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Heartburn & Swelling
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Heartburn & Swelling

Not sure if this is the correct forum for this but here goes...  I've recently started having heartburn a lot. I'm a 47 yo male and have only had heartburn a couple times previously in my life and never severe. When this first started happening I went to the ER because it was so sever one night that I thought I was having a heart attack. This was the first time I had gotten it in years. After a battery of heart tests nothing was found to be wrong with my heart-- Strong like bull! :)  The heartburn continued on and off and eventually found that Rolaids or Mylanta would not work. I found Pepcid to work pretty well but that eventually stopped working as well. I just finished a 14 day Prylosec treatment (self prescribed) but continue to get the feeling like heartburn is coming back but in never really does, probably due to the Prylosec is my guess.

The odd thing is that throughout all of this is I have had various swelling occurring around my body-- mostly in my finger tips & palms and on the soles of my feet but never the whole foot or hand, usually just 1 finger tip or the heal of my palm and on one spot on one foot or the other, or just below the fingers or toes.  It's also been swollen on my lower right lip, right side of my tongue. The swelling usually lasts 24 hours per area and then moves to another spot. I can tell before the swelling starts that it's going to start by an itchy feeling I get there. I workout 2-3 times a week, am not overweight, 6'3" 186#, don't take any meds and otherwise feel good.

Thoughts anyone might have would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Pat
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753743_tn?1234364743
Please take some benedryl you are having an allergic reaction. You need to find out what is causing it. Get a piece of ice and hold it your hand and lat me know if this causes the reaction to your hand. If it does, do not drink cold liquids because this will cause the same reaction in your mouth and throat.
See a doctor!!!
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753743_tn?1234364743
A swollen throat will cause heartburn symptoms.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi, thanks for the reply. I held a peice of ice in my hand, the more swollen of the two, on the swolen part and it didn't feel any different than it normally does. I meant to mention however that holding it under warm to hot running water does cause discomfort in the area. I have no trouble swallowing food or drink, hot or cold.

I thought it might be an alergic (allergic) reaction so I did take 1 Benedryl tablet over the weekend and didn't see any improvement but I may need to take it more than once I guess.

Very strange that I have never been alergic (allergic) to anything in my life and for this to crop up now. Could it be something other than food such as a new laundry soap or fabric softener? Something along that line? Although we haven't changed soaps, ingredients in them may have changed.

This has been going on since around the beginning of November last  year. The swollen feet first, then hands, then came the heartburn a few weeks later. Not sure if they are connected. I mentioned it to my doctor and he thought the heartburn was realated to a stomach bug and wasn't sure about the swollen parts. This was about a month and a half ago so I guess it's time to make another appointment...
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The reaction period is usually more pronounced during the warm up process. And you wouldn't have problems swallowing the food or drink it would happen after ingestion when the throat is warming up. At this point you would feel a squeezing and burning in the throat area.
Google allergies to cold.
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Avatar_n_tn
I Googled 'allergies to cold' as you suggested and this is actually the first thing I've heard/read that makes any sense:
http://www.drgreene.com/21_650.html
This all started when the weather turned cooler here. I live in Arizona so it's usually not a problem. But for the past few months I've felt cold almost all the time. I was never usually one to complain about the cold weather or wear a sweatshirt to bed but lately I have had to because I wake up freezing at night and the blanket on the couch has become my best friend. This also corresponds to setting our programmable home thermostat to a lower temp at night to save a few bucks in energy bills. I remember back a couple months ago I got the chills one night so bad I thought I was getting the flu but it never materialized, I was fine the next day. And to top it all off, we move offices to a brand new building and the AC is running constantly. I know, hard to believe in January and February but last week it was 82 degrees here. I sit at my desk as I type this and can feel a cold draft all around me and my hands are ice cold. The website above recommended Claritin which I will try. I need something that's not going to put me to sleep and I believe it is non-drowsy. Wow, I'm a bit stunned...allergic to the cold... and anxious to reset my thermostat at home to see if this will work permanently. Let me know if you have anymore words of wisdom and I'll keep you posted. Thank you!
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Avatar_n_tn
Had a rough night... Heartburn kept me awake all night. Nothing work relieve it. I took a Clairitin with dinner and have had heartburn ever since. On the plus side the swelling in my hands is all but gone and none in my feet or anywhere else for that matter. I still have that tight, full feeling in my throat but at least the pain is gone. Hungry. Tired. Will keep up the Clairitin for a few days and see where that leads.
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753743_tn?1234364743
You  know I was the same way once I figured out what was going with me. It may take a few days for your throat to recover.
By the way, have you taken any anti-bacterial meds for ear infection or do you use vinegar for any medicinal purposes? Just asking because those are the things that started the whole thing rolling for me.
The good thing is that since I know what triggers my reaction I know what to avoid. The bad thing is that even though I am avoiding triggers,
I still have smaller less annoying reactions to the cold. I do not know if this will ever go away.
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Avatar_n_tn
Thanks for the reply. Yes, my throat feels almost normal at the moment. The tight feeling I had as recent as this morning that preceeded the heartburn is all but gone. And still no swelling anywhere. 2nd day on Clairitin.

I haven't had any anti-bacterial or antibiotics recently. I was in France in late Sept last year and took some OTC homeopathic alergy (allergy) tabs. Not sure what they were but the pharmasist there recommended them. Things started about a month after that so it may or not be connected. Haven't taken anymore and not even sure if I still have the rest of them. I think I threw them away. I also don't do vinegar for anything except on my salad occationally. :)

Let me get this straight, what is the the trigger? the cold? or what I eat?

Maybe I should start keeping track of everything I eat for a while?

Thanks again!
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753743_tn?1234364743
I'm sorry I was trying to hit the highlights for you and in the process I must have left a few things out.
First of all we both know allergies are hard to pin point when it comes to what causes them. Sometimes it's constant exposure to allergens such as is the case with latex allergies.Your age also has something to do with developing allergies. Since repeated exposure to certain allergens can cause an allergic reaction, it makes sense to develop allergies when you're older, as you've had more time to be in contact with dust, dander, mold, and pollen. Childhood allergies are something different and irrelevant in our case.
In my case I noticed that my feet burned, itched, and swelled when I stepped on a cold or cool floor,that my hands did the same thing when I washed them and allowed them to air dry or held a cool glass or can, my whole body reacted when I got out of the shower and that got so bad that I would itch while fully clothed in a cool room,and the heartburn symptoms were bad.I could actually feel my throat squeezing as I drank or ate something cold or even cool!
The only thing I had done that was new was start taking vinegar for problems with my tongue and stomach.(one swallow three times a day, and it was working). So I cut back to one swallow one time a day and the symptoms were still there but not as bad. When I cut it out all together the heartburn went away (except when I ate something spicy or greasy etc.) and the really pronounced burning, itching, and swelling went away. I do still itch when my skin gets cold.
After I got a handle on that I remembered that I had some of the same symptoms when I was taking medication for and ear infection. A look back at my records showed that it was for a bacterial infection. The vinegar was being used to combat an over growth of bacteria in my digestive tract thus the connection.
So for me I would say that the medicine and the vinegar were the triggers for the allergy and the cold is the trigger for the reaction. Complicated I know but yes I would take stock in what I have eaten,medications taken even in the form of herbs,and what I may have been exposed to externally.I would see if other family members have or have had any of your symptoms as well as we can't rule out heredity.
Please understand that I, like you have not been formally diagnosed but I do know my symptoms and my own body.
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Avatar_n_tn
Still taking Claritin (1 antihistamine tab per day) and still symptom free. Will post back when I stop taking it and let everyone know how it's going. Still not sure what my triggers are. Trying to stay warm and not catch a chill so that may be helping as well. Staying warm shouldn't be too much trouble once our desert summer kicks into gear! Will keep track and post back with anything unusual.

Thanks again for answering my post.

Pat
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Avatar_n_tn
Have you been checked out for Gerd.  If so have you discussed have the Nissen done to releive it.  

You will need to have several tests including one that has one where they put a tube down your nose into the throat that will measure how much acid is being refluxed.

Should you have surgery I cannot stress enough that you find the best bariatric surgeon around and that he can do a loose wrap.  Mine was great and I have had no problems since the surgery.  It wasn't fun, liquid diet for 2 weeks and found that during that time I could not take in more than a cup at a time.  Just ate every 2 to 3 hours.  When you eat too much at once you will have gas build up that causes a lot of pain.  Also you could feel like the food won't go down.  But since the 2 weeks were up, I have no symptoms and do not have to take meds.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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No Claritin for 3 days now and still no more swelling or heartburn. I've added a space heater under my desk at work and home. I haven't been cold since.

From all I've read I'm still putting my money on a histamine allergy.

As for Gerd, surgery and liquid diets, whoa thar big fella!... the only symptom I've had according to what I've seen so far on the subject is the heartburn.

Heartburn can also be due to the over production of stomach acid that's in turn due to the body's over production of histamine and/or eating too much food with histamine in it. The list of foods with histamine contains many I had been eating, other than seafood (yuck). Especially had a lot of chocolate in France and over the holidays. Gonna really suck if it's chocolate. I've had some chocolate since the symptoms went away and no ill effects so maybe it was a choco overdose! :) Tends to happen around here during the holidays.

Thanks for posting your thoughts. It is appreciated.

pataz
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Avatar_f_tn
Sounds like Acid Reflux my husband and I both have it.  My husband and I were on vacation and had to come home because he thought he was having a heart attack.  Found out Acid Reflux can do the same, right thing to stay away from chocolate.  Look up Acid Reflux, Gerd. etc. there is a lot of info out there.  If you had it for a while might not hurt to have a endoscope to make sure you don't have damage.  Easy test.  Just had one.  
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Just an update to my situation in hope that it will help anyone else with the same issues.

I initially posted here to help me figure out what was causing swelling in my hands and feet and frequent heartburn. At the time I thought they were related. It's been a while but I think I figured it out with the help of a food and "event" diary I've started keeping.

To make a long story short, I don't believe the 2 are related. The swelling is/was hives caused by strawberries. The heartburn is/was caused by caffeine in the soda I was drinking. I'm not a coffee or tea drinker but I always had my can of diet Pepsi One in the morning and maybe 1-2 more cans during the day. So take note that it didn't seem to take much to cause the problem. Also the heartburn started around the holidays last year and there was quite a bit of chocolate consumed on a daily basis which I think compounded the problem since it contains caffeine. I've since stopped all caffeine and chocolate (sigh...) and have had zero heartburn.

Other things anyone with these symptoms might want to keep in mind-- We also did a major house cleaning to remove any possibility that dust in the house was causing the problem. We had a mold inspection done at our house and I went to see an allergist to test for allergy to dog dander and a few other things. All proved negative. I was considering having our water tested as well but never got around to that.

My next question is why now? I’ve been eating strawberries and drinking caffeinated soda all my life.

I’ll post back with anymore details.

Thanks,
pataz

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