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GERD? help me please.
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GERD? help me please.

hi. i have hypertension and i supsect that i have GERD but i'm not sure yet because i have yet to consult with a gastroenterologist.

over the past month, i was rushed to the emergency room 5 times for the same symptoms. the 4th and the 5th times were just hours ago. at around 6 p.m. last night, i was rushed to the emergency room because i was having a hard time breathing [much like heartburn] and my left arm has gone numb. as soon as i came in, my blood pressure was determined at 170/90. the doctor immediately had me undergo ECG which turned out fine and she gave me Catapres [Clonidine] to lower my blood pressure. after a few hours, it went down to 120/80, my breathing returned to almost normal and the numbness has disappeared. i went home at around 11:30 p.m.

when i was about to sleep at around 1 a.m., i suddenly had a hard time breathing again and i felt numb this time not only in my left arm but also in my left arm, right arm, right hand and nape. i was rushed to the emergency room again where the doctor ordered a couple of blood tests [Magnesium, Calcium, Potassium, Sodium] for me which all turned out fine as well. the doctor kept me under observation for a few hours without giving me any medication. i told her that i think i have GERD but she ignored it even though one of my fellow patients was there because of a GERD attack and was given Nexium. i fell asleep for a bit and when i woke up, my blood pressure was measured [normal]. i was sent home with a large bill and a prescription for Valium [which i'm afraid to take] because the doctor said that the only thing i'm suffering from is Anxiety.

i checked out fine in the Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Thryoid tests.

the ER doctor seems brilliant but i am 80% sure that i have GERD because i experience heartburn on a daily basis after every meal and i taste vomit in the back of my mouth everytime i burp [which is very often]. i am going to see a gastroenterologist the day after tomorrow and i'm hoping to get a solid diagnosis so i can start treatment.

my question is, is it normal in people with GERD to experience numbness in both their hands, both their arms and their nape? if not, does anyone have any idea what i might be suffering from?

any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Avatar_m_tn
To answer your first question, no, numbness like what you speak is not normal for GERD and you may indeed be suffering from a panic attack. That you believe you have GERD is one thing: if you have the markers for it, then it's prudent to have your gastroenterologist check you. A pulmonologist night also be prudent if you're having problems breathing, though they may simply say, "you have acid damage here, go see your GI." However, numbness like what you speak sounds a bit like it's coming from a panic attack, or something else unrelated to GERD.

Note that anti-anxiety medications to tend to relax the LES, so you'll want to be careful when you take them. It would be wise for you to consult someone such as a holistic physician or even psychologist (not psychiatrist) who can teach you about how to help control any possible anxiety.

(FYI: Diagnosed with GERD and panic disorder, so yeah, I know where you're coming from.)
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Avatar_f_tn
thanks gnorb. may i ask if you experience numbness in your hands, your arms and your nape too? because you know, i can deal with the heartburn, but the numbness really scares the hell out of me. also, i have noticed that when my hands go numb, they turn a bit stiff too then they twitch. i'm really scared.
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Avatar_n_tn
I disagree with Gnorb -- before I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia during "attacks" both my arms were first numb then in pain.  And, the pain would spread from my left-side across my chest and bore through to my back between my shoulder blades.  This happened for a week every month for six months before they diagnosed the hiatal hernia and perscribed Tagamet.  They told me then that the boring pain was extreme reflux caused by the hiata hernia.  And, for me, taking milk protein out of my diet stopped the "attacks" entirely.  Somehow, the milk protein was triggering gastric spasms that activated the hiatal hernia.  Later in life, when my gall bladder started giving me trouble and I had a blocked duct, my right arm would go numb on a fairly regular basis.  (BTW, I was thoroughly checked by a Cardiologist before they decided all this was gastro-related both times.  That's always the first thing they check out.)
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