Multiple Sclerosis Community
Acid Reflux
About This Community:

Our Patient-to-Patient MS Forum is where you can communicate with other people who share your interest in Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is not monitored by medical professionals.

Font Size:
Blank Blank

Acid Reflux

I was very curious as to how many on this forum suffer from some type of Acid Reflux and whether or not it is related to MS or a problem of it's own? I had my gallbladder removed 2 years ago and thought I was done with heartburn after getting rid of it, but I have had horrible problems lately.

I was put on ranitidine for my hive problems last year (300mg twice a day) and after the hives finally went away I just stayed on them since the allergist gave me so many refills and they were helping keep the acid at bay. Now if I forget one dose and eat anything I know it that night!

I know I am going to have to go to a doctor soon because my throat was killing me the other day after the reflux was so bad I was praying to the toilet gods all night. I am really sick of doctors, seems like that's all I do with my time off of work it to go see doctors!
Related Discussions
21 Comments Post a Comment
I've had acid reflux for 6 or 7 years. Prescribed Pantaloc, but a few days ago switched to Tecta for a try. (pantaloc hasn't been working as well as it used to)

I don't think this has anything to do with my neurological issues.

I'm possible MS.

I have heartburn too... but have no idea if it's related to MS.   I'm a limbolander.

I was dx with MS about a year ago and not sure how related the reflux is to MS, but Ican tell you that for the past 2 years at least, I have had unrelenting reflux issues.  I've been to the doctors and was put on several different PPI drugs for it, but they only work for awhile before i have to switch to a different one.  

It seems that many of us with MS do have reflux, but lets see if anyone on our forum knows if it is a symptom of MS or just a coincidence that several of us have it.

You mentioned that you are sick of doctors, but you definitely need to be evaluated by a gastrointerologist since your symptoms are new.  I would also mention it to your neuro and see if he thinks its related.  Regardless, you need treatment or a whole new set of issues might crop up.  

I have found that changing my diet, the acid reflux diet, that my symptoms are getting more manageable.  I guess it is like a lot of things we MSers have to learn to deal with i.e., symptoms management.  

Good-luck with getting help for this.  

Yes, I suffer from "heartburn", but mine is because I have a hiatal hernia (of which I normally take Aciphex, however since I do not have health or medical insurance now, I use generic Prilosec OTC)

-- Socrates
1984 - started using prescription drug (PPI) to treat GERD
1990 - first work up for MS
          gastric emptying problems with periodic hypoglycemia
2000 - IBS bad enough to interfere with lifestyle on regular basis
2006 - diagnosed with Barrett's (abnormal cells in esophagus resulting from GERD)
2007 - surgery (fundoplication) to treat GERD
2009 - official MS diagnosis

No physician has told me my multiple GI problems are or are not associated with MS.  I don't ask because I doubt they really know and believe they would just tell me it isn't.  It doesn't seem to make a difference in how it's treated anyway.  They can't even decide if I should continue to take the PPI medication post surgery and it's been over three years now.

I personally believe there is a connection because MS can damage the vagus nerve (10th cranial) and the vagus influences visceral organ function.  Even back in 1990, the radiologist noted my brain MRI showed abnormalities in the medulla.  That's where the vagus originates.  Many a doctor told me or noted in a consult that I had autonomic nervous system symptoms or dysfunction.  None of them took the trip all the way to MS.

I'm also into a repititious cycle of doctor visits at the moment.  It does take it's toll as it's hard to forget about the diagnosis when life is bouncing back and forth between work and doctors with little time for casual living.  I'm fortunate to have a PCP now who is willing to fight to get me the help I need in a timely fashion.  I love her, but I do hope to see less of her in the near future.


I too believe that there is a connection.  I have never had acid reflux, prior to my other issues but now have acid reflux, esophageal spasms and hypersensitive esophagus.  I am also scheduled to have my gallbladder removed because of cholecystitis.  all of the reflux/esophagus issues began with the burning in my left arm & dizziness almost 3 years ago.

I am possible MS too.

I've never had acid reflux before 2007, now I have it all the time.  I also have esophageal spasms, which seem to be set off by the reflux, but I can have the spasms without the reflux, too.  I was diagnosed in 2007 with MS, but my neuro thinks that the acid reflux has nothing to do with the MS.
I am as yet undiagnosed, but I have had issues with acid reflux (that was the beginning) and several other things for the past two years (I've added some more intense tummy troubles over the past 13 months). I have been beyond miserable, and of course nothing has shown up on test results (is that a rule?)

Anyway, I came across something called Gastroparesis over the weekend and here's the thread if you're interested:

It may not be anything to do with you, but you never know. I'm guessing you have nausea, since you spent the night snuggled up to the pot-TAY. Do you have swelling/bloating? What Mary/Twopack was talking about up there (delayed gastric emptying) is it, and it is a malfunction of the Vagus nerve. Not quite clear why she didn't get that as a diagnosis though. Then again, having personally gone to several different ADD Docs [sans Ritalin] maybe that's not so strange after all...

Hope this helps :o)

- Jen
I have had acid reflux problems in the past and I believe there is a connection between autoimmune diseases such as celiac, ms, diabetes etc.

My acid reflux was caused by ingestion of gluten and since going on a gluten free dairy free diet, I no longer have the acid reflux or hiccup symptoms.

Interestingly, the first year of being on a gluten free diet I was in COMPLETE remission the entire year, with NO hospitalizations and have not been this healthy since 1999, when my first ms symptom materialized.

Unfortunately for me, my subsequent flare this year in January was triggered by a food I was eating  which was not labeled as containing gluten, but did indeed have gluten and this made me ill and caused the ms flare up.

A lot of the ms symptoms can be controlled by avoiding food allergens. Its good to get tested for what you are allergic to  and keep a food diary every day so you can track what made you ill the previous day.

The random ness of the ms symptoms of "good" days and "bad" days makes sense to the diet. Why would some days be better than others? Well I found the reason is in the food I was eating those "good" and "bad" days.

I think many people dont realize that what you eat DOES have an impact on your immune health since a large portion of your immune system is in your intestines.

Add me to the list.  no diagnosis of ms yet but have had gastric issues all my life -  IBS diagnosed in early 20's, and  Gallbladder removal in 2005.  I never had heartburn until my gallbladder trouble started then I was on losec, ranididine and gravol until after surgery.  About a year after surgery the heartburn came back and now I take ranididine everyday.  I am also on a daily medication for Habba syndrome which many people get pre and post gallbladder removal due to bile control issues.  Basically our bodies make too much bile when we eat certain foods and now there is no where to store it which either causes us to run to the bathroom urgently or toss our cookies.  This medication binds with the bile so that doesn't happen but it doesn't take away the heartburn.  When it gets real bad I revert back to the diet Jen mentioned above and that seems to settle things down abit.  I am positive they are related but I also think my digestive issues and gallbladder problems have clouded the doctors ability to see my ms symptoms and delayed my diagnosis as I am only now seeing a neurologist and had an mri while my symptoms and episodes have been going on at least 5 years.  A
well i  never had a problem but about a year ago oh boy-  have to watch what i eat.  but seems like water at times can give it to me
very  miserable!! tick
me, some years ago when it started for no reason, i used to wake up in the middle of the night choking really bad.

i still have it but episodes aren't as bad but they still happen
Me too. About a year ago I had an endoscopy, which showed I have a stricture at the base of my esophagus. Had  a dilation, and have been told I need another one (but I ain't gonna do it).  Since I've been on Omeprazole (generic Prilosec, prescription), I've had almost no trouble.

My gastroenterologist says this has nothing to do with MS. I'm not convinced.

Thanks for all the replies - this is very interesting!

Mary2010 - I have had celiac testing done, as well as wheat intolerance and everything under the sun for allergies with nothing as the outcome. I still have no explanation for my hives and have not had an episode since last year. Ironically though ranitidine was produced as an allergy medication and found out to reduce heartburn so I have been on it since it was prescribed. Thankfully it takes care of the hives and heartburn (most of the time!)

Tick - I too have watched what I eat to see if that makes a difference and like you said seems like water can give it to you!

Unfrustrated2- I have woken myself up because of almost throwing up in my sleep and just coughing like no tomorrow. That is very scary!

I too think this has more to do with MS than anybody might think, an ironic coincidence at the least, look at how many of us there are.
I have had this problem for quite a few years...but got told in 2007 that I have GERDS and was given Pariet meds to take everyday.  I'm not sure if it's from MS or what.. I've had tests done and they come back OK??  

I have it too!  My GI doctor stretched my esophagus last yr.   Tommorrow he will do it again using a larger whatever he called it.

You really need to get this cked.  GERD can lead to ulcers and even to cancer if left untreated.

wishing you relief,
We also need to remember that reflux problems are extremely common and not conclude that MS is a factor. My money is on the situation where MS is involved for some but by no means all of us suffering from GERD.

Count me in too I've been taking a PPI (Lanzaprazole) for 18 years, the same year I had my first bout of ON - make up your own mind as to if this is a coincidence.

I am dx with RRMS and the gastric problems continue, I had just decided this week I am so fed up with the crazy bloating and reflux that I need to finally pursue a dx as I did with the MS.

I'm on Aciphex for GERD and have had gastric issues for several years, having tried 3 or 4 different meds.  I don't know if it's connected with MS or not, but it can also be caused by other meds you might be taking.  I always to to remember to check the labels on all mmy other meds and supplements from time to time to refresh your memory as to side effects and contraindications.
I've had GERD since I was a teenager and I remember having heartburn as young as 4.  I cried a lot at night as a baby according to my mom (could it have been GERD?).  So, yes, I have it too, but I'm undx.

According to this article it can be directly related to our 'wonderful' disease.  My neuro thinks I have primary progressive ms (joy) I have suffered with reflux for years
Post a Comment
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Multiple Sclerosis Community Resources