Avatar universal

Desperate To End 14 Years of Acid Reflux/GERD

I have been dealing with acid reflux for about 14 years which over this time has gotten gradually much worse. As of now I suffer 7 days a week with no relief from antacids. I have been taking an OTC PPI (Prilosec) which has been 100% effective but there is still regurgitation of solids. After doing some research recently I decided due to the unsettling side effect of long term use of PPI's I'm not willing to rely on them any longer. I have also made many lifestyle changes over these last 14 years with none offering any relief. I am a 34 year old woman weighing about 140 and 4 foot 11 inches. I don't drink coffee, I do smoke but have been cutting back and I'm down to about 1/3 of my usual intake. I don't drink alcohol. I have identified my trigger foods and avoid them. The reflux typically begins in the morning prior to eating and continues throughout the day. Both parents have suffered severe acid relux, my dad had the surgery done which was successful, my mom as a result of her acid reflux has Barrett's esophagus. I have put together a list of my symptoms and such.
⦁ Reflux began almost 14 years ago during end of last pregnancy
⦁ Daily acid reflux (Morning till night most days)
⦁ Nausea (Several days per week)
⦁ Occasional vomiting (2-3 times per month)
⦁ Searing pain through center chest to back (Weekly)
⦁ Occasional food caught in throat (Sporadically)
⦁ Trouble clearing throat/constant throat clearing (Generally late afternoon to night)
⦁ Trigger foods identified and avoided
⦁ Reflux occurring without having eaten any food (Daily)
⦁ Reflux occurs without burping (Several day per week)
⦁ Antacids no longer help
⦁ Was taking 2-3 times more Tums then the suggested 7 per day
⦁ PPI's (Prilosec) have been 100% effective but am unwilling to take for long term due to possible side effects
⦁ On two occasions pill lodged in throat causing choking (Several years ago)
⦁ Feeling of something stuck in throat (Several times but not recent)
⦁ Metallic taste in mouth (Several times per month)
⦁ Occasional IBS symptoms (comes and goes, never more then 3-5 days)
⦁ Both parent suffered from severe acid reflux. Dad had surgery which was successful, Mom has barrett's esophagus
⦁ Weight loss had no positive effects
⦁ Occasional felling of "bubble" coming up throat
⦁ Burping that turns into vomiting
⦁ General/overall feeling of ickiness
⦁ Cut smoking back by half + with no noticeable improvement
⦁ Full stomach typically results in cramps and what I call "solid burps"

I've been going over the options again and again and have decided that I am not interested in altering the rest of my life around this nightmare and if I can find relief in the surgery that's the option I'll be most comfortable with. Like I said I'm only 34 (well 35 next week) and I don't want have to abstain from foods, which sometimes doesn't matter as I get reflux weather I eat or not, I also don't want to take pills for the rest of my life. I feel like completely rearranging and adjusting my life and what I can have or do should be the last resort. If I can be as lucky as my dad after having this surgery then all this stress will be a thing of the past and I'll finally be able to have a glass of orange juice again!
What I'm wondering is if I tell my doctor that I don't want to go the medication route and am interested in the surgery, if I'm a candidate for it, will I still be required to try medication before surgery is considered? I have not tried the prescription medication only OTC.
I also was wondering what the timeline looks like. By that I mean from the time you first went to your doctor with this problem till you completed all the testing needed, how long was that process? I'm aware that this will take time and patience but after 14 years of this I am ready for an end. Is there a standard in the testing, are some tests mandatory and other optional?
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Avatar universal
It is really dangerous to take so much calcium.  It raises your blood calcium causing milk-alkali syndrome and hypercalcemia (see wikipedia).  One of the symptoms of this is excess acid production - heartburn.  Plus you risk heart attack or stroke.
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620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi...I can not offer insights to the findings, but am confused as to why the Drs office just does not put you in a cancellation list...making you call every day is crazy....

Hope you get in soon and get answers so you are well on the road to recovery.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I got the report from the radiologist last night and a call from my doc this morning saying she would like me to come in to discus the findings. The only thing I really understood from the report was that I do have a small hiatal hernia. I'll post the report and hopefully some one can maybe translate them for me.

1. There are 2 small filling defects of the lateral cervical esophagus
as above. These may represent small esophageal ****, but would be
slightly unusual location (lateral instead of anterior). Correlate with
possible blistering skin disorder, or possible Plummer-Vinson syndrome.
There are very small, and unlikely to be clinically significant.

Alternatively, and considered more likely, these may represent small
rests of ectopic gastric mucosa within the cervical esophagus. Size and
location would suggest failure of embryological conversion of columnar
epithelium (Mayo Clinic GI Imaging Review, 1st ed, p. 40) rather than
metaplasia. However, on some of the images, there does appear to be a
"feline esophagus," typically associated with chronic reflux.

2. Small hiatal hernia.

I'm not sure when I'll see my doc as she has no scheduled openings right now so I'm supposed to call at 7am each day to try and get a same day appointment.
Helpful - 0
620923 tn?1452915648

  Hi and welcome to the GERD forum.

Reflux when you do not eat is your stomachs way of preparing to digest food it expects.....not eating is one way people think will help them lose weight, but will cause a vicious cycle of reflux....

Try eating 6 small meals to give that acid something to break down....and only avoid those foods you know will trigger a flare....

Surgery is always a last resort as it is not a cure....and is something to really weight with thought.....of possible outcomes....

  Avoiding certain foods when you can feel you have excess acids may help....but as you know smoking is one vice that will continue to trigger your symptoms....

Change in weight, up or down can also trigger symptoms to flare....seasonal allergies....keeping a journal can help identify triggers and help you avoid those so you can enjoy foods typically avoided with this condition.

I have successfully been able to enjoy eating many of the foods on the list to avoid on occasion and do not feel I am missing out....I also do not need meds for my reflux except on rare occasions of a flare....or when my PND is acting up....

Your Dr may require you to take meds and see how your body responds...each Dr may be different in their approach to a surgery....but it seems the INS is the one that may mandate what treatments must be tried b4 surgery is authorized.....

Talk to your Dr about possible over production of histamines to see if that may be your issue...as it was mine and PPIs did not help, and knowing about the histamines I now also know that when my PND is acting up so will my reflux and why....so I increase my antihistamines and it helps.

The medical profession does seem to move at a snails pace so do get ready to wait and in the meantime look into keeping a journal and record everything, how many cigarettes, what you eat, when you eat etc....
Helpful - 0
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