Oesophageal Patients Association
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Hiatus Hernia

Hi I had mild indigestion and constant burping and felt bloated after food. I eventually had an endoscopy and was diagnosed with a hiatus hernia.

The endoscopy has made everything 10 times worse and doctors are not interested I have seen 3 now all say it's a life long condition learn to change your diet etc. I was initially on 20mg omeprazole but that was increased to 20mg twice a day as had no effect. It seemed to get better for a bit but then things got worse again so I decided to stop taking it and I am actually no worse off if anything slightly better.

Current symptoms are indigestion and mild pain after most food or drink I often feel tired and have taste in my mouth, or feel thirsty. The omeprazole was making me feel really bloated.

Feel really lucky reading some posts on here but worried about it getting worse and really confused about what to do as I can't seem to get it settled with or without medication and doctors just don't seem interested.

Milk makes it worse and I have been advised the body reacts to it as alkali by producing more acid?

Any advice or comments welcome many thanks

Dave

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I would think you need to get referred to a specialist gastroenterologist. These symptoms sound sufficiently concerning to require further investigation. I feel for you

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Thanks i will go back to the doctors again at some point but they really weren't interested the last doctor said half the patients the come in the surgery had hiatus Hernia and at least I didn't have diabetes. I am not overweight though and relatively fit for 50.

Dave

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Hiatus hernia problems can be difficult and there are issues about whether surgical repair will be realistic or not in the long term. On the other hand, repair of a hiatus hernia or some intervention is sometimes worthwhile, particularly if the hiatus hernia is serious, and/or medication to reduce stomach acid does not work (I have heard it quoted that PPI medication like Omeprazole resolves heartburn in 70% of cases - which means that something else needs to be done for the remaining 30%). There are some solutions like the Linx bracelet device that recreates the valve effect of the sphincter between the stomach and the oesophagus but this could not be done without also sorting out the hiatus hernia. So I think it is worth persisting with trying to get something better done to resolve the long term issues of your reflux.

The strength of acid in your stomach is quite intense, normally far more intense than can be counteracted by the relative alkali content of food or drink, but you might find it helpful to experiment with, say, soya, A2 or other sorts of milk. It might be that your system is reacting against something as a separate issue and this is making reflux worse. So working through the possibilities of adverse reactions / dairy intolerance might be worthwhile. Or going in for a allergy / intolerance test. And, indeed reviewing your diet will do no harm and might be beneficial, as they have suggested.

Stopping Omeprazole will have a bounce effect for a couple of weeks or so. You might find Gaviscon Advance helpful for short term relief.

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Thank you will look into the soya milk. Part of the reason for stopping omeprazole was I couldn't work out what was going on, and it wasn't having any effect so I was going to try experimenting with diet and no tablets for a month and see if I could work out what was best.

That's how I found this site as I was looking to find out how long omeprazole stays in your system after stopping it so I knew when to start keeping a detailed food diary.

Thanks

Dave

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Forgot to ask what do you mean by bounce effect? Thank you

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Hello Dave,

I take 80 mg of omeprazole a day and peptac (generic Gasvicon) sometimes, the liquid appears to give more relief but the stomach is still producing acid that comes up the esophagus causing slight to extreme pain depending on how long the irritation / exposure of the acid. Sometimes my voice goes/changes tone for 5 to 15minutes max. Water/food sometimes gets stuck in the throat. I am lucky I still can cope without surgery.

So 40 mg a day is still not to bad, ask your doctor for Gaviscon or peptac on prescription if you do not have to pay for each item.

Talk to your doctor for a referral back to the stomach consultants, or another endoscopy/colonoscopy.

Good luck and keep looking at this forum, its great to have other people`s replies/understanding because there is always someone better off or worse off who can explain more on this subject.

Kind regards & stay postitive

Dave or to my mum its David

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Thanks I will do, and will go back to Doctors at some point

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Your condition sounds similar to mine . I have hernia too .I had 2 endoscopes and a barium meal after I had been on 2x 30 mg Lanzoprazole , then reduced to 1 tablet . I had a chat with the NHS hospital consultant and told her I didn't want to take these tablet forever . I then had a 24 hr monitor fitted after which I was told I could opt for surgery . I am now on waiting list.

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Ok thank you that's really interesting I have read a lot about long term use of PPI not being good for you and someone I know who just found out has been taking omeprazole for 20 years just spent a week in hospital with problems due to severe low levels of various minerals which could possibly be linked. I don't Fancy living like this if there is a surgical option. I hope it goes well and would be really interested to know how you get on.

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What was the monitor for ?

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I am 57 years old and still working full time . Although these tablets have helped I feel I have less energy and talking to people at work I have found 1 person who's husband developed polyps whilst taking the same medication I was on which was undetected until he felt really ill . I would ask for a 24 hr monitor . The swallowing you have to do whilst tubes are taken in /out can give good indications of the severity.

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Ok thank you, what are they monitoring ? Stomach acid levels ? and how is the monitor fitted ?

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Whilst I was having procedure they were able to diagnose approx how large my hernia was as there is a screen nearby and monitored what happened when I swallowed through first a wide -ish tube thread down my nostril to my throat - Through a straw - 10 sips of water one after the other - tube removed then a finer tube - repeat the 10 x swallows . This is kept in and attached to a small box for 24 hrs then you go back to same clinic for removal . I had to be awake all the time as I had to swallow when requested .You are asked to eat / drink as usual and take your tablets. Advise drinking through a straw as a cup rim can nudge the tube.

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Just got January date for surgery so will let you know afterwards.

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Ok good luck 👍

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Thanks . Will let you know . I phoned surgeons secretary when I heard nothing from NHS appointments . Was amazed when she said 8 Jan which is 3 weeks since I phoned her on a day just before Xmas where I sorted of wanted empathy.

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Thanks . I have endured many unpleasant tests .Not a celeb and couldn't get out of them .

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Although I have found out my hernia is advanced I found 1 lansoprazole tablet per day has enabled me to eat and drink what I want . Apart from bad wind and the occasional stomach upset I have been fine but opted for surgery next week as talking to people that have taken long term medication or dosed for years with supermarket standbys - they are not advisable forever. I was advised by the NHS hospital consultant that the decision to have surgery was 100% up to me but I wasn't discouraged . I had various tests - barium meal . 2 endoscopes and a 24 hr monitor beforehand so was hauled through the coals first .

I will let all know how I get on as I feel many posters here are taking meds and hoping unpleasant symptoms will go .

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Thank you for all the replies, what with that and reading up on the internet it really does seem a very individual problem with numerous people having different experiences and finding many varying solutions. I stopped taking Omeprazole middle of November. It’s nearly 2 months. I can be certain that some of the symptoms I was having were Omeprazole! I am no longer tired all the time and have more energy. I don’t get hunger cravings and can’t stop eating episodes. And I feel less bloated. This is positive and I feel more in control.

A lot of The actual hernia symptoms haven’t changed much either so as I thought I wasnt benefiting from taking it.

I have experimented with many things soya milk didn’t change anything, liquarice made it worse, coke and fizzy drinks dont seem to bad, beer, tomatoes and natural fruit juices definitely make it worse straight away. A lot of the time I it’s hard to tell what’s going on I have had days almost like normal and without any obvious reasons days when I have that blocked feeling and burning and burps etc and a regular sore throat . I think I am really lucky it’s definitely not to bad. Though having a cold / flu recently had made it worse. Thinking of you guys having operations please let me know how you get on. Thanks again Dave

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