Oesophageal Patients Association
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Desperate for answers

Started suffering severe nightime " gerd " at night which interfered with sleeping over a year ago. Endoscopy showed small hernia and inflamed esophagus. Symptoms were manageable although PPI's didn't really help. For the last two months these symptoms have now presented themselves persistently and daily and I'm not coping very well with constant burning from chest to throat and/ or lump thightness in throat. I was hospitalised a few weeks ago in intense pain and weight loss but barium test and ct scan came back negative. Due to have another endoscopy and ct scan in the next couple of weeks but I'm struggling to cope with life as in constant discomfort - gaviscon helps a little - no regurgitation just a feeling of food being stuck. Any thoughts / help would be appreciated as don't know how much longer I can cope with this discomfort and putting a brave face on.

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Hi,

Don't know whether you saw my post last night but I am going through almost the same as you.

I've had gerd for over 10 years and it has always been manageable with omeprazol. However, about 3 months ago I started having really bad night time attacks. I was sent for an endoscopy which showed nothing new apart from some small no duals which they took a biopsy.......thankfully they came back clear.

I told the consultant about the attacks and he advised to double up on the omeprazol and also take gaviscon advance. I do this and just have to sit bolt upright in bed until it works. I also sip freezing cold milk.

I don't get the lump in the throat feeling like you, but I used to when I got very anxious about it.........I now try to relax everything as much as possible, particularly my shoulders and upper body.

I also go back to an even plainer diet than I already have and eat little and often and never after 6.00pm.

Hope this helps

Judi

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Unfortunately omaprizole and all the rest don't work for me - hospital took me off them completely as dr put me on high doses. Gaviscon helps short term but when I have an intense burning day like today it's relentless. My diet is soup and yoghurt only and sometimes lumps of cheese which seems to help. Never eat after 6 pm. Today I felt very very down and feel as if I'll never get better - cancelled a holiday recently and rarely been out over the last 6 weeks. Pain and discomfort has taken over my life.

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Oh!! I really feel for you, it's so miserable and you just can't escape it.

Cheese is a big no no for me....... especially melted cheese. When im having a flare up, I have a lot of soup and yogurt too. Steamed fishing mashed potatoes also good.

All I can say is good luck with you endoscopy and ct scan in a few weeks and let's hope they can help you.

Best wishes

Judi

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Thank you Judipat - it really feels like I'm burning from the inside out - good to know that people understand.

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hi

I have very similar symptoms, I know its terrible- hernia, insomnia, weight loss. I have changed my diet significantly since this started, and have found it really helps - have you tried this? For example, I used to have about 4 caffeine drinks a day (coffee, tea, coke). Now I have none. I don't eat as much sugar as I used to, and eat a lot cleaner too. I definitely recommend it. My symptoms have improved over a few weeks.

best of luck

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I only drink hot/ cold water and the odd cup of weak tea - banana, soup and yoghurt is my daily diet.

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I think that when you are on PPI medication and then it stops, you will suffer a 'bounce' effect of reflux for perhaps two to three weeks when your stomach is adjusting itself to producing acid again. So it may be that this is a contributory factor to what you are suffering, perhaps. The repeat endoscopy is likely to be helpful, and the scan, in diagnosing what is wrong. Meanwhile try Gaviscon Advance and take it liberally if it helps.

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Thanks for your reply - my stomach feels raw inside and each day I seem to be coming more and more unwell. Yes Gaviscon is my drug at the moment.

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PPi's are of some help in that they reduce the secretion of hydrochloric acid into the stomach. However it is often overlooked that in typical reflux there are three other chemicals present which are at least as erosive as Hcl. Medical science has no antidote to these three.

One example is Pepsin. This is the enzyme which breaks down proteins, making them digestible. It is secreted in the stomach wall by cells associated with those that secrete Hcl.

Pepsin is so potent that it is produced in a harmless inert form which is then activated only when safely out in the mucous-lined lumen of the stomach. If this protective mechanism had not been evolved stomach cells would digest themselves in less that 24 hours!

It is not hard to imagine that in the wrong location (in your throat) this can cause acute discomfort.

There is a growing school of thought in specialist medical circles which believes that progression to cancer is due to inflammation caused by any one of these actors alone or in combination with the other three. In other words acid is just a part of the picture; possibly even a small part.

It is the patent medicine industries' advertising promotion of dubious over-the-counter antacids which has led to this mis-placed emphasis in the public perception.

Gerd/Gord is reaching epidemic proportions in the developed world and has the potential, as with obesity/diabetes, to bankrupt national health systems. Hence it is now receiving commensurate levels of research/treatment efforts by the relevant authorities.

Unless and until new methodologies emerge what then can be done?

Clearly the only available strategies are (1) lifestyle - to reduce provocation and (2) mechanical to reduce incidence.

The objective for the latter is to prevent Pancreatic Enzymes+Bile Pigments passing up through a poorly functioning Pyloric Sphincter to then mix with Pepsin Enzyme+Hydrochloric Acid and thereafter this cocktail dribbling up through a (frequently) herniated Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (if still present-IL patients).

The single most useful,tried and tested remedy is to recruit gravity by raising the head of the bed 6 to 8 inches.

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