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MattT 04-24-2005 04:29 PM

Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.

I've been reading these boards for about a month to find help with what I am
experienecing. I think this board is a great place for people to gather and find answers, but I have not yet found anything that fits my specific situation. Please bear with me for this....

Sometime in December I would wake up vomiting and took several trips to the ER where they told me I had a virus. I also started having constant pains right in the center of my chest. I went for all of the heart tests and they found nothing. Then in the beginning of February I had a really bad attack of nausea, chest pain, belching, etc...which kept me up for 2 days. I brought most of this on myself I believe with mixing a lot of alcohol and chinese food in a weekend long birthday celebration for myself. Spent another night in the ER.

This is where it gets really bad. My doctor thought it was GERD and put me on Prevacid 30mg once per day and sent me for Upper GI. It came back ok, but I got worse. He sent me to a GI in March who scheduled me for an Endo and a Colonoscopy (due to family history) and put me on the Prevacid 2x daily. I felt a little relief for a week or 2 and then just as bad if not worse again. The Colonloscopy came back fine, but the Endo showed Gastritis and small Hiatal Hernia. Doctor said not to worry......

I kept getting worse instead of better. I was recently switched off the Prevacid to Protonix 40mg 2x daily and since the Endo and Colon tests I have also began having abdominal pains and my bathroom habits have changed drastically. My doctor diagnosed IBS due to stress and started me on Zoloft this week. Now I am on both medications, I am eating right (a high fiber diet I got straight out of a book written by a GI specifically for my problems), excercising daily (long walks and my job required I'm on my feet all day), but again after a few days I seem to just be getting worse. Today is just horrible and I had to post because I am nearing desperation. The following are the symptoms I've experieced the past 3 days on a constant basis.....

1 - Pain in the upper abdomen after extended physical activities or long walks.

2 - Throbbing in upper chest/esophageal area all the way up to the throat especially after a deep breath. (Nerves?)

3 - Painful rising of something, not sure what, from lower chest to throat. Feels like air bubble, adrenaline or could I have even caused nerve damage and would the endo have shown this?

4 - Sickness or nausea either in throat or stomach.

5 - Constant feeling that I have to move my bowels. Sometimes I can't go for days, sometimes I can't stop.

6 - Pain right in center of chest where esophagus meets stomach (hiatal hernia?) when I twist, bend, or turn a certain way.

Most recently....

7 - Pain under toungue in back of jaw area and in neck like there is something in my throat.

8 - Massively excessive belching, especially when sitting or standing after leaning back or lying down for more than a minute. This is causing pain now because I am belching every single minute today and sometimes I even belch food up.

9 - Full, bloated, hard, stiff feeling from throat to waist, worse when lying down or after meals, but always present even when I haven't eaten in hours or just sitting down. Feels like things aren't being digested.

10 - Pain and spasms in lower/mid abdomen/intestines while lying down or after eating.

I'm in a lot of discomfort and some pain right now in my stomach, chest, and throat from all the bupring. I'm looking for alternative methods and even looking into hypnotherapy thinking I have to be reprogrammed, but these things are expensive and I don't even know what to buy. I'm doing everything right and getting no relief. I haven't had a comfortable day in months. Can anybody suggest anything?

Much appreciation in advance,

suzyshop1 04-24-2005 09:42 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
You could have gerd and ibs together.You most certainly have all the typical symptoms of both diseases.Have you tried nexium yet?Take care.

MattT 04-25-2005 11:55 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Thanks for replying Suzy. No Nexium. Is it really that much different from Prevacid and Protonix? It doesn't seem like acid being belched up anymore either. It feels more like a bubble or blockage. Just came from the Gastro doc. He said they've done every test they can Endo, Colon, Ultrasounds, Upper GI's so they wouldv'e found anything more serious. He started me on Reglan today to empty the stomach faster, but he really doesn't know what's causing so much discomfort because I'm doing and eating all the right things.
He thinks the pain might be the hiatal hernia though.


MattT 04-25-2005 02:48 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Just to add, my pharmacy is giving me some problems with the Reglan. They won't fill the prescription until they speak to the doctor and they won't tell me why. Has anyone else had problems with Reglan?

Also, has anyone had any success to these type of symptoms with stress management/psychological therapy, hypnosis, or herbal remedies?

shivani Mehta 04-26-2005 01:25 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Please refer to my post "Simple but effective guidance for heartburn sufferers" posted on 1st April 2005. I am not sure whether I am allowed to repeat the contents of one post again and hence, I am not repeating it here. I think you may be able to benefit from reading that post. Please let me know how you feel. Shivani

MattT 04-26-2005 03:34 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Hi Shivani,

Thanks for the reply. I read your post and actually do most of the things you mention except for the carrot juice. I do eat a lot of carrots though. Maybe I'll start that this week. Today I'm mostly in pain after a lot of physical work, but not as sick. It feels like it is in the area of the hernia. Besides the pain there it feels like a nice big bubble in that area causing a lot of belching again, but I've been told that most hiatal hernias cause no discomfort. Thank you for the information again.


mjcm123 04-27-2005 10:03 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Hi MattT. Did you have all of these symptoms before the meds or have they mutated since? I know it is hard to remember, but try starting a journal. These things can be trial and error. The reason I say this is you might be having a reaction to the PPIs. The excessive belching, for example, I found mine get worse when I am on the PPIs because there is not enough acid in the stomach to break down the food before it enters the intestinal track which means the food sits in your stomach longer and you are not getting the nutrients you need. However, you need the ppi to prevent the reflux. It is a vicious cycle. Try stopping the PPI for a little while and take Carafate instead and see how it goes. Also, make the lifestyle modifications (get a proppillow, eat low fat, no caffiene,etc.). Add vitamin supps and probiotic, digestive enzyme and magnesium. See how it goes. There is no easy answer. Regarding the pain when turning, it could be inflammation of the chest wall or it could be the hiatal hernia (I have one too and get pain there). I had a chiropractor try to move it down - not sure if it helped but it didn't hurt. I know it is very frustrating when the docs can't help. Last thought, ask your gi to check your gallbladder with a cck hida scan, it checks the functionality of the gallbladder. I hope you feel better soon.

MattT 04-27-2005 05:19 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
I am starting to think the Protonix might be the blame for recent problems, but I'm afraid to go off them because I could end up even worse. I remember what it was like before. Been keeping a journal, it seems that when I started the Protonix I felt just the tiniest bit better for a few days and then it got bad again.

I've really been seriously considering the digestive enzymes and magnesium. I asked the pharmacy today when they finally filled my prescription which was metaclopram (is that the same as Reglan?) about enzymes and magnesium and what exactly to take, but they had no idea.

I had a gallbladder ultrasound which showed nothing, but I really think it might be the hernia that is giving me the most trouble because I do have a very physical job. The herniated area, my throat, and my intestinal area have all been really bad for the past 4 days now, waking me up when I'm lucky enough to fall asleep. Why are doctors so against hernia surgery? I'm really glad I've found this board.

Lady4489 04-29-2005 02:18 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Sorry you have so much going on..
I did have a couple of thoughts.. You might try one of the OTC medications for gas.. It might help the belching...

Another thing is the acid medication.. I don't know how all the different ones work, but I do know that they don't all work for me... I have been on Tagamet(Cimetadine) for years now and it is the only one that has worked.. My docs have tried several times to get me on something else, but the problems I had with pain when on the other meds just wasn't worth it.. You might ask to try a different class of drug...

Did they take lots of biopsies when your scopes were done?? You should be able to get a copy of the reports of the scopes, and the Pathology report...

It is unfortunate that many GI's don't take biopsies when scoping Adults, but it is standard proceedure for kids.... There are some problems that are not visible to the doctor on the scopes that will only show up under a microscope with special stains...

I have a rare gastrointestinal disease that can only be diagnosed with those biopsies... Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis... I can cause many of the symptoms you mention... If the eosinophils are present in your Esophagus, they can cause the things you mention there as well..
Eosinophils are a normal white blood cell that goes into action mostly to battle parasites, but when it is triggered for other reasons, it can cause damage to the GI tract that may be below the surface and cause a miriad of GI symptoms.. Mostly finding out what foods are causing the problem and eliminating them will help, but it can be along and difficult road...

Steroids also will relieve symptoms...

I suggest that you may want to ask the doctor about a Path report...
Even though EG is still listed as rare, The prevalance of it is growing by leaps and bounds as more doctors become aware of it. Maybe your doctor is already aware and has checked you for it.. But I thought it was worth mentioning..

Eos Lady

mjcm123 04-29-2005 02:53 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Hi Matt. EosLady is right ... different meds work for different people. Don't know why but so it seems. Have you tried Nexium? Some people find combining meds work: a ppi with an h2 blocker at night. Right now I am on Nexium 1x/day with a pepcid ac at night. I didn't have luck with Protonix but some swear by it. Prevacid is also popular. Ask your doc if you can add a zantac at night and see how that goes. Regarding the hernia operation, it seems the way they repair that is in conjuction with the fundo. You have to be pretty committed to that surgery as there seems to be a significant recovery period and for some it does not work. I believe the percentage is around 70-90% effective. Do a web search with 'fundoplication and hiatel hernia' and you will get a number of sights which tell you what it is and how effective it is. Also if you search fundo on the message board it will give you people's experiences (although as many say, mostly the problem cases end up here). Unfortunatley, there doesn't see to be any easy answers. Hope you had a better day today.

MattT 04-29-2005 03:26 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Thank you for all the replies. I've been through Protonix and Prevacid so far. I went to GNC yetserday for Magnesium tablets and a digestive enzyme. The pain in pretty bad today as it always is on days I work, but I'm going to see what happens with the new stuff. I've actually cut down to once a day Protonix the past 2 days with no noticeable difference either way.

Lady4489 04-29-2005 03:39 PM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
When You have pain, one thing that often helps some people is to go on a clear liquid diet for a few days... Clear liquids are easy for the body to digest, and therefore give the GI tract a bit of a rest...

Especially since food could be the problem, if you take away food, it may help..

Good Luck
Eos Lady

ladywolf789 04-30-2005 08:05 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.

Have several small meals/snacks a day. Do not let your self get hungry. The thought of food is enough to set off the GERD...natural body reaction. Drink a couple glasses of water and then jump off a might pull the hernia down..Try different meds, alternative meds, it takes time to find out whats right for you. My tummy troubles all started after I had a parasite...vomiting, nausea, dia... awful stuff. Then hiatal hernia, GERD, IBS..ect. Finally got it under control. (Ginger root juice, Zantac, Tums, Pepto-Bizmul, Pantaloc) just have to take the Zantac every now and then. You have to watch your foods, no alcohol, and do not lie down within 2 hours after you have eaten. Biggest help???? Relax..relax..relax...Good luck

mjcm123 04-30-2005 09:09 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
ladywolf, i've heard about ginger juice? what is it and where do you get it? what is it supposed to do? also, i went to a chiropractor to try to pull the hernia down, i never heard of jumping off a chair! have you tried that?

MattT 04-30-2005 10:45 AM

Re: Gastritis, IBS, GERD, Hiatal Hernia...Please Help.
Jumping off a chair? That is new, how does that work? I have been trying several different things. Added the magnesium and digestive enzyme along with metaclopramide 3 days ago now while cutting back to once a day on Protonix. Still no noticeable difference for better or worse. Still on the strict diet. Don't know if I can go the rest of my life without ever going out for a drink with my friends on Saturday night again although it has been a few months since I've been comfortable enough to leave the house. Going to see a psychologist also works in hypnotherapy this week.

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