Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Sudden Onset-GERD?
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Sudden Onset-GERD?

In April I felt a lump in my throat at bedtime and vomited. Then, July 5th, I awoke in the middle of the night with a choking sensation. I naturally felt panic, which made it worse. I took Benadryl, thinking it was an allergic reaction. Had diarrhea the whole next day. That week the lump in throat and difficulty swallowing continued and I developed abdominal pain, nausea and had no appetite. Some diarrhea and felt like I needed to vomit, but did not. Began to wake more nights than not with difficulty swallowing and burning sensation coming up my throat. No chest pain. Have been taking Tums, which has helped. Elevated head of bed 6 inches as well.

Visited allergist, did testing, I have no allergies. Saw regular MD, who thought "acid stomach" and gave me Aciphex (20 mg/day). Have been taking it 3 days now. He also prescribed Reglan, but I haven't started that yet. A nurse told me Aciphex is a strong med and she was very surprised he prescribed both Aciphex and Reglan-is it abnormal to take both?

The lump in throat is better, although still present and I'm no longer experiencing the amount of nausea as before. But, now my stomach feels "tight" and sore. I feel that I can't bend or twist very well, can't suck my stomach in or out, it is sore to the touch. Bowel habits have changed (3 formed stools per day now, 1 before). Could this be a side effect of Aciphex? I can eat again, although not the appetite from before. Continue to feel "not myself". I currently eat very plain, bland foods and drink water all day long to help with lump in throat.

I do not recall ever having had stomach problems before. Eat very well, although love spicy food and tomatos. Am 28 years old, fit, don't smoke, drink 1-2 drinks per week, not at all overweight, no other medical conditions, not pregnant.

Does what I've described sound like GERD? My doctor said he was "already behind" the day I was in and didn't have time to explain (yes, I'm looking for a new MD!!). I've just been having anxiety about this and it has definitely disrupted my life since July 5th, as I've felt awful and haven't been able to eat (until the last few days). I've been reading and am concerned about Barrett's Esophagus or a Hiatal hernia-does what I've described sound like one of those. It scares me because it started so suddenly, I went from normal to awful overnight! Please help!
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Yes, it is possible to take both Aciphex and Reglan together.

GERD certainly is one of the possibilities.  Other options can include an ulcer or inflammation of the upper digestive tract.

An upper GI series or upper endoscopy (the more sensitive test) can be considered for further evaluation.  You can consider blood tests for the bacteria H Pylori which is associated with ulcers or inflammation.  

If there is concern about Barrett's esophagus, the upper endoscopy would be the test to obtain.  

A hiatal hernia can be evaluated with an upper GI series.  

These options can be discussed with your personal physician.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
http://www.straightfromthedoc.com
14 Comments
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spicy food is bad news for anyone who has acid reflux.
Tomato and tomato based products have too much acid ,also bad news.
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Yes, I have completely quit the spicy food (practically all food since I have nausea) since these episodes. I am still waking up every night with a burning sensation in my throat, and throat swelling. Feel sick all the time, not just after meals, somtimes worse than others. Have others had side effects with Aciphex? Not sure what's making me feel so bad.
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Anytime you have digestive troubles, you can feel sick all over. You receive your nutrients this way and if it is compromised in any way, you may feel terrible. Aciphex is not a drug I've ever tried, however, most prescription drugs do have side effects. I found that for me digestive food enzymes and an intestinal soother helped me the most with my reflux and intestinal problems. Hiatal hernias are very common especially in women. I sometimes stand against the wall, back to the wall. Take the inside of your palm and run it along both sides of your ribcage on either side of your stomach(hope that makes sense!)It will probably be sore but you will feel it give as you push it down. Also, I find a really goo trigger point massage in my thoracic region helps my stomach troubles. Hope you feel better. Don't give up. If you feel like somethings not right, it's probably not.
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Thanks for the comments. The other thing is I have bodyaches, my muscles are sore, and hotflashes.
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What brands of digestive enzymes and soothers have you tried? Please suggest specific alternative therapy. I had to discontinue the Aciphex because my blood pressure went up so much-explains the hot flashes I guess. Thanks.
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I use Nature's Sunshine Food Enzymes and Hi Lipase enzyme as I don't have a gallbladder. I use Intestinal Soothe and Build and Garden of Life Primal Defense probiotic. I must tell you, it took a while before I found the correct combination of supplements, but I was working on 34 years of terrible digestion problems. I had to focus on my liver and spleen as well. I began with chiropractic and trigger point massage therapy. I had wonderful results with those and then I began doing one detox at a time. I started with a yeast detox and then had a series of 3 colonics. I was full of yeast from years of overuse of antibiotics and hormone fluctuations. Garden of Life Fungal Defense is probably the best yeast, fungal, and parasite detox out there. I must warn you that you won't feel all that great if you do a detox, but the end results are worth it. Your symptoms are recent and they may be helped with some enzymes, but try to think if you did anything different in the days leading up to your first episode. Were you on antibiotics, did you have a car accident or a fall. Had you been out of the country on a trip in the last few months? Please don't get discouraged. Just start researching and experimenting. Try to find a doctor who is willing to try alternative therapies and guide you in the direction you feel you need to go in. A naturopath medical doctor may be an alternative for you. Use the internet for help. Just remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Good luck to you.
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I can identify with you Julie.  I'm a fellow sufferer of lump in the throat, not eating, weird feeling in throat/mouth.  The most frustrating part about it is the doctors(I've seen 5 different ones) cannot even find what it is.  I 31/m, and was a healthy 170, strong and muscular, just 3 months ago.  I had some stress with moving in a new home, and because I didn't workout, I lost about 10-15lbs of muscle; I wasn't alarmed, because I knew I could get it back.  But then I get that feeling, similiar to what you are talking about, and go to doctor after doctor.  They put me on Prevacid and say I have acid reflux.  Well, now, I'm down to 130, having lost at least 15-20lbs in the last month.  I've been to the ER complaining of restricted breathing, but they didn't find anything so they send me home.  

I feel like I'm going to have to develop something really bad, and then have to be carried to the hospital in an ambulance, before I get the help I need.

Right now I have abdominal pain and might have gallstones, related to rapid weightloss.  So, I'll go to the GI and he'll find them, and say, "That's the problem!"  Meanwhile, I'll be stewing over I only developed gallstones after I lost so much weight, related to the still undiagnosed condition.

I'll probably write a book on my experience with the shortcomings of modern medicine.

Good luck with your situation.  Hopefully our problem will clear up on it's own, no thanks to the unhelpful doctors.
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Thanks for the comments everyone. And versute, I want to encourage you not to give up either. This is a really strange thing, I was also very healthy before this-no medical conditions, in shape, healthy diet, etc. I was very surprised about the "GERD" diagnosis. But I've taken time to really think about possible signs leading up to it: every once in awhile I get this really flushed feeling all over and intense stomach cramps followed by one round of diarrhea that comes after eating Italian food-it's all over in 10 minutes and I'm normal again-maybe that was a sign that I didn't pick up on? Maybe you can identify stomach or heartburn signs from your past? See, I don't have the heartburn and never have. Oh, and drinking water (bottle in hand at all times) really helps the lump in the throat, so does Pepcid Complete. I was on Aciphex, but they took me off due to side effects (abdominal cramps, nausea, severe muscle aches, even depression and insomnia). Now I'll start Zegerid Powder-does anyone have experience with that? I'll have the endoscopy next week to look for ulcers...
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Thanks for the encourage ment Julie.  It's 4:45am and I've been up virtually the entire night, because at 10am yesterday I was setup with the 24-hr PH test, complete with the tube up the nose and down the esophagus.  Before that I had the manometry.  That was the worst thing I've ever been through in my entire life!  (To understand the significance of that statement- I've also gone through brain surgery.)  

I think that there is something wrong with me, but sitting here with this tube up my nose and down my throat, counting the minutes until 10am, I think I'll do everything I can do to reduce my stress, get my nutrition, and heal, so I don't have to go through any of those tests again.

As far as I'm concerned, having been through these tests, I'll feel completely well later today!
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Versute, I want to hear more about the 24 hour PH test. Have you been tested for ulcers? That's what my doc wants to do. I am worried about gallbladder stuff though. My email is ***@****

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I had the same sudden onset with identical symptoms.  Started with Aciphex, then they put me on Prevacid, famantodine.  None worked to stop the acid.   I went to the pharmacy and bought the Prilosec 14 day over the counter treatment and it worked immediately to bring some relief, and each day brought more. However, I also was prescribed Nystatin (gargle and swallow 3 x a day) as I had developed thrush while this was happening, and that may also have been what stopped the reflux.

It actually took almost the full 14 days before the acid stopped being active.   By the time this all took place, the lump in my throat seems to have become permanent and I have a some tightness in swallowing.  I'm hoping it heals totally.  I've been living on oatmeal, dry toast and other extremely bland fare for the most part but as soon as I stick one little bit of spicy, fatty, or acid type bite in my mouth the acid threatens again.   I hope this helps you!!
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To help explore the cause of your symptoms .....

Consider  that the onset of your symptoms  may not be a sudden event, but rather a climatic eruption from one or several underlying emotional causes over a period of time.
(The straw that broke the camels back)

The stress from world events cause us uncertainty.
Add this to our aready hectic life and you have a cocktail for
stomach  and heart trouble, as this is where our emotions hit us
the most.

Have you looked for those who can complement your Doctor and aid in healing your emotions and your body? The team effort is best.

If you are looking for self study in addition to seeing your Doctor, here is an excellent online
reference book http://gastroresource.com/GITextbook/en/chapter1/Default.htmk

One chapter deals with what your Doctor should ask:

The key to accurate diagnosis and effective management of gastrointestinal problems is flawless history-taking. Since up to 50% of gastrointestinal disorders are associated with no anatomical change, no physical findings and no positive test result, diagnosis and therapy must often be based on the medical interview. The gastrointestinal history must include an accurate description of the symptom itself, a past history of gastrointestinal disorders or surgery, a meticulous search for symptoms that might suggest organic disease (such as gastrointestinal hemorrhage, anemia or weight loss) and finally, a careful assessment of the patient's psychosocial state, with particular attention directed toward traumatic events or concerns associated with the onset of the patient's complaints.


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I find it interesting that you were treated for thrush and it helped your acid reflux symptoms. It is possible you have a systemic yeast infection. Nystatin and other drugs are pretty ineffective at treating such a serious type of yeast infection. I would recommend Garden of Life Fungal Defense, a 2 week detox followed by a probiotic for at least 3-6 months. I stay on a daily probiotic. Make sure you drink LOTS of distilled pure water and that your bowels move at least 1-2 times a day. If you have been on antibiotics or take oral birth control, your chances are very good that you have yeast in your digestive tract. Good luck!
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I had the exact same thing.  The only thing I didn't hear you mention is hiccups.  During my bout I had hiccups several times per day.  I looked forward to getting them since it seemed to somehow reset my esophagus and make the discomfort ease.

One day, it all just stoped!  Just as suddenly as it began, it ended.  I did get similar flare ups whenever I ate mustard, but that ended after a few months too.
Lee
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