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chronic gastritis and severe reflux for over a year....help!

I am a 27 year old Canadian woman who has been living and working in Japan for the last 2 1/2 years.  For the last year and a half I've been having a lot of problems with gastritis and reflux and I can't seem to get rid of them.  I first noticed the symptoms last year when I felt a terrible burning in my stomach and had a lot of belching and heartburn after I ate.  I had an upper GI X-ray done and there wasn't anything wrong except for excess acid production.  I was given Zantac to take twice a day (75 mg at a time).  It seemed to help at first, but then a few months later the symptoms got worse.  I had an endoscopy done about 10 months ago and I was diagnosed with having gastris and some acid reflux. I was also tested for H-pylori at that time, and the results were negative. I was given famotidine (20 mg twice a day), but then when that didn't help I was given lansoprazole (30 mg after evening meal).  I took lansoprazole for about 6 months and it seemed to be helping, but in the last couple of months I noticed it wasn't nearly as effective as it had been at first.  The doctor changed my medication to omeprazole (20 mg twice a day), but I found it didn't help anymore than the lansoprazole.  In the last month or so, the symptoms have become very uncomfortable and distressing.  I'm continuing to take lansoprazole along with antacids the doctor recommended(Gaviscon and Maalox), but I still have trouble.  After every meal I have terrible burning pain in my stomach just below my ribs and I feel nauseous but never vomit.  Sometimes I have heartburn all day and my esophagus and throat feel really raw and painful from all the acid.  I am reduced to eating bananas and bread becasue any food with even a little acid or oil causes terrible discomfort. I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night from the pain of reflux, and often the pain radiates up into my left shoulder. The doctor here told me that lansoprazole or omeprazole should have cleared things up, but I've been on the medication for more than 6 month and things are worse than ever. The doctor says my problems are caused by stress from my job and life in a foreign country, but I don't feel particularly stressed. I can't understand why none of this medication is helping me.  Can stress be a main cause of gastritis and reflux? Since the discomfort has been getting worse, I've started to worry that maybe I have a more serious condition like gastric cancer. My endoscopy was done about 10 months ago, but do you think I should have another one done? Any advice anyone can give me would be greatly appreciated.  I'm so frustrated with this problem and I can hardly eat anything.  

Thank you!
103 Responses
Avatar universal
Hmmm.. Sue..I posted something below you, and in doing alot of reasearch on my own troubles, I have come across many many Americans living in Japan with the same problems you describe.
It makes me wonder if its something in the food there?
Maybe you should think on that? Like maybe sushi? the rice? There has got to be something that American people are eating or drinkiing in Japan that is causing this.
I just find it interesting that there are so many Americans in Japan, complaining of this. Coincidence maybe? I don't know. But maybe you should look into it some how, some way.
Avatar universal
or Canadians.. LOL sorry hun...
Avatar universal
Sue,

  I'm sorry to hear about your undiagnosed problems. Just want you to know that my wife and I are with you, as my wife has been experiencing undiagnosed gastric symptoms for over a year now. She had her gallbladder removed Aug 1998, was treated for H-Pylori in Dec 1998, had bile duct stones removed and a sphincterectomy in Jul 1999. Her weight has dropped from 140 to 116 since May 1999. The most persistent remaining symptoms are upper right-side pain, itching, reflux, fatigue, loss of appetite, and sleeplessness. Her GI still has no idea what her problem could be. Amazing. Isn't he the one who has been trained to diagnose and treat gastric disorders? Every test that he has ordered has been negative. We are nearing the end of the line as far as our expectations go. Hope things go better for you.
    Jack
Avatar universal
Sue,
My 13 year son has suffered for chronic acid reflux for almost 2 years. Two weeks ago today, he had his 3rd endosopy. He also takes up to 80 mgs. of prilosec daily plus malanta. He was diagnosed after this last scope with Barrett's Esophagus, a
very uncommon condition for someone his age. We have to meet with his dr to discuss the treatment for this which will possibly be surgery. Maybe you should ask your dr. if you could possibly have this. Good luck.
Avatar universal
I was battling major digestive problems for over a year.  I thought I was dying!  I recently was referred to Bio-Flora from an herbalist.  I've been using it for just a little over one week and I feel like I've been cured!!!  The Flora I bought cost me approx. $30.00, but it's worth every penny.   Go to a reliable nutrition store and get this stuff!  It's a miracle enzyme!  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at ***@****.
Avatar universal
Are Prilosec and Prevacid the same drugs as you mentioned?
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