Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
I have some GERD concerns
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

I have some GERD concerns

About six months ago I was diagnosed with GERD after visiting my D.O. with stomach and throat burning.  He prescibed two meds that seemed to have worked up until 2 weeks ago when the burning in my throat returned accompanied by a constant lump in my throat and difficulty swallowing solid foods.  I went back to my Dr. and he felt I was having a "flare up", so he prescribed Nexium for a two week period to get it under control.  Well, the burning has subsided but there is still a constant lump in my throat and I still have constant difficulty in swallowing.  I would like to know if these two symtoms (symptoms) will also subside in time or should I seek the help of a specialist.  I must admit, I am terrified to have an endoscope done.  I know that stress sometimes makes the symptoms worse, but I am just beside myself in worry about this.  Can anyone give me some advice?  Thank you.
Related Discussions
30 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
you have described my exact symptoms..I had promblems w/ gerd 4 years ago and was on prilosec for awhile and a couple weeks ago I started having heartburn off and on and now I have a constant lump in my throat(feels like a ball of bread)and I feel like my food sticks in my throat..is that how you'd describe it? I was laying in bed a few nights ago and I felt like I had a huge chunk of apple in my throat
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
do not be afraid of an endoscopy. I have had several. I recently had one and it was over in five minutes. They now put you out with sedatives and wake you up afterwards. No pain (although my tongue was sore all day). I was in and out of the doctor's office in an hour. Honestly, it doesn't hurt at all.

It's important that you get it done.

Good luck!  Andy
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
While you wait for your medical tests, you can get rid of the lump in your throat by sticking your finger deep in your mouth and tickle the extreme back of your tong.  It make you belch strongly without throwing up and gives instant relieve. A small teaspoon of creamy peanut butter also helps me. Trty it. It costs nothing. Barend
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Littlemo and ashpie:

Andy is right, endoscopies are not to be feared. They put you in a dreamlike state with a combination of I.V. valium/versed and/or demerol. You actually won't remember the procedure at all. If you are very anxious about it, tell your gastroenterologist that you don't WANT to remember the procedure.  They'll use enough sedatives to do the trick.

As for the difficulty swallowing, it can be the result of a number of completely different reasons, some of which can be serious if left untreated. Your docs can only pinpoint the cause and propose proper treatment after they have done the right tests. An endoscopy seems like the right place to start. Then work with your docs and take it one step at a time.

Good luck,
Chicken Soup
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I too, was diagnosed with GERD about 5 weeks ago.  I am a 33 year old active female with 2 children.  I have never had any health problems, nor I have I ever had what I thought was heartburn.  Even now, to me it doesn't feel like a burn, more like a hurt.  I am on 40 MG. Nexium morning and afternoon.  It all started when my esophagus just got really irritated it  felt like it was between my collarbone.  I am doing better, but still have times where I am uncomfortable.  Has anyone else ever  felt this way?  I am watching everything I eat, no caffeine, nothing spicy, no chocolate, no milk.  I think the Nexium is  starting to give me headaches.  When or will I see these symptoms disappear?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Whether or not your symptoms disappear may depend on the state of your Lower Esophageal Sphincter ("LES"). If it is dysfunctional or weak, you will need to be very careful about adhering to a GERD diet, elevating the head of your bed, sticking with the acid-blockers, and not eating within three hours of going to bed.

If you still get no relief, ask your gastroenterologist to do further tests on the motility of your esophagus, and a ph study. There is minimally-invasive surgery available today to tighten a weak LES, which should provide you with relief from the reflux. Longterm GERD, if left unchecked, can cause permanent damage and lead to serious health problems. It sounds like you are already doing the lifestyle changes to try to address the problem. Make sure your docs are closely monitoring your progress and consider surgery if you can't control the GERD with lifestyle/dietary changes and acid blockers.

Good luck.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well everyone, you have talked me into it.  I'm going to make another appointment with my D.O. tomorrow and see what he says...maybe a reccommendation.  Aside from the symptoms I mentioned in my first posting (diffuculty swallowing and lump in throat) I feel great.  In fact, I would never know anything was wrong with me.  I'll keep everyone posted as to how things are going.  I truly appreciate all of the advice and concern.  It also helps to know I'm not the only one out there with this problem.  God Bless.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I read your post and was wondering if you also had the difficulty w/ swallowing or feeling like food is sitting in your throat?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
When it very first started,  I did have some trouble swallowing, and felt as though I had to have liquid in order to swallow my food.  I did have an EDG done, and unfortunately it was not done by a Gastro. Dr.  She did not do any test, just said she saw some irritation, and possible some yeast. (Which is very unusual).  About two week later, I finally got an appt. with a Gastro. Spec.  He was puzzled to as to why she did not do any test.  It is really scary.  I try to keep my mind clear, and not worry, but it is hard to.  I had an appt. yesterday, and since the Nexium was giving me such headaches, he  switched me to Protonix, and  told me to try taking it only once a day (I was  taking the Nexium twice a day).  If still having trouble he  said to double the dose.  Then, if not working, he said to try the Prevacid.  This just seems like such a guessing game.  He then wants to redo the EDG if I am still uncomfortable.  This  just seems so weird, since I have never felt like I have had heartburn before.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Well, I just got back from my D.O. and he has made arrangements for me to have an endoscopy done on Friday at noon.  I've already met the surgeon who is going to do it.  I'm still scared silly, but I want some resolve to my problems.  The dr. doing the procedure has already told me that dialtion and a biopsy might have to be done, but reassured me not to worry.  Easier said that done...will keep you posted on the outcome.  Thanks everyone!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Don't  worry littlemo.  I was really scared too, but it wasn't bad at all.  I have always been scared about having anything done, but the hardest part was the IV, and that wasn't bad at all.  My GI is probably going to do one himself, since he  was not the one that did it.  He wants to try the Protonix and Prevacid first.  This is all really scary I think.  But everything will go fine with the EDG.  Good luck and keep us posted.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, I am glad your going to have the scope done..I made an appointment w/ a GI for next week..I was scoped 4 yrs ago and he said I was mildly inflammed and I had to take prilosec for 8 weeks..I had never suffered from heartburn and from what I hear most people don't..I just have problems swallowing sometimes so I guess it's back.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I'm curious to know from those who have never had heartburn, what your symptoms were?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I know exactly what you're talking about.  I didn't think I had heartburn either.  I went to the Dr. with chest pains, it kind of felt like my chest was bruised.  I didn't have the typical "burning" symptom.  Not until after they did the Upper GI did I believe it.  Apparently, my pain radiates so much that it's hard to tell where it's coming from.

You mentioned you felt as though you had to have liquid in order to swallow food.  I know this sounds gross but I have to drink water all day because I can feel my saliva coming back up my throat when I swallow and the water helps it go back down.  I must swallow at least 100 times a minute just to keep everything down!

As far as the Prevacid goes, I go on and off depending on how severe my reflux is acting up.  I have periods of time that Pepcid complete does a great job and then there's periods when I need the Prevacid.  I usually take it for a few days until I get it under control.  Lately, I've been feeling like I'm going to throw up from the reflux so I started again last night.

Now comes the cons of Prevacid.  It has side effects.  I experience some of them, but not everyone does.  The first one is that I get servere stomach pains and bloating.  I double over from the pain (feels like extreme gas pains).  The second is that it affects my blood sugar.  I am border-line hypoglycemic normally but the Prevacid makes my blood sugar plummet.  My hands get shakey (shaky), I get sweaty, I can't concentrate, my stomach growls like I'm hungry, and I have to eat a lot just to get my blood sugar back up.  When I first started taking Prevacid, I gained around 10 pounds from eating so much.

Since you're still new to this GERD thing, you'll eventually learn what sets you off and what helps you.  You sound like you're on the right track.  You're better than I am - I'll suffer before giving up my chocolate!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
How long did it take for the medication to get it under control?  The Dr. just switched me to the Protonix yesterday, but he also gave me Prevacid to try, in case the Protonix did not work.  How long after you eat do you start feeling the pressure or uncomfortableness?  Thank you so much for chatting with me.  I am really having a hard time getting a grasp on believing this.  Thanks
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
"How long did it take for the medication to get it under control?" The doctor put me on the Prevacid for about 2 months to give my esophagus a chance to heal.  She wasn't trying to treat the reflux with the Prevacid, she was trying to prevent long term damage.  I'm supposed to treat the reflux itself with diet and over the counter meds, unless it gets too bad and then I go back on Prevacid for a while. It's not good for you to be on Prevacid long term.

"How long after you eat do you start feeling the pressure or uncomfortableness?"  Wow, that's a tough one.  It's usually not right away, sometimes as much as a couple of hours after I eat.  

One of the biggest culprits for me is breath mints.  I used to eat a whole pack of Lifesavers within an hour (I was a breath mint addict).  I couldn't even imagine doing that anymore.  That would kill me now.  It took me many painful episodes to get the  the breath mint to pain connection.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
How long did it take for the medication to get it under control?  The Dr. just switched me to the Protonix yesterday, but he also gave me Prevacid to try, in case the Protonix did not work.  How long after you eat do you start feeling the pressure or uncomfortableness?  Thank you so much for chatting with me.  I am really having a hard time getting a grasp on believing this.  Thanks
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Hi, peoples!

I have had much experience with GERD although I have never taken Prevacid. I am on Nexium, 40mg, every morning, and have been for about 10 months. I have had GERD for 7 years, so feel free to bounce questions off of me. Everyone else here is really helpful too. I have chronic, severe GERD, and it ain't no picnic. I had no idea what it was when I first got it, but then again, I was 12 and didn't know much at all. I've been scoped once already, and it wasn't a big deal. I actually fell asleep, which I didn't really want to do. I was a bit gassy afterwards because of the air that went into my gut with the tube. It hurt a little from where they took a biopsy, but other than that, it was just a day off of school for me. They aren't worth getting stressed over. My mom was more stressed than I was.

My GERD flares up at odd times, not only after I eat. I always carry Gaviscon with me in case of a flare up, but yesterday after I took one, I could taste it on the back of my throat. They just wouldn't work last night. What tips and tricks do you guys use/follow? I try to do everthing right, but I won't give up milk. That's my one allowance I let myself have.

Don't get stressed. Over endoscopies or anything else. Stress makes it worse, and besides, it doesn't sound like you have it horribly bad. Smile, and it actually helps. Try not to become jaded and whine about why you. It doesn't help anything. I did that for a while, and peeved off everyone around me and my GERD. It ain't worth it. Yeah, I'm only 19 and some people say I have a right to be grouchy, but I don't. Why should I be? I don't see the point.

Marygold
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
For those that have been diagnosed w/ gerd..is difficulty swallowing or feeling like you have to drink something to push it down or feeling like you have a wad of bread sitting in the bottom of your throat..are these symptoms of reflux? lately my food or liquid will come up sometimes If I belch too..I am worried because cancer causes the same symptoms though I am only 29..was scoped 4 yrs ago..do you think I need to be scoped again?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Yeah, GERD can cause feelings of a lump in your throat and difficulty swallowing. Also, my last GI (who was really good) told me that under no circumstances am I allowed to burp. It's hard not to sometimes, when you really want to. My LES is so weak that burping will weaken it more, and it can cause a bout of reflux. I haven't burped for so long. Even when I want to burp, I just keep swallowing until it doesn't want to come up again, and then take some sort of gas reducer. I haven't found a good gas reducer yet, so don't ask me which one I use. I haven't settled on one. Other people here can give advice on good gas reducers, though. But in my experience, burping is not good for people with reflux.

And as for scoping, talk with your doc. It depends on how severe your GERD is for how often you have to be scoped. I think I have to be scoped every couple of years, but my GERD is chronic and severe, and there's already lots of damage. (I saw the pics they took, and they ain't the prettiest.) Don't get too upset about cancer. How long have you had GERD? I've had serious, untreated GERD for 6 years, and finally found a treatment and got scoped this last year, but I don't have cancer. I don't even have Barrett's Oesophageous. The path to cancer goes through stages. I think there's 4. (I think they're listed somewhere in another posting.) Anyway, there's GERD (your basic reflux), Barrett's Oesphageous (where your cells mutate from prolonged exposure to acid, but it's not cancer), something else (really sorry, but I just can't remember this one right now), and then carcinoma (cancer). Many people with GERD and the right treatment never reach Barrett's Oesphageous, and many people with Barrett's Oesphageous never progress further. Read some of the other questions and postings on GERD here. Other people have posted this better than I have here. Sorry I'm not doing a very good job of this.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
just to be sure and put your mind at ease, check it out with your doc. Also, look at a question I posted on the 25th. It's near the bottom of the pg called "long term effects of taking Nexium?" It's gotten quite a few postings and is lengthy, but worth the read. Chicken Soup has some really good advice that s/he posted. Take a look.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
thank you so much for your advice..i am going back to my GI doc on tuesday I'm assuming she'll probably want to do the scope again since the swallowing thing is back..I haven't taken anything for the reflux in 4 yrs..the doc I was mildly inflammed when I had the last scope and I know he did a biopsy that was negative and I think he may have dilated me too..we'll see..
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I have the throat irritation that comes from GERD. Most Gastro doctors don't seem to know much about GERD in the throat. Mine sure doesn't. I rarely have heartburn except when I wake up in the morning. My real problem is coughing and choking on food. I can only eat liquids like ensure or soft foods like oatmeal and plain pasta. I found out a lot about GERD and the throat on the Wake Forest University site about 'Voice Disorders and Reflux.' If your problem is mainly in the throat, check this site.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
That's the main reason I was never diagnosed properly for 4 yrs. I had pain in my throat, and the acid made it all red and inflamed, so my doc had me on antibiotics for 4yrs straight because he diagnosed it as tonsilitis. Then I told him just to take them out, and he found out it wasn't anything to do with the tonsils at all. I just wish that there was more info available to my doc or somebody that could have pointed away from tonsils, but docs like to pin anything on tonsils when you're that young because it's almost a catchall diagnosis. My gastro doc was great, when I actually got one. He also has GERD and is more knowledgable because he has that experience and personal interest. I could barely talk, and still now, cannot raise my voice although my GERD is under control. I think my vocal cords were permanently damaged or something.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I had my endoscopy today!!  I'm relieved it's over.  I think the worst part was the spray they put in your throat to deaden
the gag reflex.  I don't remember much else...thank goodness.  I was shown pictures of my esophogas after the procedure.  They didn't look too bad.  I have a hiatal hernia, I've come to find out.  I had a biopsy taken of an inflamed area, but the Doc didn't seem to concerned about it.  I also had dilation done to help me swallow.  From what I can tell so far, it is helping.  I have an incredibly sore throat though, but thats something I can deal with, as it should only last about 24 hours.  I was told to stay on Nexium for another two weeks and then go back to my D.O. for further instructions.  My surgeon sounded very encouraging with the results of the endoscopy, now we just have to wait for the biopsy to come back.  I want to thank everyone for their encouraging words when I first posted on this board.  I appreciate all of the advice and support.  This site is a great "lifeline".  Will let you know the biopsy results as soon as I hear.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
Where in your throat do you seem to be bothered?  I have pain in between my collar bone, in that area?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
the pain in my throat happens anywhere from my collarbone to the back of my throat in my mouth, to my trachea. The acid likes to detour down into my lungs, for some reason, and hurt my vocal cords. But the pain that comes with reflux can happen anywhere up and down your espohagus, and even to the back of your throat in you mouth. It's not supposed to get so far that it goes down into your lungs, and once I got proper treatment, I have rarely had any episodes where there was enough acid to overflow into my lungs. You'll know if it's in your lungs or not, because the first thing to go is your voice. You can still talk if you need to, but it's so painful that you remain silent. (I was such a quiet kid growing up.) When you don't talk, the pain recedes slightly. I don't feel the pain anywhere below my collarbone area, because most of my esophagus is scar tissue from being untreated for so long. I can feel uncomfortable, and that is a warning sign for me to take something (I use Gaviscon) before it gets bad enough to hit my throat.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I went to the GI Doctor and described my symptoms ..she said that they were "classic"reflux symptoms and she took me off the prevacid and put me on nexium..I thought anytime you had the sensation of food sticking or difficult swallowing they always did a scope but she said to wait 6-8 weeks ..does this sound ok? could it be because I was scoped 4 yrs ago?
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
I was just diagnosed with GERD by a gastroenterologist, but I'm not certain of his diagnosis.  (Basically have nausea that may be related to spinal fluid leakage from surgery six weeks ago.)  I tried taking Nexium (one per day), but it caused back pain that began radiating down my leg, so I quit. I've been carefully watching my diet for a week.  Not long, I know, but I feel worse if anything -- lots of bloating.  Question:  if I ate "forbidden" foods for half a day at this point, should I feel noticeably worse if I do have GERD?  Thanks for any insights!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
ashpie3,
I was scoped in January with a biopsy, and haven't had a sensation of food sticking to my throat for a while. I don't think it's related to the scope. I do have a narrow esophagus, and when I take my pills in the morning, I can feel them sticking. I take each pill separately, and Nexium ends up near the bottom of my esophagus, the vitamin C (non chewable) lodges somewhere behind the breastbone, and the multivitamin gets stuck right by my adam's apple. It is massively uncomfortable, and they will not go down no matter how much water I drink. They eventually work their way down usually by lunchtime. It also happens when I eat, if I don't chew my food into a complete mush. It takes a while, so sometimes I mash it first so I can eat quickly. In this case, it is food being stuck in my throat. Does it happen after you eat, this lump in your throat? What your GI sounds okay, but if you're still bothered by in after that time frame, go back. I think she's just trying to determine what works and being cautious about putting your body through more rigorous tests, like a scope, when it turns out that Nexium will cure it. Good luck!

newtogerd,
Hey, what have you learned of GERD so far? What are you doing? I have had GERD for 7 years now, 4 of them undiagnosed, and follow a very strick diet. How much you have to stick to a diet and lifestyle changes all depends on how severe your GERD is. I have chronic severe GERD, which is pretty dang bad. I'll have it for the rest of my life. Forbidden foods (or as my mom calls them, death wishes) depend on your body. I have to follow my diet absolutely perfectly or else I'm in pain. I had one of my roomie's PizzaPockets before class because I was running late, and it had cheese and a little tomato sauce in it. Cheese, for me, isn't too bad, although I try not to eat too much because it's acidic. But the little bit of tomato sauce put me right under. I was bloated and nauseous and sick for the entire class. Next time I'll just go hungry! But that's me. Generally, it's up to the person to experiment with eliminating foods, and if eliminating one food makes you feel better, then stick with it. I'm not saying to look up ever single list and automatically adopt that as your new regimen, but to see what makes you worse or better. Those lists are a good way to start, but I know that if I followed everything to the letter all the time, I'd go nuts! Every so often, you need something that you used to have; allow yourself one forbidden food (my mom still insists on calling them death wishes on account of how sick I get after eating them) every so often. I'm not that old (only 19) so I have a long time to get good at this. But, all in all, most foods depend on your body. Try to find lists of what foods are generally avoided, and try from there. I agree that when you first start out on this new diet, nothing seems to make much of a difference. But I've been on this diet for 3 years already, and now when I try to eat a taco (used to be my favourite food) I can barely get past the first bites.

(I'm only speculating on this next part because I'm not a brain surgeon. This is only my theory. I'm not sure if it's right or wrong, so don't take it as truth.) The longer you baby your stomach, and then try to eat a forbidden food, your brain isn't used to it. When you used to eat it all the time, you brain was so used to getting those signals from your stomach that it may have downplayed or overlooked them, but now that it's grown accustomed to not receiving these signals, you notice them a lot more. Then again, it may also be true that by babying your stomach, your stomach grows more intolerant of these foods. I'm not sure, and intend on having a nice long chat with a doctor as soon as I get medical coverage out here.

My doc gave me a phamplet with a general list of foods to avoid, but can't seem to find it right now. I'm sure it's in my room somewhere, and it'll probably turn up when I clean it. Shoot. Anyway, keep plugging at it, and keep in touch with your doc. You'll find out what foods do and don't work for you. The longer you eliminate a food, the more it hurts you when you do eat it is what I found. Maybe instead of jumping right into the GERD diet, ease in. That may reduce bloating as it gives your body more time to adjust to the changes. Good Luck!
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, No reflux do i have Gerd was started.
Blank
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
233488_tn?1310696703
Blank
New Cannabis Article from NORTH Mag...
Jul 20 by John C Hagan III, MD, FACS, FAAOBlank