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  • Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

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    Old 11-05-2007, 05:00 PM   #1
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    Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    Thanks for clicking. For the last 2 years or so I've had what I call 'mock heart attacks' as that is just what they feel like. In March, before my move to PA here, I saw a doctor who determined my problem to be acid reflux disease. He gave me 3 trial bottles of Nexium and sent me on my way. I took those 3 bottles over a span of months with no more problems. I then moved down to PA here, and have since lost my health insurance, and stopped taking the Nexium as when he gave them to me I took them for a month with no 'mock heart attacks' or anything close occurred, and I convinced myself that there simply was no need for them. (Genius move.)

    Now they're back; except that I'm not understanding why. If it's something that I'm doing/eating or what have you. I've changed my eating habit significantly since I was first 'diagnosed' and the problems still maintain. As a matter of fact sometimes I'll have something like say...a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos and be fine, not eating the whole bag in one sitting, just with a sandwich. Then the next week I eat ALL OF THE SAME FOODS I've eaten the week previous and have one of my bouts. My bouts maintain at a much lesser rate than many people who I'm reading about here nearly daily, of which I'd go out of my mind. I typically only get left side chest pains once every 5 days to once every two weeks. (It used to be once every 4 months to 10 months and only with things like hot sauce.) Sometimes I'll have them at work when the only thing in my stomach is my morning breakfast. (Total cereal.) This inconsistency leads me to believe that it could be panic attacks (weak ones, anyway) or simply stress. I'm not a stressful person, my job sure doesn't stress me. I'm guessing I fit somewhere in 'average.' but the lack of consistency points me thus.

    During one of my 'attacks' I'll be doing...whatever. (Working [no real heavy lifting, but lifting none the less], at the computer doing whatever, going from point A to point B in the house.) and my heart will begin to pound in my chest like I just finished a triathlon. This will be followed by nausea, weakness, sweating and a few minutes later a 15+ minute trip to the bathroom, not always diarrhea, but more often than not. My left side feels incredibly weak in the aftermath. The only position I feel even remotely comfortable in is sitting down with my hands hugging myself and sometimes it fades in 5-10 minutes, sometimes it kicks back up a bit (but not as bad as initially) and I'm back to the bathroom clearing out whatever's in me. A few episodes come in mind, like today, where the 'aftermath' was (actually, still is right now, but not harsh) hours long and any coughing I might do was just BEGGING for a mini shockwave of pain from the left center chest area. It slowly diminishes, and the Maalox I drank did seem to help some. I usually just go to sleep/lie down, in an upright position with my pillows stacked up a bit on the wall behind me and wake up at about 80+%.

    I still have 2-3 bottles of trial size Nexium left that I should probably be getting back on in case it is GERD, but I can't shake the 'anxiety/panic attack' route either as the male members in my family seem to have a propensity for that, though I never did till some odd years ago.

    I can only say whatever the outcome that this really sucks, and has now cost me money from having to leave work early. I'd love to just know what the hell is wrong and how to fix/disrupt/marginally slow down whatever it is.

    PS I don't sleep lying on my left side as within minutes I begin to get pains of a sort in the chest. Sorry if I went on and on. Feel free to reply. I'll be in my basement working on my synthetic android body soul transfer to dump this hunk of junk I'm currently trapped in. Thanks.

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    Old 11-06-2007, 08:55 AM   #2
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    Re: Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    Yep. Know all those feelings well and if I'm certain of one thing that causes my reflux to get worse, it's stress and anxiety. The seem to go "hand in hand." I hate those symptoms you described but I haven't had the heart attack reation very often at all. Thank the Lord because I certainly have all the rest of them. It's that hot, panic, break out into a cold sweat feeling your gut all twisted that gets me. Then seems chills will start and D. All of these things just come out of the blue. How can you not panic when you feel like you're going to croak and can't breath? You may try some type of relaxation or breathing exercises during these spells. Sometimes I can calm myself down enough to get by but more often than not, I take a Xanax and can sort of dose off for a bit and usually when I wake up, I'm much, much better.

    Hope you feel better soon.


    Old 11-07-2007, 04:16 AM   #3
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    Re: Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    Are you currently seeing a doctor for any of this?

    There could be a whole lot of different things it could be....but you need to atleast get some medical attention to try and figure them out.

    I've never had any problems with my general health and don't consider myself a stressed person. High strung I'm constantly staying busy and active. I was hit with an 'attack' (so to speak) where my chest got tight and stayed tight for 2 weeks before I got medical attention. A burning sensation behind my sternum and palpitations. When I tried to make a doc appointment, they immediately told me to go to the ER.
    Everything was fine (lungs, heart, blood, etc).

    They originally blamed anxiety- the xanax didn't help..... and I've been to the docs multiple times, pulmonary tests, more blood work, this med, that med ...originally diagnosed as asthma. While the chest symptoms went away - my throat started feeling strange and that feeling only progressed to a lump and now it feels constricted. Now they're thinking acid reflux. I'm still taking prescribed asthma meds while also taking acid reflux meds. I'm having more heartburn now than I've had in my 39 years of life. I'm being patient...and assuming the meds take time to do their job. More tests coming and more doctor visits to come.

    But the one thing I doooo know - is *Listen to your gut feelings*
    Get some medical attention. It'll probably be a long time and a lot of different meds & test later - but atleast you tried and are in the process of trying to make yourself better. You're health is too important to sit back and try to guess what you're dealing with.

    Good Luck and Stay Strong!

    Last edited by Janster; 11-07-2007 at 04:18 AM.

    Old 11-08-2007, 08:18 PM   #4
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    Re: Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    I have acid reflux. I used to take over-the-counter meds, but I have quit taking those items. I sleep on my left side and have no reflux problems.

    Old 11-09-2007, 08:30 AM   #5
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    Re: Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    Sounds to me as if you have classic "painful" and/or "heart-skipping" form of GERD - you said you were fine with the PPIs, and now without them, you are doing it again.

    Many of us note (even if the med sites don't seem to) that we seem to have more "heart skipping" and pounding under the iron fist of GERD than we did "normal". Also, many people have chest PAIN that they've gone to ER for to ensure it wasn't a heart attack or some kind of cardio problem. You sound like you're getting all of that.

    The latter is frequently because of strain on the esophagus - pain or spasming, mistaken for heart problems.

    The former seems to tie in with irritation of the vagus nerve, which goes down the esophagus. The vagus controls both your major digestive functions (the esophagus and stomach, e.g.) AND your heart pumping. If you irritate the vagus via "burned" irritated esophagus (I hope I'm saying this right), it not only might further upset the action of your esophagus, but your heart! You can get pounding out of nowhere (not related at all to activity) and heart skipping (palpitations). I have gone through this heart skipping, both a bit more just from GERD, and MAJOR once I tried Reglan meds to help my stomach move - unfortunately, the Reglan also increased my heart movement!

    Old 11-09-2007, 02:49 PM   #6
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    Re: Acid Reflux? Anxiety? Other?

    Have Dr's appointment for the 14th. Thing is, it's a head doctor. I'm getting set up in a new health care thingy (insurance type?) and allegedly this is the first step, especially since quite a few of my family members have some chemical inbalances in the head. I look back and see that some days "Oh yea, that one could have definitely been due to what I was eating." and others "I only had Total cereal before work that day. What gives?" I'm not a stressful person, I abnormally was for the last 2 months due to me moving into a new place, but this last one happened a few days ago. Weeks after the move and my worries were gone. Well, whether it's actual worrying, subconscience, the food I eat (which I am now watching like a hawk) or a combination; I hope to get this figured out. Thanks for replying. I don't wish this crap on anyone, but it is comforting to see other people have it.

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