View Full Version : My symptoms/story....any feedback appreciated

09-11-2011, 08:03 AM
Quick version of my story/symptoms..... I am hoping to communicate with people who are going through the same thing for support, family is so tired of me and my health problems esp boyfriend who has to help me through panic attacks at night when he needs to go to bed for work. We met 3 months before the "incident" and he fell in love with a very healthy girl and now is stuck with a sick one. I feel so alone.

My symptoms are hard to describe but usually feel like a ball of gas or air filling my stomach...I feel a pressure radiating up my esopheogus into my neck and jaw.....feels like trouble breathing but actually am getting air....my heart races,,,I sometimes have a panic attack and take a clonozepam but lately I have been able to "talk" myself down because I have had the "attacks" so often I know I am not going to die...(at least I think so). I have to walk it off and sometime roll around and jump up and down to get whatever is in my stomach (gas, food, etc..) moving. I know it sounds ridiculous so don't picture it...LOL. Finally "it" moves and I burp or just get a sense of deflation and I feel better. Also tried Gas X..can't say for sure if it helps or not. I do think being less anxious makes it more bearable but it does need to go away completely because I spend every day thinking/worrying about having another "attack".

I started having what they diagnosed as GERD Nov 09 after an accidentally inhaling a tiny piece of garlic at dinner. It was a fairly minor incident as it only went into the beginning of my windpipe and I coughed it out fairly quickly. I never thought that wonderful dinner out with my BF would change my life so horribly. I had what I thought was an asthma attack about a half hour after dinner ended and ended up in the ER 4 times in the next 6 weeks thinking I couldn't breathe. Before this I never had asthma or any other health problems.. I was in relatively good health and never went to the doctor for even a cold.

I have since had a barium test, a nuclear stomach emptying test, an endoscopy, allergy tests, MRI on my lungs, numerous xrays on my throat & chest areas...and my gallbladder removed. When I go to the hospital or Dr I always have good oxygen even when I feel like I can't breathe, EKG is always fine, blood work normal (other than vitamin deficiencies), blood pressure...you name it. Nobody can find anything specifically wrong.

I have seen several practitioners, a ENT dr, a pulmonologist and a gastroentologist...all saying I have GERD....just can't figure out why or why I keep having the symptoms that I do. I have felt like I am getting better and then I have a relapse. In fact I had an "attack" last night. That's it what I started calling them.

Oh and I shouldn't fail to mention that I have anxiety attacks too, I had them minimally before only during really stressful situations such as my divorce...I mean it had to be pretty major to make me have one. But now they are often as my biggest fear is worrying about medical issues.

I do have asthma now due to the reflux....so I have to take flovent and use a nebulizer when it is bad.

I have told my family (I am 40) that if I have to endure this for 30+ more years or have to live a life of pills and living on a strict diet and not being able to enjoy anything like other people I simply won't make it. It is no way to live.

I will listen to any advice at this point to avoid surgery and get things under control again. I am thinking about starting a daily journal and see if I can find and common factors before the attacks. I am thinking of trying a couple special diets such as lower sodium or celiac diets just to see if it helps. I ws told I was tested negative for celiac but whatever...I am at the end of my rope here and will try everything.

09-13-2011, 08:57 PM
Hi Kristen.
My GERD / anxiety started 1.5 years ago from a similar "traumatic" episode involving a drug (mephedrone) comedown.
First of all, you are actually quite fortunate to have all those tests done on you. I only had the privilege of an endoscopy...and the doctor is quite confident with a diagnosis (i'm not so sure).
You can rule anything "serious" out per se, because you've had EKG, endoscopy, x-rays etc. It's unlikely to be diet related since you say you've had allergy tests, and i would think it would have started alot earlier on in your life if diet was a factor.
I suffer from predominantly bloating, but also the stuff you've mentioned in bold, and the odd, short panic attack (usually when im having heart palpitations, etc). i too feel the need to burp.

I would think the most likely cause of your reflux is stress / anxiety, so this needs to be addressed. There are two options - beta blockers (slow the heart beat down, reduce palpitations), or SSRI's (xanax, zoloft etc, which treat anxiety a different way by replenishing serotonin levels).

Discuss these options with your doctor, if he gives you the choice go for the SSRI. im currently on beta blockers and i dont feel they are as effective since they dont target the brain...i'm going to ask to be put on an ssri