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    Old 04-30-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
    cazzaline
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    GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Hi Everyone!,

    I'm so glad I have found these forums.
    This is my first post so bear with me!

    I am a 21 year old woman that has been suffering from excess acid for 4-5 years. Recently in the last few months this has extended to severe acid reflux.

    I have been tested for HP bacteria and it was negative. The doc's seem a bit confused as apparently this is very unusual in young people.

    I have been put on PPI's however these help very slightly but I have incidences of reflux every time I eat. I hope to get an endoscopy soon.

    I was just wondering If there is anyone else young on here that has found out what the cause of there excess acid/GERD is?

    Caroline

     
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    Old 04-30-2012, 07:14 AM   #2
    KitKat880
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Hi Caroline,

    I'm 25 and just started having problems with reflux a few months ago. A barium swallow showed a 1.5 cm hiatal hernia and slight reflux. Last week I had an endoscopy, and despite a month and a half of taking omeprazole and a few weeks on Nexium, I have grade one esophagitis. I thought the hiatal hernia was causing all of this, but my gastroenterologist says it is too small to cause all of these problems. My stomach did not push up into my diaphram at all during the endoscopy, and it took a lot of moving around to get it to do so during the barium swallow. I'm still waiting on the results from a biopsy to determine if h. pylori is present.

    My understanding is that reflux is due to transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations. I know there are certain things you can eat that can cause the sphincter to relax, and there also are physical abnormalities that can affect it (such as a hiatal hernia). I personally do not seem to have specific food triggers with the exception of very fatty foods (i.e. fried foods, cheese made with whole milk). I've also been told to avoid chocolate as well, which I will begrudgingly do.

    Excess acid is actually pretty rare, according to the information that I have read. Has the level of acid in your stomach been measured? Having reflux doesn't mean you have too much acid, but that the acid is in the wrong place. PPIs will decrease acid production, but they do not stop reflux.

    Hopefully you can schedule an endoscopy soon to figure out exactly what is going on. Good luck! Living with this is not fun!

    Stef

     
    Old 04-30-2012, 07:36 AM   #3
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Hi, Caroline. Sorry you are dealing with all this.

    KitKat is right on. It's probably not excessive stomach acid, it's that too much acid is winding up in your esophagus instead of your stomach. It might be a hiatal hernia, it might be that the valve at the top of your stomach (lower esophageal sphincter) is weak.

    I developed GERD at 24, it got severe at age 29. I tried various medications. Some helped a little. I eventually had surgery to repair my hiatal hernia and tighten the valve. I'm still on medication, and things aren't perfect, but they are better.

    Definitely, try some "lifestyle" adjustments if you haven't already. Elevate the head of your bed 6 inches off the ground if possible. Eat small meals, and don't eat late at night. (Weirdly, I find I should also avoid eating first thing in the morning.)

    See if specific foods trigger your symptoms. High-fat foods are a common trigger. So are spicy foods or acidic things like vinegar, tomatoes or citrus. Some people find that bland starches and low-fat dairy can be soothing, other people do better with vegetables and find that dairy and starches make it worse. Experiment and see if there is a particular diet that helps you.

    Coffee, alcohol and smoking are bad for most people with upper digestive issues. So are medicines like Advil and aspirin.

     
    Old 04-30-2012, 07:47 AM   #4
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Thank you for the replies,

    I am so glad there is somewhere I can chat for advice and support!

    The doctors say my stomach is very inflamed hence why they think I also have excess acid and I also get severe pain around my stomach area. Although it specifically hasn't been measured

    However they do think the reflux is down to a mechanical problem so hopefully the endoscopy will give some insight to whats going on. My doc has already said that If it is the sphincter that is the problem he will recommend me for surgery due to my age.

    I have noticed very starchy foods are a problem and alcohol is a complete no go which being 21 is a bit rubbish!

    Going on an all inclusive holiday in a few months and I really want to be able to have some cocktails in the sun!

     
    Old 04-30-2012, 08:18 AM   #5
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Ah, you have gastritis as well as reflux. Me, too. Fun times.

    What I finally learned is that my stomach moves too slowly. My GI doctor thinks that this is the reason I developed gastritis AND reflux. Instead of moving on to the intestines, food and gastric juices stay in my stomach too long, which inflames it and sometimes causes them to move back up the esophagus.

    Carafate before meals helps with that burning pain, it helps a lot.

     
    Old 05-02-2012, 05:48 AM   #6
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    I have been to the Doc's today and he has referred me to speak to a specialist and have an endoscopy although he says it could be a while He has also increased my dose of PPI's and prescribed me extra strength gaviscon.

    I'm really starting to feel rubbish about it- I feel sick almost all the time now and reflux is pretty regular. I can't concentrate on my studies either grrr

     
    Old 05-02-2012, 06:37 AM   #7
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    I'm right there with you! Most days I feel like this is consuming my life and I wonder if I will ever be normal again. My doctor keeps telling me that I won't have to live with this forever, but I'm a worrier and tend to think of all the worst case scenarios. Right now I sleep a lot more than I used to, and I probably spend way too much time on this board! Fortunately my job is pretty low-stress, so I'm operating on auto-pilot during the day.

    The endoscopy is a step in the right direction and certainly should give you a better idea of what's going on. Hang in there until you can have the test done. I think tests enable doctors to better treat their patients, as opposed to coming up with a treatment plan based on symptoms alone. Seeing a specialist should be beneficial since they deal with these kinds of issues all the time.

    Hope it helps to know you are not alone!

    Last edited by KitKat880; 05-02-2012 at 06:37 AM.

     
    Old 05-02-2012, 10:19 AM   #8
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by KitKat880 View Post
    Hi Caroline,

    I'm 25 and just started having problems with reflux a few months ago. A barium swallow showed a 1.5 cm hiatal hernia and slight reflux. Last week I had an endoscopy, and despite a month and a half of taking omeprazole and a few weeks on Nexium, I have grade one esophagitis. I thought the hiatal hernia was causing all of this, but my gastroenterologist says it is too small to cause all of these problems. My stomach did not push up into my diaphram at all during the endoscopy, and it took a lot of moving around to get it to do so during the barium swallow. I'm still waiting on the results from a biopsy to determine if h. pylori is present.
    Hey, this is a bit off topic, but before you do a barium swallow or an endoscopy, you are asked to not eat anything for 4 hours, correct? I'm wondering if I do have a hiatal hernia, that it could only present (or protruding) when I have a stomach full of food - because that's when my symptoms are at their worst.

    I guess it kind of makes sense? I don't know.

     
    Old 05-02-2012, 10:48 AM   #9
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    For both the barium swallow and endoscopy, I was told not to eat anything after midnight the night before the test. My endoscopy was not scheduled until 12:30 pm, so I was allowed to have water until 8 am that day. I also was able to take my PPI.

    I'm not sure how familiar you are with a barium swallow, so I'll go over the basics. You first are given a clear fizzy drink that you should knock back like a shot. I remember that it made my nose burn, which also happens when I drink soda too fast. Then you have to drink the really thick liquid. Best to get it down as fast as possible. After that, the radiologist will have you climb up on what is essentially a big metal table for the x-rays. You'll have to turn from side to side and roll over a few times. Then you'll be given a slightly less thick liquid to drink through a straw while on the table.

    So yes, your stomach will be empty, but will soon be filled with roughly 4 cups of liquid. My hiatal hernia, which is the sliding variety, hid for most of the test. It did not show up until I drank the thinner liquid and had to roll over multiple times in a row on the table. Being in the supine position also will encourage reflux if that is truly your issue.

    You'll want to wear sweats on the day you have the barium swallow- no metal.

     
    Old 05-03-2012, 02:15 AM   #10
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    Its so great to know I am not alone! Hopefully the referral shouldn't take too long but I don't have high hopes atm!

     
    Old 05-03-2012, 05:38 AM   #11
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    In the same boat as you Cazz, doing 2 PPI's a day and one prevacid at bedtime currently. Been about 6 weeks, better but still having issues. Get away from my diet at all and it all comes back. Been to a GI specialist a few yrs ago, had the endoscope, it was just gastritis still not referred as I am just on this treadmill and the doc wants to see how I make out before referring me.

    It may be I created my own problem this time, I had a sinus operation late last year and got in the habit of taking pseudo-ephedrine due to congestion. That can upset your stomach. At Christmas post op I continued to take it occasionally if we were going to family get togethers etc. as booze congests me terribly, not a lot but apparently enough to cause problesm. Then I started working on a project at home which required me working in front of a computer for hours day after day, bending forward and working close to the monitor, I always wear jeans so that pushes the stomach up. Within about 6 weeks I was terribly constipated and fear I may have given myself a hiatal hernia. Then the reflux started, felt terrible, never had it before. Weak, didn't feel like eating. Took awhile to figure out what it was.

    Went to a hospital emerg felt so bad, they xray'd and said I was constipated. Prescribed a laxative by my doc and felt worse after , went back to hospital and then they did a catscan with barium and contrast. Everything looks ok so back to the doc. He then put me on PPI's , March 29th, Prevacid. Couldn't sleep on them, went back and to Pepcid 40 mg , 3 a day until I could get back into him. Finally on Losec which seems to treat me better as of April 11th. So my treatment has been a bit off and on so far as the PPI's. Would much prefer taking just Pepcid as I have done for years.

    So now about 6 weeks into the PPI's, some improvement, still having problems. Started a high fiber diet to which causes some issues itself as your body adjusts (gas, rumblings, etc) to ensure I do not constipated and watching my diet pretty closely. Stopped coffee in February, no booze since, occasionally a tea, watch the type of foods I eat, sleep on a wedge to elevate my torso. Had spaghetti the other night with very little tomato sauce, had been feeling pretty good, big mistake. Live and learn, the folks here posting have helped me understand this a lot, appreciate that.

     
    Old 11-22-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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    Re: GERD in young adults (age 18-25)

    i am 26 now. its been 2-3 years now i am feeling the same problem (almost) lol. i am a bit happy that i do not have a strange problem. i would like to add one thing here. when i went to the doctor before 3 years he examined me and said that i had stress of something and ill-life style. he recommended me antidepressant for 3 months. i started using that and it was useful in my case but after i could not get that eating freedom which i used to have before all of this. now i am feeling almost the same problem after 2.5 years. i used to be worried about all of this. but now i am not that stressed. now i dont know why i am feeling not well this time. now i take omeprazole when i feel acidity. this is so annoying. i dont like to talk to anyone dont like to go anywhere. i believe this cant be stress but i am confused why is this happening again. should i go through the all medical tests or should i remind my self that dont worry this is just due to depression.....??? thanks... pray for all of your get well soon

    Last edited by maribmadni; 11-22-2012 at 09:23 PM.

     
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