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  • Life will never be the same

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    Old 02-12-2006, 06:52 PM   #1
    Ina1974
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    Life will never be the same

    Hello, my name is Tanya and I'm 31 and I've been reading this message board since May 2005 when I first found out I had GERD. In fact after reading the sympoms of everyone on here is how I determined that was what I had.

    For four years I had Pleurisy on a regular basis, along with bronchitis about 3-4 times a year. My doc thought I had asthma and that perhaps it was causing these problems and had me on asthma meds for about a year, none of which helped me at all. I would get stabbling pains in my chest, pain in my neck, back, and arms. I had shortness of breath and stinging sensations through out the whole upper part of my body. I really thought that what ever I had was for sure going to kill me. Everyday I had chest pain and there was no way to relieve it. I went in again and with all the same problems and the doc said it was stress, so put me on some meds for that which made me CrAzY. I stopped taking that and I was once again in the dark with what was going on with me.

    Over those four years I had chest x-rays, CT scans, asthma tests, allergy tests all of which came back fine. The docs had me thinking that I was a hypochondriac and that it was all in my head. I was really starting to question myself and if perhaps I was causing it. The fact remained thought that I was feeling pain and that pain was real. So I got on here trying to get some answers and found this board. I wasn't for sure GERD is what I had, but it sure sounded like it, so I told my doc and he put me on Prevacid. It starting helping within 2 days. I couldn't believe that I had gone though four years of pains and meds that were perhaps making me worse and the whole time it was reflux. I ended up getting an endoscopy done which confirmed GERD and a hiatal hernia.

    I took the Prevacid for a couple of months and then I started having really weird side effects, like uncontrollable shaking, headaches, cramping, and vision problems. I did alot of research on these meds and found out that when tested on lab rats they found cancerous tumors in their stomachs, and now there's research being done that there's a possibility that these meds may actually cause esophagus cancer. Not to mention that with all PPI's there's the possibility of it causing pneumonia.

    At this time I thought that in order to control my reflux I am going to have to do 1 of 4 things. I will have to either 1. Continue taking meds that who knows what it will do to you in the long run. 2. Have surgery which doesn't sound too promising. 3. Find the root of the problem and try to control it. or 4. Sit back and do nothing and let in consume me.

    I chose 3.
    I stopped drinking coffee, alcohol, soda, orange juice. Stopped eating chocolate, foods high in fat and started eating right, drinking half my body's weight of water a day, and NEVER eating after 6:00 PM. Plus finding a way to cut down on stress helps too (walking worked for me). I eventually got to where I could go jogging which I wasn't able to do before. I have to admit though it has not been easy, not being able to drink what I want or eat what I want, but when weighing the options, this one seemed to be the better one of the four and it's worked for me. There has been a few times that I've thought that maybe I could re-introduce myself to things that I've wanted like coffee & chocolate, but the fact is that once you have GERD, chances are you will always have it and your life will never be the same as is was before you got it.

    I'm sharing this because I know that if you want something bad enough, it can happen. You have to be committed to changing your lifestyle and stick with it, because as we all know the results of ongoing uncontrollable GERD can be life threating.

    Good luck to all of you

    Last edited by Ina1974; 02-13-2006 at 11:52 AM.

     
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    Old 02-12-2006, 07:04 PM   #2
    taape
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Wow, your really an inspiration working so hard to get your Gerd problems under control. I'm not sure what I have yet but just stomach problems that I'm getting seen for.

     
    Old 02-13-2006, 04:49 AM   #3
    marky1956
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Can we do "de-caffe" coffee?? I love my coffee every day. I used to drink 6-8 cups a day, then down to 3-4. Now I have 1-2 in the morning, but it sounds like I have to nix the coffee all together! I love the tase and it's a morning habit for me, so I'm wondering if we can do decaffinated coffee. I've cut out the sodas, only having caffine-free, if at all. No citrus, no chocolate, and trying to cut out tomato products. There's plenty of good things to eat without all these, it's just a matter of changing our frame-of-minds and finding all these other dishes to have in place of the ones we were accustomed to.

     
    Old 02-13-2006, 07:23 AM   #4
    ADGrant
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marky1956
    Can we do "de-caffe" coffee?? I love my coffee every day. I used to drink 6-8 cups a day, then down to 3-4. Now I have 1-2 in the morning, but it sounds like I have to nix the coffee all together! I love the tase and it's a morning habit for me, so I'm wondering if we can do decaffinated coffee. I've cut out the sodas, only having caffine-free, if at all. No citrus, no chocolate, and trying to cut out tomato products. There's plenty of good things to eat without all these, it's just a matter of changing our frame-of-minds and finding all these other dishes to have in place of the ones we were accustomed to.
    Any coffee at all is bad. Any soda at all is bad. The safest thing to drink is still water. The general rule seems to be if it is at all interesting, you can't eat or drink it.

     
    Old 02-13-2006, 07:35 AM   #5
    marky1956
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Crap!! Friggin water is soooooooo boring!! LOL! I'm guessing no iced-tea or lemonade either, eh?? Water & milk...that's it?? How about cranberry juice (please say yes). LOL!

    Last edited by marky1956; 02-13-2006 at 07:36 AM.

     
    Old 02-13-2006, 08:30 AM   #6
    ADGrant
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by marky1956
    Crap!! Friggin water is soooooooo boring!! LOL! I'm guessing no iced-tea or lemonade either, eh?? Water & milk...that's it?? How about cranberry juice (please say yes). LOL!
    You should probaby go easy on the milk too.

    Personally, I think it is only worth giving all this stuff up if it eliminates the need for PPIs (and H2s). If you need to take them anyway, you might as well enjoy life (in moderation of course).

    Some changes are really difficult to make too. Not eating after 6.00pm would be impossible for me unless I skipped my evening meal altogether and skipping meals is definitely not recommended.

    OTOH eating slowly and chewing your food well is something everyone should do as is eating smaller meals and not being overweight.

    I have completely given up soda, very spicy food, orange juice and anything else with high acid content. I have not completely given up coffee choclate or alchol though.

     
    Old 02-13-2006, 06:58 PM   #7
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Ina,

    What research are your referring to when you say "now there's research being done that there's a possibility that these meds may actually cause esophagus cancer".


    Can you please be more specific?

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 11:47 AM   #8
    ADGrant
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    More on PPIs and esophagus cancer"

    "Recent studies suggest that PPI treatment may decrease the risk of malignancy in Barrett's esophagus, and that even Barrett's patients who have no signs and symptoms of GERD should be treated with PPIs.8 Control of GERD symptoms may require higher than conventional PPI dosages. If once-daily dosing fails to control symptoms, bid dosing is the next step. Patients should be advised to take these medications within one half hour before breakfast and dinner. "

    From

    El-Serag HB, Aguirre TV, Davis S, et al. Proton pump inhibitors are associated with reduced incidence of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus. Am J Gastroenterol. 2004; 99:1877-1883.

     
    Old 02-14-2006, 09:59 PM   #9
    Ina1974
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by aswander
    Ina,

    What research are your referring to when you say "now there's research being done that there's a possibility that these meds may actually cause esophagus cancer".


    Can you please be more specific?
    Last month on my local Channel 2 News in Utah, they said that there was research being done because it is thought that PPI's may actually cause esophagus cancer.

    I haven't heard any more on the subject since then and I've even tried to find some info. about it on the internet, but have found nothing. It's a pretty scary thought though to think of just how many people use PPI's to control their reflux so that they don't get esophagus cancer. If I do find out anything else on it, I will for sure share the info.

     
    Old 02-15-2006, 07:24 AM   #10
    ADGrant
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    Re: Life will never be the same

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Ina1974
    Last month on my local Channel 2 News in Utah, they said that there was research being done because it is thought that PPI's may actually cause esophagus cancer.

    I haven't heard any more on the subject since then and I've even tried to find some info. about it on the internet, but have found nothing. It's a pretty scary thought though to think of just how many people use PPI's to control their reflux so that they don't get esophagus cancer. If I do find out anything else on it, I will for sure share the info.
    You want to be careful about lending too much weight to what you see on on a local TV news channel (they are looking to boost ratings, not inform). My web research indicates that there are researchers who believe that excessive use of PPIs could lead to a higher incidence of esophagal cancer. However, their main concern with PPIs is they could mask a more serious problem. Mainstream medical opinion is that PPIs are the most effective and least risky treatment for chronic GERD.

    That said, if you are fortunate enough to be able to control your symptoms solely with lifestyle modifications, you shouldn't be taking PPIs. BTW There is no way to really fix the cause of GERD. Surgery is only somewhat effective.

     
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