNTIL after 6 days of eating them, one day, the throat burn simply went away by itself. I clearly remember that I was prawning and it suddenly went away when just a moment before it hurt. The night my throat burn stopped, it was the same night I ran out of meds.

    The glorious pain-free moment lasted 3 short days. Then the throat burn came back and it could be because I ran out of meds.

    I just came back from the doctor today. He gave me 4 weeks worth of the same stuff: Gaviscon advanced, Pantoprazole (PPI), and Motilium. When I saw the bill, I almost passed out . It came up to $362 even after my company insurance covered about half of it (there's no free healthcare in my country). I can't imagine having to be on these stuff for the rest of my life.

    I hope to bring positive results after this 4 weeks of medication. I've made changes to my lifestyle:

    I AM
    -eating manuka honey, 1 tablespoon every morning and night
    -adding chiaseeds to my water
    -drinking chamomile tea every other day
    -eating more papaya and dragonfruit
    -drinking low fat milk at night
    -only taking sips of wine if I'm hanging out
    -taking more small meals
    (let me know what other tips you guys have)

    I AM NOT
    -drinking coffee
    -taking chilli
    -eating big portions
    -eating blueberries and other citrus and acidic fruits and foods.

    I hope to eventually not rely on the medicine to feel better. I'm optimistic! I just recovered from bronchitis in early Jan 2016 and like many other things that has happened to me before, I’m sure I’ll get through this unscathed.

    If you’re still reading this , I just want to say that I know exactly what you're going through. The pain can be so annoying that sometimes I don't feel like getting out of bed cause the moment I do, I feel discomfort in my throat.

    Last edited by Administrator; 04-13-2016 at 04:00 PM.

     
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    Old 03-31-2016, 07:56 AM   #2
    rainbowsrock
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    Be careful with PPI'S. If you've been taking them a while and suddenly stop you can get rebound acid reflux as the tablets suppress up to 90% of the acid....when you stop the tablets the acid producing cells go into overdrive

    I stopped them for 10 days as advised prior to an Endoscopy and the Endoscopy showed severe gastritis and Duodenitis (caused by rebound)
    I then had to up the PPI dose until healed and I have now weaned myself off them
    PPI'S don't work on a casual basis. Improvements might take a week or so

    I believe my reflux is more bile than acid and PPI'S don't work really on bile, so I wasn't prepared to have the side effects of PPI'S

    But would add reflux can damage the oesophagus and even lead to Barratts Oesophagus which can lead to cancer....so anyone at risk from that must take PPI'S. Endoscopy reveals if there IS damage or not. PPI'S are also good for healing Ulcers and Gastritis

    I rely on Gaviscon Advance before bed
    Smaller meals, and none within 4 hours of bedtime
    Head of the bed is on 6" blocks
    Sleeping on left side is supposed to help

    Food triggers are
    Fatty foods
    Spicy foods
    Citrus
    Onions
    Fizzy drinks
    Alcohol
    Coffee
    Chocolate
    Mints
    Vinegar

    I also can't eat fruit cake or raw salad/veg

    It is a horrible illness, and it's boring having to be saintly with food and drink....I'm sure we all agree

    Last edited by rainbowsrock; 03-31-2016 at 07:59 AM.

     
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    Old 04-08-2016, 04:40 AM   #3
    Fergie4
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    "It is a horrible illness, and it's boring having to be saintly with food and drink....I'm sure we all agree"

    Absolutely. One of the reasons I loved PPIs initially was that it took the terror out of meals out, parties, celebrations. Suddenly you're far more free to eat and drink what you like with no symptoms, or less symptoms (within reason). I used to hate those times over Xmas or at celebrations where I was constantly having to refuse food and drink because I was in agony. And nights afterwards where literally making myself sick was the only hope of any relief from it.

    For a long time I ignored the downsides and issues with them because the upsides were so beneficial. But now I feel in a way its giving a free pass to eat food that maybe my body is telling me not to eat, or to eat in more moderation.

    If I could find a way to manage the condition without PPIs to the point it's bearable and doesn't totally ruin my life, I'd love to do it. Given my history with it, I doubt that'll happen and expect to end up back on PPIs but determined to try diet and other ways as well.

     
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    Old 04-08-2016, 05:18 AM   #4
    rainbowsrock
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    This is the third time I have weaned off the PPI
    The first time after doing so and being good diet wise I went on holiday and we had spur of the moment fish and chips. I only got half way through them and had to stop, the reaction was immediate and awful. I had to ask myself what was clever about coming off them before a holiday

    So I do agree whilst on them you are secure in the knowledge you can eat what you want. My own Brother In Law delights in telling me this since he went on them

    But there have been so many articles on their downside that I firmly believe they are of great benefit in healing ulcers ect and protecting individuals at risk of Barratts Oesophagus but should not be used long term by others

    If I really fancy something forbidden I have it early in the day as my reflux is worse in bed at night

     
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    Old 04-12-2016, 10:09 AM   #5
    immacreep
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    Thanks for the heads up on acid rebound! I haven't really been sick long enough to tell if I've got acid rebound so I'll monitor that after I finish my current 4 week course!

    And yes I totally agree about having to be saintly with food In fact I'm having issues sticking to a strict diet and in the past week I've had coffee and wine and had to pay the price with horrible throat burn!! But the pain wasn't as bad as what I had experienced before cause of the meds. Heh but I'm swearing off wine and coffee from now onwards!

    Hope you're feeling better these days!

    Last edited by Administrator; 04-13-2016 at 04:00 PM.

     
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    Old 04-12-2016, 06:39 PM   #6
    jw994
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    I certainly can sympathize with you. It sounds like you are in a flare period. It will probably get better, but you would need to follow a strict alkaline diet for at least 2-3 weeks and maybe longer. Try not to eat or drink anything below a ph of 5 for a few weeks and then as you get better, try not to eat anything below a ph of 4. Eventually you may be able to eat restricted food on occasion. I do not recommend drinking low fat milk at night or drinking wine at all for a few weeks. I do not eat or drink anything but water within 3-4 hours of going to bed.

    You may want to consider at least short-term elevating your headboard at least 6" and sleep on your left side. Sleeping on the right side is bad for reflux. If you do not get better, talk with your doctor about the possibility of small intestine bacterial overgrowth. My last flare lasted a while and I was treated for SIBO and my reflux went away. That was 7 months ago. I still must be careful about what I eat.

    Lastly, you may want to get a couple of books that helped me .....dropping acid and the chronic cough enigma.

     
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    Old 04-13-2016, 09:40 AM   #7
    rainbowsrock
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    I am depressed to admit defeat

    After weaning off my PPI for a few months I have just had a terrible week and have put in a prescription request to go back on it. Last night I had extreme nausea, so I guess my stomach is needing some protection just now
    Couldn't have a hot drink as my oesophagus really hurt as it went down, and ALL foods caused reflux

    Funny (well, not so funny) how you can go from feeling strong and optimistic to feeling there is no solution in the space of a week

    I hate this condition

     
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    Old 04-13-2016, 12:30 PM   #8
    mannie765
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    re: 25 y/o determined to overcome acid reflux

    Bronchitis possibly can be related to an upset of GERD. From what I've been told when you cough your muscles work in reverse causing acid to go into your esophagus sometimes. I was just told last month by my PCP that I have Gerd but haven't seen a specialist yet. I do want to though. My symptoms seem to be interchanging. They never stay the same. Its good to see someone tryin to fight it because I've been up & down in emotions & worrying. Wondering can I ever safely live a normal day to day life again. I'm 21 & a female as well so I can really relate. Thank you.

    Last edited by mannie765; 04-13-2016 at 12:31 PM.

     
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