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SllyB 01-21-2014 07:09 AM

Severe, sudden acid reflux
I am a female in my early 30's currently experiencing constant acid reflux for the past few weeks. The only times in my life I've experienced it before were during my first pregnancy and a few years later while taking fish oil capsules.
I had another child 7 months ago, via C-section. I took prescription strength motrin for a week or so after the delivery, and kept the remainders.

I've been trying to determine what has caused this. A month ago I contracted a strep infection and took penicillin for 10 days. I also took some of the leftover motrin for a few days to help with the pain of the sore throat.
Also, our infant was very ill for a long time, and I was under an extreme amount of stress for a long time. (We're all okay now, however.) I also started taking a different multivitamin than I had been taking before - Rainbow Women's One Multi, which, I discovered, contains Betaine HCL. When I figured out what that was, I stopped taking it. (That was about a week ago.)

If the reflux were due to penicillin/ gut flora imbalance, how long would it take to recover?

If it were due to NSAID use, is the problem irritation or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter? How long would it take to recover? (Or WILL I recover?!)

Could it be due to the Betaine HCL supplement in my multivitamin? I've read a lot of sites suggesting it's helpful for reflux, which goes against all intuition, but anyone have an ADVERSE effect from it?

Could it reasonably be due to LES relaxation this many months after the pregnancy?

Is stress really a factor?

Could a probiotic possibly exacerbate reflux?

Should I be worried at this point about the damage that might be occurring to my esophagus/throat? Or is that only a concern after years of reflux?

The reflux is all day, all night, worse on an empty stomach, regardless of what I eat or don't eat. (Although I have cut out tomatoes, tea, alcohol, citrus, and chocolate anyway, to no avail. Other triggers aren't part of my diet.) I have an aching pain in my chest and back, a burning in my esophagus, a scratchy throat, an acid taste in my throat and nausea. Also, I don't have health insurance currently, so it's not feasible for me to have all kinds of tests run. I attempted omeprazole and then ranitidine, neither of which helped at all and gave me significant side effects. (Severe headache and dizziness from the former and drowsiness and weakness from the latter.)

Other health issues: IBS, arthralgia/sometimes full-blown arthritis, a number of food intolerances, chronic sinusitis, raynaud's, seasonal/ environmental allergies.

kacyc 01-21-2014 05:56 PM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
Hi, obviously I cannot give definative answers to your questions, but logically it would seem that it is a combination of all of the above that you mention.

Infection/ antibiotics do effect the gut and can cause reflux.

Additional HCL would irritate the situation

stress makes anything worse

but the main culprit is probably the NSAIDs. Although it feels like acid reflux/ gerd, actually the pain is caused by the effect the NSAIDs have on the oesphagus. At the same time as reducing inflammation they also reduce the secretion of protective mucous on the lining of stomach and oesophagus. This then creates inflammation.

We all have some amount of acid that splashes up the oesophagus and then gets washed down again. When this natural process happens after taking NSAIDs it can irritate the lining and then when acid splashes against the inflammed lining it can be excrutiating.

If this is the case, it will hurt when anything goes down, even water, not simply acid, but obviously acid and other acidic substances will hurt more.

It will definately heal. You need to cut out all potential irritants, including alcohol. Eat very gentle anti-inflammatory foods and take no NSAIDs while you are healing.

Don't panic, you don't need to rush for tests. Tests would possibly show inflammation and you would be offered omeprazole, which will not help the situation.

A few weeks, maybe sooner and you will be better, but you must be very kind to your insides and allow it to heal.

Of course there may be something additional going on such as hiatus hernia, or weakened LES, but you will know soon enough if something else is going on and then you can investigate.

vachilly 01-31-2014 05:13 PM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
kacyC, how are your symptoms? Any improvement?

kacyc 02-01-2014 02:04 PM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
[QUOTE=vachilly;5262577]kacyC, how are your symptoms? Any improvement?[/QUOTE]

Hi, yes, I am getting better and better all the time as I am on less and less medication. Still suffering, but much more bareable now, have some of my life back. I can finally see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

Thanks for asking. How you doing?

vachilly 02-02-2014 02:11 PM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
I'm doing really well since gall bladder surgery. When you were talking about reflux after pregnancy, I thought of my friend. After 4 kids, she had gall bladder problems also.

ickypoo 02-10-2014 06:21 AM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
[QUOTE=kacyc;5262803]Hi, yes, I am getting better and better all the time as I am on less and less medication. Still suffering, but much more bareable now, have some of my life back. I can finally see the light at the end of the very dark tunnel.

Thanks for asking. How you doing?[/QUOTE]

Please tell me what you did to get over this. How often what you ate and took. I feel like I am dying.

kacyc 02-13-2014 10:56 AM

Re: Severe, sudden acid reflux
[QUOTE=ickypoo;5264827]Please tell me what you did to get over this. How often what you ate and took. I feel like I am dying.[/QUOTE]

What I have suffered from was initially oesophagitis from taking NSAIDs followed by acid rebound in trying to come off the PPIs given for the side effects of the NSAIDs!

I don't think your situation is the same, but what I did in a nutshell, is to wean off the PPIs, which caused horrendous horrific pain of hyperacidity making it almost impossible to get off. I have been coming off them very very slowly, suffering all the time, but as I said, feeling better and better the less medication I am on. I eat bland food, cut out all possible triggers and have natural remedies. I found DGL licorice to be the most helpful thing, I take 2 capsules emptied into a glass of warm water as a drink, once or twice a day. Other alkaline things I found helpful have been coconut water (not milk), carrots, basmati rice, and steamed veg such as butternut squash.

Hope that helps a bit, sorry you are suffering, and hope you will also be able to get on top of it soon. x

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