Post # 1
So my Fiance has had acid reflux (the GERD type) for probably the last 4 years or so. He’s been taking Omeprazole for the last 3 years, and it seemed to be under control until a few months ago, when it started getting REALLY bad.. to the point where he felt like he had to throw up some mornings. He finally got insurance through work & made an appt with a gastroenterologist & got referred to get an endoscopy.
He got scoped last Friday & they found ulcers in his esophagus. He couldn’t get a follow up appt for another 3-4 weeks. The doc told him to just keep taking the Omeprazole (20 milligrams) & Ranitidine (a stronger reflux med, I believe it’s 300 milligrams) & hopefully it’ll start healing up, & they’d discuss the ulcer biopsy results at the follow up appt.
The meds don’t seem to really be helping too much, as his reflux still really bothers him while trying to go to sleep (we have a wedge that props him up, too, so he’s not lying flat) & sometimes in the morning. I’ve been making a lot of changes with the cooking to accomodate the reflux & have been giving him smaller portions, but nothing seems to really be changing.
The doc seems to think the meds should heal the ulcers right up, but it doesn’t seem to really be helping. Just wondering if any Bees have bad reflux/have had ulcers, or if there’s anyone on the boards who is in the medical field who maybe knows a lot about this.
If there is anyone who has experienced this or is knowledgable, are the ulcers supposed to heal just with reflux meds? What if the meds don’t seem to be very effective, what are options besides that? FI’s sister is going to PA school to be a physician’s assistant, and said they may do a minor surgery to tighten his LES (lower esophageal sphincter) so the stomach acid can’t come back up (or at least make it so very little could potentially come up). Would appreciate any info/suggestions from anyone knowledgable on the topic! 🙂
Post # 3
I know you described a slightly different situation, but there was another topic posted on this several days ago that might have some helpful information for you: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/update-went-to-the-dr-for-my-pain-anyone-have-gerd
I suffered from GERD and related GI issues for about two years in high school and it got really bad. I never had esophogeal or gastric ulcers, though I got checked for both (upper endoscopy), so I can’t give you much information on that. I drastically changed my diet (cut out ALL coffee, soda, dairy, tomatoes, citrus) and was on several medications (omeprazole and reglan) but the biggest thing that helped me get better was eliminating stress. I was in my junior/senior year of high school and stressing out about high-level coursework, college apps, and many, many extracurricular activities. It all sounds trivial now, but I was a very stressed out 17 year old. And then I started getting sick and missed weeks of school, started falling behind, and got even more stressed. It was terrible. But graduation came, summertime, I went off to college and stopped taking my meds and I got better. I know that it’s hard in adulthood to try to alleviate stress in your life, but you and your Fiance should do everything possible to try to do this. He did the right thing in seeing a GI specialist, I’m sure the doctor will be able to give both of you recommendations for further action if they are necessary. Good luck
Post # 4
I was on Nexium, which is a double dose of Omep. except that it heals ulcers and damage, etc. It worked for me, until we found out my acid reflux was induced by endometriosis, I had emergency surgery and don’t suffer from it now!…well until the endo. starts growing out of control again. =/ I would recommend the purple pill!
Post # 5
I have laryngeophayengal reflux (where my reflux comes all the way up into my nasal cavity). I don’t have any heart burn symptoms but I have terrible issues with coughing/asthma like symptoms.
I am currently on Omprazole 2x per day as well as ranitidine at night.
What diet changes has he made? Has he cut out all soda, coffee, chocolate, citrus, tomato, high fat food, alcohol, etc?
Those are all BIG reflux triggers. Also, eating less than 3 hrs before bed can aggravate reflux as well.
I have spoken with a surgeon about the nissen fundoplication surgery (the tightening of the lower esophageal sphincter) and I will most likely be getting it done after my wedding.
Has the doctor tried other proton pump inhibitors? I was originally on Protonix and it was not working, but when I was switched to omeprazole I improved greatly.
When I met with the surgeon, he said those that do best with surgery are the ones who intially respond to drug treatment but then relapse.
Seeing a surgeon would be very good for him.
Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions. My Dr. is on of the best in her field and has written many papers on reflux as well as written a “reflux cookbook” with recipes that have low acid & low fat.
Post # 6
I have a ques for everyone who has posted on here.
I believe I have some form of acid reflux, but it rarely happens so I havn’t been to the doctor and don’t want to take medication for something that doesn’t happen too often.
So what happens is when I go to sleep, I will sometimes wake up in the middle of the night choking on my vomit, I am usually panicked, but w/in a second end up swallowing, and can obviously breathe though my mouth again.
This happens prob 2-3 times a year, and I have come to learn that this happens if I eat pizza and then go to bed w/in 3-4 hours after eating it. This is what makes me think this is acid reflux. Is this waking up choking on vomit a symtom?
Post # 7
@AnnieAAA: Waking up coughing is definitely a symptom and you may be refluxing more than acid (hence the vomit).
You should at least go to an ENT and have them look down your throat. They can see if there is damage to the larynx by just looking with a small scope (it goes up your nose and down the back of your throat). It is uncomfortable but only takes about 5 min.
If there is evidence of reflux, they will probably do a 24 hour pH test. This involves a small tube with a sensor being placed down your esophagus (again through the nose) and attached to a monitor.
They monitor the pH at 2 points in your esophagus over a 24 hr period to see how much/how often you are refluxing.
It is not until they do these types of tests that they put you on medication.
The 24 hr pH test is uncomfortable, but not terrible. The scope to look at your larynx isn’t bad at all. I get it done about once a month now (every time I see my ENT). The worst part for me is getting the tube through my nose since I have a very small and sensitive nasal passage.
Post # 8
I have GERD and my dad had it REALLY bad. One of the things that helped was not drinking water with food, and also taking pineapple enzymes after eating to aid with digestion.
Also, not laying down for a a LOOOOOOOONG time after eating can help, and so can avoiding certain types of foods. It could be that even though you are cooking different, there are other things that your Fiance needs to eliminate from his diet. Many of us have food sensitivities and we don’t even notice because we don’t have a severe reaction. I would try an even more intense change in food and see what that does.
AnnieAAA, sounds like you have mild GERD, which is what I have. I was given meds but don’t take them anymore because it seems under control. It does sound like that it what you have. I would either avoid pizza or else take an anti-acid before/after it just to help. You could also try the pineapple enzymes to help.
Post # 9
Thank you ladies for all your responses! I’m just trying to get as much info as I can. I’m in my last semester of grad school for speech pathology & while our program is very medically based & we’ve had classes that have addressed reflux (in our swallowing class & voice class), I still feel like I don’t really know a ton about it.
Unfortunately my FI’s current job is really stressful, which I’ve heard can act up the reflux, but at least it’s just until May or so until we move & he can quit & find something else. We’re currently in a small town where there’s no real job options unless you commute an hour north or south to get to a real city. And, his health insurance that he just got is through his work, and he has to maintain 34hours/week or more to keep that, so dropping his hours isn’t really much of an option either.
@KatNYC2011: He’s made pretty significant diet changes. He had beer 1 day over Christmas, but besides that hasn’t had any alcohol for a few months. He used to have a beer every night. He has never been a coffee/soda drinker, and doesn’t like any fruits really besides blueberries & bananas. And he rarely even eats anything with blueberries, he usually just has a banana with a glass of milk for breakfast, though I’ve heard mixed things about whether dairy is bad for reflux. The tomato sauce is definitely something I’ve been working on.. I’m Italian so I love cooking Italian food, haha, so that’s been tough. I’ve been trying to cook meals without it, and if there is something that needs tomato sauce, I use it very sparingly. I’ve been trying to use alfredo sauce instead when possible, since he said that doesn’t seem to act it up.
He used to eat chocolate all the time, too (1 of those guys whose metabolism is constantly going.. he could eat whatever he wanted without gaining weight!), but he’s cut that out completely, too. He also rarely eats high fat foods. We never go out for fast food, & I cook with lean ground turkey & chicken. The biggest change I’ve been making is just trying to cook meals that don’t involve tomato sauce, & not using lots of seasonings like garlic, pepper, etc.. I will definitely PM you though, I would LOVE to get my hands on a reflux cookbook!
@CurlyDreamer: Why does water with a meal act up reflux more? Just curious! Also never heard of the pineapple enzymes. Thanks for the info!
Post # 10
@kt23525: Please feel free to PM me. I’ll send you my Dr’s website. There’s SO much information there on reflux as well as sample recipes from the cookbook.
Does your Fiance drink regular milk or non-fat? If it’s non-fat that is great, because milk is actually a base. My Dr recommended that I try to have the last thing I eat/drink be a base so that acid doesn’t sit at the esophageal opening.
As for Alfredo sauce, that can be really high in fat, don’t know if you are making it yourself or not, but I’d be careful.
Other things that can trigger that you might not think of are nuts and cheese and oils (inc olive oil) due to high fat . Also tea unless it is chamomile and mint can cause reflux too.
Has he been checked for a hiatal hernia? Usually those only get worse with time and the only way to fix it is surgery (cannot be fixed by diet or medication).
Post # 11
@kirabee: hehe I was just thinking about that post! I think it’s kinda funny that you referenced my post!! 🙂 Thank you for that!
Post # 12
The other issue is that “prepared foods” even those you wouldn’t think to be acidic or high fat (i.e. apple sauce, canned goods, jarred goods, etc) are highly acidic in order to kill bacteria and keep the food shelf stable.
Post # 13
KatNYC2011 & CurlyDreamer : thank you so much for the advice!
Post # 14
I have a very similar story. I sucked it up for a long long time with the meds until I finally decided to go off of them. I was sick of the tests, the “attacks”, the nausea. After overhauling my diet and eating IMMEDIATELY (like, even before I use the bathroom) when I get up in the morning, I saw such dramatic improvements. Cutting down on stress in any way you possibly can is also beneficial. Best of luck, I know how terrible it can be.