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Oesophageal Patients Association
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Yellow bile in the chest or throat

I am 3 years post op after ivory Lewis op, things are going well but why is it if you sleep on the left side that horrible bile comes up and it can make a bad nights sleep, are there any solution to this or why does it happen, anyone with some good relays please.

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Hi I am 7 year post surgery and have learned to sleep hi up and never on my left hand side! It can be done but if anyone has a solution I am interested!

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Well thank you AndrewB, like you I do sleep high but sometimes during sleep I suppose we move down. Well last night was a bad one as I could not clear my air waves and I could here it on my chest which was not nice at all, I could feel myself getting quite clamie and hearth was beating ten to a dozen if you get my drift, it has taken me nearly all day to get over this one and try and clear it.Apart from just a few things my life is almost back on track thank god, what about you??? As you are 7 years post op.Tina

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It's strange because you learn to live with the issues we all have with Bile, tiredness and stomach problems! (to mention a few!) I have nights where I roll over to my left and get bile reflux but it happens less these days. (thankfully!)

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Hi Andrew,your right in what say about living with these strange issues and there are a few but I found the issue I had last night was a little to much and also losing a day as I was cream crackered to say the least. It's just that you never know if someone has found some sort of easy solution to the bile stuff, well we can only hope can't we.Tina

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I am with you Andrew, most with this op we have all sorts of attacks, but we as Brits don't give up, just say that' was Bars'td .

and carry on.

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I am the same, seven years on, still get some probs, but you sort them,Love my adjustable bed

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Hiya. Ime approaching my 3rd year post op. I no longer can sleep on either side. I do find that a pillow under my knees stops me sliding down the bed. I also try not to eat anything for around 3hrs before bed. Luckily I have not had a bile attack for a few weeks and it's great, it's on my mind most nights when I go to bed, it's awful when it does happen and I always seem to aspirate when this happens then a chest infections follows. I was prescribed Creon, I take them before everything I eat. Unfortunately the Pharmacy have been unable to get them for the last 4 months so I was prescribed Pancrex. I don't know if it's just a coincidence but I feel the best I have felt in near 3years. Long may it continue xx

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Hi ya,thanks for your reply all helps towards our recovery don't you agree, and I will give them a try thank you. I think what happens is thing go along swimmingly and one of our side affect pops up just to remind us of our journey and maybe slow us down just a tad ha ha Tina x

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Hi I had my op 7 years ago I find a adjustable bed so much better to sleep

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do try and get yourself a adjustable bed it so helps, ( you will not slip down the bed) I am 7 years post op and it does get better.

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Anyone tried a muscle relaxant or anti anxiety medication before bed? I used to get bike reflux nearly every night. I'm now taking 25mg of amitryptine every evening, which is an anti-anxiety and pain medication. Works a treat for me over the year or so. I very rarely get reflux provided I continue to prop myself up with pillows. I can also get away with eating in bed before I go to sleep, which was impossible before the medication.

Anyone else using the same medication?

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Hi jay, that's sounds very interesting when I go up for my next check at my hospital I will make enquireies, I would ask my local GP but they have not got the knowledge the team at the hospital have.and mean that in the nicest way.

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I've found that I often have to just tell the gp what I want/need and let them make the decision to prescribe. Most gps won't have experience with our condition.

Hope you find a solution,

Jay

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My husband, also 3 years post-op, is terrified of reflux and NEVER sleeps on his side, in fact he sleeps more or less sitting up. He had a horrible experience in hospital soon after the op., thought he was going to die, and is very very careful to avoid reflux. He's made himself a folding contraption for when we go away, which props him up like the electric bed we bought. All part of the new normal, but he's really well otherwise.

Good luck avoiding the dreaded reflux.

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Thank you especially regarding your contraption as when I read it quickly I thort you said contraception ha ha sorry about that, I have just call my support nurse at the hospital and she has advised that I go there tomorrow for an X-ray as the longer it stays on you chest or lungs it can give you an infection so off there in the morning, I will let you know what she says.

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I am five years post-op from the transhiatal procedure. I have found that the most important thing for me is to avoid fatty type foods at the supper meal, and no snacks or food after supper. By fatty, I mean cheese, mayonnaise, alfredo sauce, and the like. With dumping, we have to avoid excess fats. But even the amount I can tolerate due to dumping, I avoid at supper or after to minimize bile regurgitation. Hope this helps a bit. \wc

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The best advice I can offer is to avoid foods that are high in fat, as these cause the bile in the first place, and avoid sleeping on your left side (for some people it is the right hand side). When I get bile, which thankfully is rare these days, I immediately get up and drink lots of peppermint and fennel tea (though I'm sure other warm drinks probably work just as well). It's important to try to avoid aspirating the bile, as this can cause long term damage to the lungs. Good luck, G.

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Thank you for all your help and advice, I always believed it was the amount of sugar that caused the dumping so not realising fatty foods do it as well, in the past as soon as the bile would rear its ugly head I would drink some cold water and mint sweet would help. Tina

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The foods with sugar and equivalent sweetening agents, or that generate glucose, can often lead to an insulin spike / dumping. The body generates bile to help in digesting the fatty foods so this is a different thing. One of the things that might make you think you have trouble with digesting fat is if your motions / stools are light brown, floating and smell odd (steattorrhoea), but always best to try and avoid getting to that point as prevention is better than cure.

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Such a wise a very helpful man you are, the motions being light and floating and smelling odd I did believe that to be a side affect to have the surgery for repairing or removing the oesophagus.

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You will probably need creon then.

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What is creon??

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Creon is a mix of pancreatic enzymes, including lipase. Lipase is an enzyme which breaks down fat. It also has enzymes that break down proteins. It is mainly used in patients with pancreatic insufficiency. It can be used rarely in dumping to try to give more access to enzymes to break down food. To recommend it based on an off-the-cuff comment is to me very strange indeed.

Secondarily, dumping syndrome is caused both by sugar and by fat in the diet. While sugars cause the symptoms commonly associated with dumping, fats also cause problems when dumped into intestines undigested. It is actually this which causes steatorrhea, or fatty stool. This causes stool to float and smell very foul. Also abdominal pain and bloating. Decreasing fats in the diet is a much better treatment than Creon unless a person cannot get sufficient caloric intake without higher levels of fats.

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Hi Chris, thank you for your reply and really good information but my only problem is that I think I do try and eat well as they say little and often but I do believe now with a different digestive system I am not totally in control and quite understand the good and the bad.Tina

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I appreciate that we are all on a journey and learn by trial and error. I in no way meant any disrespect towards you regarding the Creon. I just get frustrated when someone tells you to take a medicine that may or may not be a good fit for you. There is no one size fits all, and we must all learn what is best for us, and that may not apply to another.

I am five years out and still learning every day. I must avoid very fatty foods along with sugary foods due to dumping syndrome (fat dumping into the intestines unprocessed causes problems, just not as many as sugar dumping into the intestines unprocessed). I also avoid fatty foods at all in the evening due to bile regurgitation and aspiration. This alone changed it from a major, potentially life-threatening situation into an uncommon, more manageable condition. This has helped me greatly, and I posted merely to pass this along to try to help.

I wish you well and hope you are able to lessen this serious problem. \wc

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Thank you again for all your sincere help and knowledge and I also wish you well on your journey.

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I was told never sleep on the left side due to the op we have, most times I sleep on my back, as I have a bed that adjusts(like the Hospital beds). do try to get one as I have most nights a great sleep, I had my op 7 years ago. still have some probs' but it does get better. even have a glass or two of wine.

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Hi all, well I have been back to the hospital and had an X-ray and blood test which was all ok so now I have another appointment to have an endoscope if that's how you spell it, not looking forward to that but needs must as at least it would put my mind to rest as now and again bad thoughts come back as the last time I had one of them I was told my worst night mare.

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Hi there hundson,

I think we all understand the bad thought's and apprehension after having to have a procedure done to diagnosis if something may be wrong. Really appreciate your sharing. I think that we all learn something new from all of our posts and help's ease our minds as well to know that we are not alone and we all keep moving forward and try to be as positive as we can. Bottom line with our surgeries we have anatomically changed and there is definitely no going back and changing that fact and therefore our physiology has changed as well. We are not so different than the doctors that are in Practice. We are too practicing on what works best whether it be medication, holistic, exercise and all of the above. One of my doctor's stated to me after my surgery that after the surgery I went through my body aged 15years from the physical structure of the surgery. So pretty much we just have to be open to all ideas. Again, thank you for sharing.

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I am 5 years and eight months since op, up until last December reflux of acid and bile were unwelcome visitors in the early morning hours. I had taken Omeprazole regularly as prescribed but had become more and more concerned about when I discovered that my two sister were on it too but had not had the operation, I am the eldest but we are all well past 70. The concern came from learning that they were on the same dose as myself. Our stomachs are about one third of the normal and we have a simmillar reduction of acid production, so the dosage did not make sense to me. I took a decision to stop taking the ppi in December. Eight months on I have got my eating/drinking balance right, my diet includes, curried dishes and chili con carne in sensible portion and mainly eaten around mid day, no rich sauces or fatty foods in the evening. The main point is I no longer have unwelcome visitors in the night. Its worth a try.

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