No hope, no cure, no future. Hit rock bottom ;(

Forgive me for this extra long post, but I'm honest and truly at the end of my rope. The "s" word has crossed my mind a lot in the last few days, and I was hoping a session of hypnotherapy would relieve it. It didn't, in fact only moments after leaving I fell to my knees in tears. I'll explain my story from the beginning and hope for the best.

6 months ago I started experiencing chest pains, palpitations, tightness and other symptoms typical of anxiety. I was convinced something was wrong with my heart and went to ER twice. Despite my irrational fears, that worry only took a month and a bit to fix thanks to an echocardiogram. What I'm trying to say is that it's fairly easy to rule out heart problems, among other disorders many people with anxiety suspect. That's why I no longer worry about my heart, but I've never gotten over my current worries throughout these 6 months. I'm utterly terrified that I have [B]Laryngopharyngeal Reflux Disease[/B], also known as LPR or Silent Reflux. Doesn't sound too serious right? Believe me you don't' know how wrong you are. I know the worst possible thing to do is consult Google, but these last few months the one thing that has kept me sane is that LPR COULD be due to anxiety.

It's not. How do I know? I've been through CBT, Self-Help, Hypnotherapy, medications (both prescribed and O-T-C) and lifestyle changes. I've been trying to lead a normal life with my friends and family, and even been enjoying myself. You'd think 5 months of treatment like that would fix me up, but no dice. I'm as bad as ever, if not worse.

I match almost EVERY symptom to do with LPR, and since some people hardly have any symptoms it only makes things worse. My symptoms aren't to do with food allergies, as [B]EVERYTHING[/B] makes me worse, and it isn't anxiety or stress alone, even medical professionals like my GP agree with me on that. I've tried PPIs, H2 Blockers, O-T-C medicine, lifestyle and diet changes, the above methods of relieving stress, exercise and more. Not a single thing works. Furthermore when I get tested in the next few weeks with a barium swallow and endoscopy, the tests are sure to come back negative. LPR hardly ever causes visible damage the way GERD does, so many patients are written off with anxiety and a LOT more patients with LPR go on to get Barrett's Esophagus or Throat/Esophageal/Lung cancer from the pepsin or bile or whatever the medication can't block. Surgery doesn't fix everyone either, in fact it can make people worse. In short, I have the one thing I've always feared most - an incurable, complicated and dangerous disorder that can destroy me inside out, and cannot be easily detected or managed. LPR is a chronic condition that people have for life, and that is exactly what I worry about.

Before I began having symptoms I lead a pretty healthy lifestyle. I worked out at a gym, I went swimming and walking/running, I had a pretty healthy diet too. So why have I been cursed with this disorder when there are plenty of other people who do a lot worse than me?! I get:

- Constant mucus in my throat, especially after burping or eating ANYTHING.

- Waking up to a sore throat every morning.

- Burping whenever I so much as move. The burps always bring up something, and they always make me feel hot, dizzy and breathless. They also cause my throat to become sore and add to the mucus.

- A constant feeling of a "bubble" in my throat. If I belch it moves away but it makes my throat become tight too and gives me a headache.

- A mild burning sensation in my neck, particularly the sides and back. It can extend all the way to my hands.

Like I said, everything I eat, drink or do causes this. Taking my mind off things doesn't help because the feelings continue. I've tried plenty of "miracle cures" including manuka honey, natural liquourice, aloe vera, increased water intake, ginger and more besides. Every single one hasn't helped, in fact they've arguably made me worse. I've already cleaned up my lifestyle and diet to ludicrously limited amounts, to the point of fasting sometimes. Surely starvation isn't the only way to prevent my symptoms? I'm not even overweight - I'm only age 21 and apparently very underweight!!

It's no wonder I'm crying my heart out; I've never heard myself utter the words "someone end me now" until these last few days. I don't have it in me to kill anyone, least of all myself, but I know that as long as I have LPR, there's nothing left for me. It's taken away my family, friends, loved ones, job, lifestlye, hobbies and any satisfaction I had with life before. It is constantly on my mind, from the moment I wake up to the sleepless nights I sometimes get thinking "why hasn't this gone away even now?!" What on earth can I do to save myself? I've lost my grip now that I no longer believe anxiety has anything to do with my disorder. If anyone can tell me if I can ever be my normal self again, right down to my lifestyle and diet, please do. It's all I can hope for now.

Thank you for sticking with me, I'm afraid I really needed to rant. This horrible disorder has ruined my life. :(

12 Replies

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  • strong mind! I know it sounds so ridiculous and easy, but I'm struggling very much as well! don't let it take you down, as much as it is hard, you have to do everything and again and again... it's like when one person, then second, then third brake your heart...but in the end you manage to fall in love again :) you are stronger than this thing inside you, whatever it is and no matter how you call it. you - your mind created it so you must be the one to destroy it. and you will.

  • As another health anxiety sufferer I know how low and frightened you can and do feel.

    Looking on the internet I found quite a bit about LPR and hopefully with medication and the right lifestyle (i know you already follow this) the outlook doesn't look too bleak - try this link....... my.clevelandclinic.org/diso...

    Think positive, which as another sufferer I know is SO hard, but honestly the links I've looked at don't sound like the end of the world if you are diagnosed with LPR and it's treated.

    Good luck and I hope my words have helped a little.

  • Hi Daxter,

    After reading the above I feel that you are so consumed with letting this ruin your life you've already lost yourself. We can't live in a world of "What ifs", it does nothing but ruin the life we lead. I have a rule... I try to live by it most days. When something is out of your control, don't try to control it. Sometimes, we have to make the most of what we have. Your symptoms are apart of you, the stress and strain they have put you through have created the person you are. So many things cause each individuals to suffer with anxieties, the realisation is learning to let go. When you do this, the anxiety will decrease. Unfortunately, I am not specialised in general nursing and can't help in the ways of treatments but what I did notice when reading your post was how you are so consumed in "what ifs" and "waiting for the next thing". Try one day at a time to except yourself, including your physical elements. Take control of what aspects you can and if untreatable, learn to live with you. Suicidal thoughts are what I like to call "sticking thinking" and it's best to divert those thoughts, I suggest if these thought arise again look in a mirror and see the person you want to be. Take the good days with the bad, life is all about ups and downs. Not one person throughout this world has a constant stream of happiness throughout their life. You can do this, stay positive.

    Michelle (STN)

  • Wise words Michelle,

    Hi Daxter,

    All the things you describe, can be due to anxiety, and more besides.

    You say what if I have LPR, well everytime you say that in your head, just say " What if I dont have LPR "

    wish you well

  • Daxter,

    Don't give up. Your body is too acidic. Go to GreatTasteNoPain.com

    Also check out the research on apple cider vinegar as a natural remedy

    Peace be with you.

  • I'm feeling you need to turn this thing around. Right now it's controlling you, consuming your life... and you need to take control of IT. You can!! Believe it... The mind can be a battlefield, as your logic tries to reason with, & make sense of, the irrational thoughts & worries creeping in. Which side are you going to let win? Arise the warrior in you, practise dismissing every negative thought that enters your head and replace it with a positive. I can beat this! I will overcome it! It's just a matter of time! There is always hope! Don't give up Daxter, because sometimes you have to walk through a tunnel in order to come out the other end, you're walking through a tunnel right now but there WILL be an end, and you must keep walking - one step at a time, as Michelle says - and when you do come out the other end (which you will) you will be stronger and able to help others suffering as you are now. Your physical symptoms are a direct result of your anxiety, the physical symptoms are unpleasant and scary and this in turn, makes your anxiety worse! So get your head under control and the rest will follow: Remember there is great power in your thoughts... so learning how to dismiss negative/scary thoughts will be a great tool in your recovery, particularly if you can replace them with positive warrior-mindset thoughts for EVERY situation/circumstance you face. I'm not saying it's easy, when you feel frightened, ill and helpless as a mouse, to suddenly turn into a powerful, roaring lion! It does take practise, but is definitely do-able, and will make a huge difference to your outlook. I'll leave you with one piece of advice that somebody gave me, and I've never forgotten it: You can't always control what happens in your life, but you CAN control how you deal with it. YOU are in the driving seat - not 'it' !! Best wishes to you.

  • Sorry to bump the post, just wanted to let everyone know that I have read the replies. Thank you for your understanding - I therefore greatly apologise for my next set of complaints..! Thing is I can accept my symptoms MAY be due to anxiety, but a huge part of me keeps thinking is the anxiety a result of LPR/GERD or the cause of it? I desperatly want to believe everyone that I can be cured but it's horrible to wake up every day and wonder whether my next meal or activity will make me feel horrible once again. And usually it does, in fact only hypnotherapy has offered me any relief so far, but only for about 10 minutes after it takes place. :/

    I know I shouldn't but I can't stop using Google on the matter. Some people say "In my opinion it can be anxiety," but then another person butts in and says "I have evidence it isn't" or suchlike. I don't have the hoarse voice or dry cough, but I do get daily sore throats, burning, burping and bloating and as I said before, nothing touches it. I've taken to swallowing my burps back down because I can't stand the agony that accompanies a burp. Of course I don't know if said agony is also anxiety or not. :p

    I forgot to ask if Setraline can cause heartburn etc at all, as well as if anyone else burps all the time whenever they so much as stretch themselves or walk slowly (let alone do any excercise). My symptoms are no better or worse when I watch what I eat or not, does that sound important?

  • I have been suffering with LPR type symptoms (although never had a proper diagnosis), for the best part of a year. Constant mucous in my throat, acid sour taste in my mouth, burning throat, globus lump and tightness in my throat and regurgitation of food occasionally, although I never have the heartburn sensation. My father past away last September and this year has been a real struggle. My symptoms started a few months before he died.

    I have been so absorbed with my collection of symptoms to the point that I too thought I would develop Oesophageal or throat cancer, which in turn would make my symptoms worse due to the increased anxiety.

    Last week I found the strength to try and break the cycle of worrying about my symptoms and started telling myself that anxiety, stress and grief was at the root of my condition, despite not really believing this I still continued to affirm this to myself. The more I told myself this, consciously and also during little meditation or self hypnosis exercises the more my brain started to believe it.

    I think the first and most important thing you can tell your self is that You are not going to die!! You are going to get better and you will get better!! You are not going to develop cancer! Keep telling yourself these things, concentrate and focus on your breathing this in turn will reduce the constant pumping of adrenaline caused by constant worry. It does work - I'm my own worst enemy - I constantly worry about getting sick and am convinced that I create my medical problems with my mind so believe that it is also possible to help your body recover too if you try to change those thought processes.

    These techniques may not work for everybody and everybody's situation is different but I just wanted to share my story with the forum. I'm not sure if I've even posted this in the right place. One week on I feel so much better. The symptoms come and go now instead of being there all the time and I can now recognise triggers and none of them are from food, as I once thought, instead they usually occur during stressful or anxious moments. I think my body has been in a constant 'fight or flight' state with excess adrenaline for a long time now which I really do believe causes imbalances in every system of the body.

    Hope this helps somebody!

  • Hi all,

    Managing LPR .

    I just wanted to say that I've had LPR for nearly three years, and at times its been bad in the past, but more recently I'm managing it very well thanks to a number of things.

    Firstly digestive enzymes. I take one just after lunch, and another after a light evening meal. The brand I take is Udo's Choice 'Digestive Enzyme Blend'. These are purely plant-based enzymes..and although I was skeptical before I got them, I find they help digest food so well that I get little or no mucus overnight - or if I end up eating chocolate or cakes etc - the mucus is much thinner than usual.

    The other thing that help greatly is exercise - I do light walking and some cycling. Plus I practice regular meditation (TM) twice a day and find it invaluable for keeping stress levels way down. TM is the only relaxation technique that is recommended by the American Heart Association as it has been found to reduce blood pressure significantly.

    (Google 'American Heart Association recommends Transcendental Meditation').

    I'm convinced LPR is made much worse by stress and anxiety -which TM helps to defuse.

    We also of course need to avoid wearing tight clothing and belts etc, as well as avoiding fizzy drinks, ice-cream and chocolate etc. I also find posture is vital..as even a slight stoop or slouch can put pressure on the the stomach.diaprahm and force air and fluids upward.

    I also find that the time of year has a bearing on my LPR symptoms. with winter and cold damp weather causing thicker mucus (which the digestive enzymes will no doubt help to offset.) and spring summer helping to reduce symptoms, epecially by allowing us to get out more and walk on the beach etc..and thus also helping to take our minds of LPR symptoms.

    I also follow mostly a vegetarian diet, plus I use health tips from Ayurveda (the ancient Indian system of healthcare) which recommends drinking warm regularly -in order to flush out toxins and thin mucus.

    If you tend to be of large build, or are overweight and tend towards dullness or depression , then ayurveda classes your body type as being Kapha (Google "Maharishi ayurveda -how to manage kapha imbalance'.)

    If you are thin build and tend to worry a lot..and cant get off to sleep quickly then Google "Maharishi ayurveda -how to manage Vata imbalance'.

    If you are fair skinned, freckly and/or tend to get impatient or angry quickly then Google

    "Maharishi ayurveda -how to manage Pitta imbalance'.

    I hope this info helps.

    Rob

  • Stay strong...

  • Hello Daxter,

    I know this was posted 3 years ago- I am wondering? Are you doing any better? First of all I have to say that reading many of those replies made me quite angry, as I am currently suffering from LPR (or some other mystery disease with very similar symptoms) and it is definitely NOT in my head, nor, I am willing to bet, was it in yours. When people don't understand how something is possible, they try to make it easy and say it is imagined through anxiety or something like that because they can't fix it, and that makes struggling with the disease harder because what you need is a cure, not senseless people telling you you aren't thinking right and when you do it will all g away. That is how I feel anyway. I am very frustrated myself with this disease, but after finding many support groups I at least feel validated in my pain and suffering. I've had to do much google research as well. You have to because the medical community knows little about this disease and many doctors, such as the ones in maine where I am from, have know clue it is even a disease, they only know of gerd. So I am trying hard to fix this myself, as I've had no help from doctors, they all think I am crazy. I am also a very young woman, which somehow devalues the possibility that I am sane an actually ill for some reason. Anyway, I am searching for anything to try that might help. I am coming to the end of my rope as well. Have you figured out anything that has helped so far? Thanks ahead of time.

  • Change doesn't happen by thinking the same thoughts and doing the same actions daily. When I realized this I became more conscious of my outer world, and less conscious of my inner world.

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