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Gerd and Back pain
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Gerd and Back pain

Last June I was diagnosed with GERD.  As the disease progressed I started having trouble swallowing because esophagus swelled.  When they did the endoscopy on me, they found a fungal infection called Esophagitis Candida.  I was treated with antifungal drug and actually got worse.  I ended up in the hospital on July 4th.  Much to my surprise, when they re-scoped me, my esophagus was completely healed.  There was a slight narrowing and they stretched that out, and my swallowing became much easier.  In addition to the two Prilosec I was taking, I started taking Carafate and Zantac at night.  Within two weeks I felt fine again.  About two weeks later, I reduced my Prilosec to once a day, and stopped taking the other drugs.  One week later, I started getting these symptoms again. This time I am notice a lot of upper back pain that is going along with the heartburn.  I went to the Dr. today and he assured me that Upper Back Pain is not uncommon with GERD,  Dr. did a blood test to check my Pancreas and results showed Lipase level was slightly elevated.  Dr. said there might be some irritation in the Pancreas and that could be causing the back pain.  My question is - Has anyone experienced Back Pain with GERD?  and Do you have problems sleeping because of this?   Your response will be greatly appreciated.   Regards, Tommy
Tags: Back pain with GERD, Esophagitis Candida, prilosec, Carafate, Xantac, Back pain, GERD, Heartburn
37 Comments Post a Comment
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620923_tn?1416285879

  Hi and welcome to the GERD forum.

I do get back pain, but I do have other medical issues along with my GERD so I am not sure which one is causing the back pain, I did assume it was from the GERD and IBS issues as that is when I have the pain....it is mostly lower back but I do also get it in my upper back as well.

Sleeping has always been an issue and I do better with the head of the bed elevated and taking antihistamines b4 bed....

U may have another underlying issue, push ur Dr for answers....

Good Luck and let us know what u find out.
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Thanks for the comments. They say a lot of people with gerd have IBS,  Keep in touch.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I had severe reflux/GERD and Barret's Esophagus due to longstanding GERD issues and had anti-reflux surgery (Nissen Fundoplication) last year and a year + post op, I can definitely say that my upper back used to hurt a lot.

My Nissen Fundo surgery was a success and I don't experience the back pain anymore so I really believe mine was GERD-related as I don't have any back-issues.
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Thank you so much for writing. It is reassuring that back pain is not that uncommon with GERD. This condition has created a lot of anxiety and I`m sure it is making the condition worst. I`m  worried what I might have is something other then GERD. At this point there is no indication it is anything else..I went thru this 2 yrs. ago and had a bunch of scans that came up negative.  I`m a photographer and I shot a wedding yesterday, It  was one of the most difficult days of my life, Betwean  stomach , back pain and anxiety. I barely made it thru the day. I fell asleep on the couch and woke up 2 hours later with pain. For me sleeping is the biggest problem.. Please give me some more of your thoughts. I need some comfort.
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     So sorry you are still suffering!!  Perhaps the antacids you are taking aren't strong enough.  Prilosec stopped working for me and I am now on Dexilant.  Seems to be the best one so far.  It is more expensive, but the doctor can give you a coupon for a discount. (mine did).

        Do you still have your gallbladder?  Many times a GERD diagnosis is truly a gallbladder problem.  Did they do a HIDA scan of your gallbladder?   Does the pain go up your right side and to the upper back and shoulder?  That's where the gallbladder hurts.

          I hope your doctor is able to come up with something to help you with your pain.... I know that pain too well.   I slept with a tennis ball pressing against my upper right quadrant last night - it actually helped as I couldn't press with my fist all night....

     Wishing you the best...
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Thanks for writing. The pain I have radiates to the left side of my back. I had a scan showing I did have at least on gall stone. That was two years ago. A good night sleep would really help. I`m afraid to go to sleep knowing in a couple hours I will wake up in pain.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

It is normal for a Gallbladder to make stones and that may just explain all of your symptoms!

I had a lot of stomach aches and IBS symptoms for many years (5?) and eventually had a sonar done and the Doctor discovered I had several stones in my Gallbladder and removed it.  Unfortunately I had some complications and things did not run very smoothly but I survived and a lot of those symptoms disappeared!

Get your Gallbladder checked out!  I don't trust HIDA tests, but remember:  process of elimination.  Don't take a diagnoses of IBS/or anxiety issues without ruling all other digestive issues out first.

Anxiety does make everything worse, but I believe it is SOMETHING that happens physically, that makes us anxious in the first place.

Let me know what you think and keep me updated please :)
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329165_tn?1412685860
ouch, typo :)

it is NOT NORMAL for a Gallbladder to make stones.  It should be removed before the stones cause blockages.
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     Dr. Hulda Clark says you can have gallstones stuck in your liver after gallbladder surgery!  
    Maybe that's why so many of us continue to suffer after having our gallbladder removed.  Also sometimes the stone can get caught in the Oddi duct causing problems.
      Perhaps you injured your spleen and didn't know it.  A fall or a bumping of your spleen?  Spleen and heart and lung on left side.  
     A blockage of the small intestine would also hurt on the left side.   You can have diarrhea with blockage as the body tries to eliminate the problem.  
    Have you been tested for Mono?  Mono will cause the liver and spleen to enlarge and can cause pain, malaise and even nausea.

      I hope you find out what's making you sick...
Wishing you the best
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     Was just thinking you might want to try some home remedies:  4 Tablespoons of Aloe Vera juice in a glass of water first thing in the morning.
     1 Tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 oz. of water - sip all day.
     Nux Vomica (at health food store)  supposed to even cure ulcers.
     DGL (licorice root) from health food store - Two tablets 20 minutes before each meal.

      If this doesn't help, perhaps  the RX for Dexilant will.  

      Hope this information is helpful to you!!
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5882236_tn?1377621424
I talked to my GI Dr. Yesterday, She wants to test for possible gall bladder problems. I asked her about A CT scan and she said the only reason she would do that at this point is relieve my anxiety  about having really bad like cancer. She still thinks this related to reflux. FYI  She was voted the top gastroenterologist in the area I live in.    Keep in touch!!
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329165_tn?1412685860
I am glad that you are in the hands of a good Doctor.

Let us know as soon as you have results or news, okay!

All the best,
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5882236_tn?1377621424
I did get a CT scan yesterday. I did not get the results but the rule of thumb is no news is good news. They will mail me the results a couple weeks . Today I had a esophageal manometrey test which measures the esophageal sphincter. The put a thin tube thru my nose in to my esophagus to do some measurements. It was a bit uncomfortable but the nurse said I did an excellent job. As you may have gathered by now I do have a problem with anxiety and I`m sure that is part of the problem. I took a look a your profile and sounds like you have been thou a lot, But you seem to have a great outlook.. Are you on facebook? Thank You for keeping in touch.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

Normally:  no news is good news :) I know!  that manomatry study is not very nice and I get anxious during these tests to and have to sit on my hands to make sure I don't grab and pull on their pipes and equipment.

I am on Facebook.  I'll send you a PM.

Did you get any scans for your Gallbladder again?
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Hi
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It was nice hearing you. Well I finally received a diagnosis, Frequent Hypotensive Peristalsis. It is a condition where the esophageal muscles do not move normally at all times. When reflux happens the acid just stays in the esophagous causing great discomfort. I`m trying some new medicine that may help the problem. If that does not work I may have to have surgery like the one you had. I am doing the bravo test next week to measure the amount of reflux there is. . I have to be off my PPI med for at least a week before the test. That is causing me great anxiety because I think PPI is controlling my reflux to a certain degree My cat scan was good although they did find some gall stones however the Doctor said they were not contributing to the problem.   Please write back and give me some of your thoughts.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

Glad to hear from you again.

I answered your other post to.  Regarding frequent Hypotensive Peristalsis.  I would be interested to know what medication there is to take for this?

I am not a very big supporter of the Bravo test.  I had 24hr Impendance study done in 2010 and that test is much more accurate than the Bravo or normal 24hr PH test.

You'll become a Surgical candidate if there are signs of Barrets Esophagus (pre-cancerous tissue) and if the LES is hypotensive that could cause severe GERD and if you have a Hiatal Hernia, then that can cause GERD and surgery is advised.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Me again :)

I am still concerned about the Gallstones that you have.  What are the Docs going to do about that?  a Gallbladder than forms stones are not working normally and should get removed before the Gallbladder gets infected or the bileducts get blocked! and you can die from this!

I almost did!  I had my Gallbladder taken out via Laparoscopy and 4 days later I had to get an emergency surgery to open the blockage that was formed in the bileduct.  I then had an infection and almost did not make it!  IT was hectic.
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Thanks for your information about Hypotensive Peristalsis. As I said in my first post this whole think started as a swallowing problem. That along with the severe gerd  put  me in the hospital for a couple days. Food just was not going down. I lost 9 pounds in one month.  After they dialated my esophagus I felt much better. I was fine for about two weeks then the heartburn came back. I went to a GI Doctor who specializes  in esophagus disorders. He is the  one who ordered the manometry test. I was prescribed a drug call Bethanechol  this drug is normally used for people who have bladder problems, they also at times use for people who have GERD It may strengthen  the LES. . I just started taking it yesterday. I read somewhere that chocolate can weaken the LES. I have been eating a dark chocolate candy bar almost every day for the last several years. Have you ever heard of this before? As far as the gall stones the Doctor said if they are not causing problems  I should leave them alone. Please write back you seem to know a lot about GI problems,
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I am a patient and not a health Professional, but I've had some major health issues and I decided to empower myself with knowledge and it helps me cope with anxiety and if I can help you in any way then I am all smiles :)

My GI issues started after my 1st pregnancy.  Terrible abdominal pains that would come and go and that continued for about +-5 years before a Doctor did a sonar of my Gallbladder and discovered I had several stones.  I had my Gallbladder op done via keyhole surgery and 4 days later I felt like dying and almost did as there were stones in my bile duct and I had a second operation to fix that and it took me about 2 months to recover from Cholangitis and Pancreatitis.  

That is why I am a bit paranoid about Gallstones.

To cut a long story short:  in 2009 I was diagnosed with Barret's Esophagus due to a hypotensive LES and then all the tests started.  I had to find out the hard way that a normal 24hr PH Study does not reveal if you have non-acid reflux and later when I went to another Specialist for a 2nd opinion I had manomatry study and 24hr Impedance study.  We immigrated and after I started developing chronic Bronchitis here, the Specialist referred me for a Surgical consult and I had my LES fixed via the Nissen Fundoplication surgery and later Endoscopy revealed that I have a long segment of that Barret's tissue and that I should have had the operation years ago.

But I've also had some issues with my throat (chronic throat infections, lump in the throat and swallowing of food) since 2009 and it took me a long time and some more Specialists and more tests to get to a diagnoses:  Chricopharengeal muscle dysfunction.  I had some treatment for that in the form of Botillium injections into that Chrico muscle.  The fact that the injections helped with my ENT issues, confirmed the diagnoses, but the botillium only works for 2 months and then I feel sick again :(

I had a Modified barium swallow where I could see where the food gets stuck, but there is nothing that they can do about that and I had to learn to wash my food down with water/liquids.

I also heard that chocolates can weaken the LES and I hope that the medication you are on now will help and that you won't need the surgery.  From what I know:  Doctors are reluctant to do the Nissen op on patients that have motility problems as that would actually worsen the symptoms and the swallowing issue.

The medication will take a while before you'll notice a significant difference, but your Doctor seems to be really involved and that is great!

Please keep me updated on your progress.  
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Thank you again for writing to me. You are proving to be a great resource for me  .Just as you said my Doctor said surgery would not be a good option for me.  Right now anxiety is as much as a problem as the reflux is. I just don`t know how I am going to feel from day to day Yesterday I had a good day, I actually felt like eating and the heartburn was tolerable. Then today I woke up at 5am with very bad heartburn. This is so frustrating!! I am very lucky to have a girlfriend who has been very supportive thru this whole thing.       I really appreciate your correspondence.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I am glad that I can help you.  Sometimes bad things happen to good people and then we just have to figure ways out ways to cope with it and use all the resources that are available :)

Have you tried taking Gaviscon before you go to bed?  that would really help with the night-time reflux.  Gaviscon is very safe to use.

Have you had your Bravo test yet?  Unfortunately you can not take any PPI's or even Gaviscon while you are doing the test cause the idea is to measure the amount of acid/reflux episodes.  Remember to keep a food diary and to highlight the times when you have symptoms!
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Hiya tommy and smiley,

I was wondering if you could give me some advice. I have been really ill over the last four weeks with a horrendous pain in my upper central abdomen and a gnawing pain round my belly button. I feel very nauseous in the morning and have had acid and bile reflux in the morning. I have also had pain under my left rib that radiates through to my back. The pain was so severe I was an ambulance took me to a &e, where i was given omeprazole, i kept having excruciating pain and was admitted to hospital, they kept me in overnight but I was then discharged without a diagnosis.  I saw my doctor on Friday who believes I have a stomach ulcer and upped my dose of omeprazole to help heal the ulcer, my symptoms have reduced and I am due to go for an endoscopy on 7th October but my symptoms relate to bile reflux disease. Will the endoscopy be able to diagnose bile entering my stomach and if so, could this be because of the ulcer? If yes, will it go once the ulcer is healed?
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5882236_tn?1377621424
I`m sorry you are not feeling well. I surprised  they did not so more testing when you were in the hospital. How do you know you have bile reflux? The pain you have is similar to what I have been going though. It sounds like reflux to me. I don`t think the endoscopy can tell tell what kind of reflux you have. But it will reveal an ulcer  or imflamation.  I can really relate to the nauseous feeling in the morning. Try your best not to worry to much that just makes  things worst. Please feel free to write back.
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5882236_tn?1377621424
I am having my bravo test tomorrow. I have to be off of all acid reducing meds including gaviscon by noon today. I thought the Bethanechol was helping but in the last couple of days I seem to have the swallowing  problem back. I have been off the PPI`S for a week now and I think there is just to much acid coming up. My throat is sore and I seem to have a breathing problem. These are symtoms (symptoms) I was having two months ago.. I`M SO TIRED OF THIS!!!!!
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Last Saturday I felt really good, In fact I had a beer for the first time in two months. It was so weird after I swallowed it the beer just hung in my chest. You had said there was chricopharengeal muscle they had to treat. I`m wondering if I have the same problem. let me know your thoughts. THANKS
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I am also surprised to see that the Doctors did not do an Endoscopy while you were in Hospital.  But I also know that it all depends on the Medical Insurance, type of Hospital, whether their were Specialists available, etc.

I am glad to see you have an upcoming Endoscopy scheduled.  Hang in there!  The GI Doc would be able to see if their is bile in your stomach.

Please remember to ask your Doc about the possibility of stones in your Gallbladder as that would explain the bile reflux.

I had a 24hr Impedance study done (similar to the normal 24hr PH study) and that was able to detect bile reflux.  I have long and complicated history with GI issues and had various surgeries for it.

All the best and keep talking to us.  We are here for ya.
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I am thinking of you today and wish you all the best!  you sure have alarming reflux symptoms!  the breathing issues can be caused by acid reflux irritating the lungs now!

Hugs and prayers coming your way!

Keep us posted, we're here for ya.
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329165_tn?1412685860
The Chricopharengeus is the upper sphincter (UES) and also involves the swallowing of food and it is also connected to the voice box.

I was just thinking about something that I read in one of your other posts (that dilatation of the throat gave you temp relief) and that may as well be connected to a UES dysfunction!

Please mention this to your Doc!  and ENT was able to diagnose it for me with a flexible tube down the nose test.  yuk, but effective.
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I had my Bravo capsule installed yesterday. The Dr. had a bit of a challenge getting in, I had a very strong gag reflex. Once it was in I hardly notice it is there. I must confess I`m really getting scared, the swallowing problem is worst then ever. I really have to focus on chewing my food and swallowing does not seem natural. I`m worried this might be a neurological disorder. I could use some words encouragement.      Thanks in advance!!!
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

How long will you have to wait to get results from the Bravo test?  I know it is going to be a hectic waiting-game and we're with you all the way :)  one thing you don't want to do now is hit the Internet and be overwhelmed with all the what ifs and worse case scenarios...

The Chrico muscle dysfunction is neurologic and most of the swallowing issues are neurologic as it is a disturbance in the normal and complex muscle co-ordination.  You may have to use long term medication and see a Dietician?

Please keep us posted on development :)
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I will get the results of my Bravo test in about two weeks The test was not that bad at all. Just getting the capsule in was the hard part after that, I  barley noticed it.. I do have this bad habit of looking on the internet to much. I think I`m doing it for reassurance but all it does is scare me. I have to realize that I have been off my PPI meds for almost 2 weeks now and that may be why I am not doing as well. My girlfriend pointed out I was having these symtoms (symptoms) three months ago before I had treatment.        Please keep in touch your messages mean a lot to me!!!!
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Avatar_m_tn
Tommy, I have a question. You say you had trouble swallowing wiith GERD. I have had issues with GERD since July. Swallowing was difficult. I felt like food would get caught towards the upper part of my throat. (Above my Adam's apple.) Dr. scoped me and said behind my vocal cords was a bit inflamed. I used many supplements (good for GERD) and changed my diet. It got better in a few days. Then, I started eating horrible foods again and felt like foods and liquids were like hanging by my adam's apple. I would have to wash food down with water. It was very uncomfortable. I changed my diet again, and it got better within a few days. Now, I don't have that feeling. But, I notice that after I eat, and sip some water, it will feel as if the water is pushing pieces of food down my throat. It's odd because I feel fine while eating, but after drinking, it feels like food is being pushed down my throat. It only happens with certain foods. Is this what you experienced? what were your symptoms like, and what did they feel like? How long did it take to develop a stricture or narrowing of the esophagus. How did you know you had one?

I went to the doctor, and he said this is all common healing, and it can take weeks for my throat to feel better.
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5882236_tn?1377621424
Until recently I have not had any problems with my throat. The first  problem I had was food getting stuck in my esophagus and then severe heartburn.  The first scope is when they found the fungus and the second scope is when they dilated me. The puzzeling thing is when they did the second scope everything looked normal. After they did the dilation I felt better for about two weeks until the heartburn came back. I don`t know if this answered your question but that what happened to me, I have an appointment with a neurologist in 10 days. I am convinced their is something else going on besides esophageal digestive issues.    Please write back!!!!
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5864500_tn?1380893197
Hi,
  GERD is usually associated with severe heartburn, reflux and stomach pain. Back pain is very rare in case of GERD. High lipase content may be due to over eating of fatty diets. It is advisible to to take some liquid enzymes along with antacids, which acts in both ways. It helps in preventing the reflux and the enzymes helps help in digestion. Please let me know any improvement. Thanks
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329165_tn?1412685860
Hi there,

I read up on the fungus infection and I think the medication cleared it up and that is why your 2nd scope looked normal.  But you clearly have a motility problem and it is neurologic, most of the time and I am glad to see you have an upcoming consult with a neurologist and I think that is where you are going to find the most answers and a treatment plan.

The Bravo test and other PH studies are done to monitor the reflux episodes you have, how long they last and how much damage they can possibly do over time (i.e. Barret's Oesophagus tissue).

How long before you are allowed to take your PPI's again?
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Avatar_m_tn
YES I. STRONGLY AGREE. I TRY DRINK ACV ABOUT
3TIMES A WEEK 4OZ WATER MIX BUT NOW I TOLD BY GI DOC.I HAVE ACID REFLUX( GERD) NOW I TAKE OMEPRAZOLE 40MG START TAKING MEDS. ON 11/22/13 I WONDER WHY I BEEN HAVING BACK ACHE VERY PAINFUL AT TIMES PLEASE TELL ME ARE THAT A COMMON SIDE EFFECT.
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