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  • Hiatal hernia, GERD newbie needs more hand holding

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    Old 07-30-2004, 08:57 PM   #1
    Melissa, Oregon
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    Hiatal hernia, GERD newbie needs more hand holding

    Been struggling with this hiatal hernia/GERD (strangled feeling, chest pains, etc.) about five weeks now. After three+ weeks on Nexium, major diet changes, and Harry's magnesium and licorice pills, was feeling pretty good. Had a followup visit with doctor to discuss the barium results. She insisted that the hernia was an incidental thing, very common, etc., and that all my symptoms were from the acid reflux. I know she's right, but this still doesn't make intuitive sense to me, as I've truly never had heartburn before in my life, and still don't have a burning sensation or sour taste in my mouth. Feels more mechanical somehow, that something triggers the hernia, and that's what I'm feeling in my chest. Anyway, was feeling dang near cured for about a week until I ate half an egg salad sandwich yesterday, and skipped taking Magnesium while away from home for the day. Now it seems like it's all back again. I had been steering away from fatty foods, but wasn't fat free by any means. That little egg sandwich might as well have been a big pepperoni pizza judging by how I feel today. Is this what I should expect from now on?
    What are your trigger foods? Are there any safe foods, things you know you can eat without trouble? Is there a comfort food or drink, something you can eat that makes you feel better right away when you're in "the clinch"? I'm sure I'll learn by experimenting, but would surely welcome any help you can offer.

    Last edited by Melissa, Oregon; 07-30-2004 at 09:01 PM.

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    Old 07-30-2004, 11:57 PM   #2
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    Re: Hiatal hernia, GERD newbie needs more hand holding

    can you tell me what happened to you when you ate the egg salad?
    what are your symptoms more specifically? does the chest pain burn, feel heavy, tingle, radiate...etc... do you reflux liquid, burp, feel pain in your back/

    GERD does not mean that you feel heartburn. Lots of people get heartburn but it does not mean you have GERD. Yes, people with GERD get heartburn, but it does not define it soley, it can be a symptom of it though. People with GERD get a group of symptoms...some including reflux, burping, cough, heartburn, chest pain...etc. GERD is from a hypotensive lower esophageal sphincter. Basically the lower esophageal tone is weak.

    They say hiatal hernias dont typically cause symptoms.

    Old 07-31-2004, 05:03 PM   #3
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    Re: Hiatal hernia, GERD newbie needs more hand holding

    I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia in January. I get really bad tightness between my shoulder blades and chest pains like a heart attack. Also, for days at a time I feel like I cannot breathe - as if I ate a really big meal and there is no room for air. I was taking Pepcid Complete from my gastro but I was having some allergic reaction issues. Now not being on anything is really making me feel like I cannot breathe. Are these the symptoms you have? My gastro also said that the hiatal hernia was very common. By the way, I am 44yr old female in Post Menopause.



    Old 07-31-2004, 06:16 PM   #4
    Melissa, Oregon
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    Thanks gals

    Socagirl, I guess my worse symptoms include a strangled, starving feeling up in my throat, and a heavy, pulled muscle, sharp but not acidic feeling in the middle of my chest that can radiate through to my back. There's a need to burp, but burping doesn't really help for more than a minute or so. Taking antacids don't seem to make a dent during an attack. Milder symptoms are a bloated, slightly nauseas stomach, and very occasionally a sharper pain (which I guess is heartburn) right above my stomach. Felt that yesterday after eating that sandwich, but that was probably only about the third or fourth time.

    February, it definitely feels like I can't breathe very well, like how people describe a heart attack. I've been drinking a lot more water than normal, and that seems to help, along with avoiding fatty and acidic foods, cutting down on coffee and eliminating pop. I don't know if the Magnesium/Calcium pills are really helping, but a combination of diet, Nexium, and the vitamins sure seemed to be working for about a week. I'm also 44.

    Now I'm kinda afraid to eat anything, and am getting pretty tired of nonfat yogurt, salad, and cereal. Socagirl, any suggestions? I just read a letter in the paper from someone who said sugarfree gum works when expensive antacids don't. You bet I'll try it!

    Old 07-07-2005, 10:03 PM   #5
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    It sounds like I might have something similar to you. I have had a really bad cough, kinda like a throat clearing cough that is kinda scrapey. I get it after drinking coffee, alcohol or smoking (I quit smoking last year), or when I eat too much or go for too long without eating at all. I also have some breathing problems and heart pains occassionally, usually after eating or drinking something I shouldn't. I've also been diagnosed with gastritis, esophogitis (gerd), a stomache polyp (non-cancerous) and a hiatal hernia that is 2cm. I have never had heartburn in all of my life, except when I was a child, after I ate too much junkfood. I feel exactly the same as you. The only thing that has helped remotely is licorice root juice I buy in the local health food store in tiny vials that I drink in drops (I never knew there were pills). I'm frustrated just like you, my gastroenterologist tells me I have to avoid anything fun or eat or drink and yes this barely helps me (it just keeps my symptoms from getting worse) in fact very little has helped me. I can't excersize like a normal person, I feel like I am 80 years old and I am 25. I have tried aloe juice, but this has done nothing. I have tried prilosec, this did nothing, I have tried nexium, this did nothing. So far I am losing patience. I have had this cough for a full year now, and I have had the other symptoms of breathlessness and heart pains for about ten years. I think that I need to consider surgery. But I will try the licorice pills first and acupunture. If anybody want's to talk about these symptoms feel free to email me. BTW: don't let this stupid problem ruin your life.

    Last edited by moderator2; 07-08-2005 at 06:20 AM. Reason: please read and follow the posting rules - no emails

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