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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2007
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    961

    Default Probably have GERD-sigh..........or maybe an ulcer-double sigh

    So I went to the emergency department the other day as I'd been having chest pain for a few days and it wasn't going away. Thought it was anxiety but couldn't yoga breathe it away. My mother is a nurse in cardiology so scared me into getting it checked. They are treating as reflux-and prescribed a proton-pump inhibitor for a month to see if it helps. Just started it last night and it certainly hasn't started working yet. Darn. My SO has it so is the expert.

    Now I feel obligated to start minimizing diet triggers. The hardest may be coffee-I'm a teacher (not that it matters) but that coffee on the way to work is crucial (I'm awake by the time I get there after my 35 minute drive). I really only drink half of it (and it's small anyway-I have a Keurig). I haven't had one yet today and I bet I'll have the the foggy, headache feeling in a few hours. I don't really want to start a new school year tomorrow going cold turkey. So will attempt to wean myself off it............what are some good substitutes?

    Oh yeah and if it continues, we go on to possible ulcer............
    totally minor compared to what several family members are going through, but still a giant pain (literally).
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



  2. #2
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    Jan. 3, 2012
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    198

    Default

    GERD sucks. Triggers for me are onions and garlic. Also blueberries. A food diary might help you narrow things down. It's possible that coffee won't actually be one of your big triggers.



  3. #3
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    Oct. 12, 2001
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    Default

    I've had ulcers several times- apparently NSAIDs are a big NO NO for me- and I find keeping some of those high-protein BOOST shakes on hand are helpful. Coat the stomach with a few sips of the shake and it protects it for awhile, so you can get the oh so necessary coffee into yourself. A spot of heartburn? the boost shake stops it better than chewing antacids.



  4. #4
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    Dec. 29, 2007
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    Default

    I'll have to start a diary...........I'm hoping to not be on meds and be able to control with diet. But that's probably wishful thinking. Can't figure out why it came on so suddenly and strong. I can literally count on one hand (well, maybe 2) how many times I've had heartburn in 40 years. Oh well, it could be a lot worse I suppose.
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
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    Western NY
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    Default

    High fructose corn syrup will trigger it for me. I eliminated that when I made the connection several years ago and have not had anymore problems even without medication.



  6. #6
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    Apr. 2, 2012
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    32

    Default

    E.S, my GERD was allergy related - gluten to be specific. I suffered with it for many, many years before anyone even suggested that it might be a food allergy. Doctor's just told me to take omeprazole. A naturopath is the one who ended up suggesting diet changes, et voila no more GERD. Now I am more in tune with things that upset my stomach, so I avoid cooked tomatoes, raw onions, and grains. Made a huge difference in my life and is well worth avoiding certain foods!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
    Location
    Canada
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    Default

    Interesting - I get heartburn/GERD too, but only at night when I get horizontal - so am up quite a bit in my chair at night.

    Doctor gave me Tecta prescription, but hate to use it because I think it limits absorption and I have osteoporosis. She said TUMS were the worst thing because they stimulate more acid production. And the Tecta takes so long to work....have to take it hours before bedtime and it is supposed to be taken daily.

    Five things - fried foods, nuts, wine, onions, and pastry are impossible at night.

    I can't have coffee first thing on the days I go to exercise class, because of having to lie o mats.

    I'd really like to know what heartburn is??? And why.

    I had a foal with ulcers and felt so sorry for him and know the relief when he got his GG.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
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    CT
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    Default

    Longtime GERD person here! Also a teacher. I know you probably cant give up the morning caffeine! Certainly don't try cold turkey at the start of school. The PPIs can take a while to kick in as your esophagus is irritated and will take a while to settle down.
    IME it is hit-or-miss with what aggravates. Different for different folks. For the GERD the problem is the valve at the top of the stomach not staying closed properly and allowing acid into the unprotected esophagus, burning it. The ulcer is a different issue. I am okay with limited tomatoes, but nothing spicy and I search and destroy any pepper or peppers. I drink tea which can mildly aggravate but it helps if I have food in my stomach first - so don't skip breakfast.
    Actually if it is an ulcer that can be kind of a good thing. I had one. It was treated with antibiotics and I had a lot of relief!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
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    Pottstown, PA (East Coventry)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    Interesting - I get heartburn/GERD too, but only at night when I get horizontal - so am up quite a bit in my chair at night.
    I was diagnosed with GERD and yes being horizontal at night was bad. The doctor recommends that you get those bed lifts that go under the feet on the bed and put them just under the head. This way the head of the bed is higher by a couple of inches. She says it does not work if you just try to prop yourself up with pillows.
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)



  10. #10
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    Dec. 27, 2006
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    Western NY
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Foxtrot's View Post
    Interesting - I get heartburn/GERD too, but only at night when I get horizontal - so am up quite a bit in my chair at night.
    At night was the worst for me as well, nothing like stomach acid washing up to your throat . Haven't had a problem since shortly after the diet change.

    Christa



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    I don't know if a couple of inches on the bed legs will do it - I'll get my hubby to put some bricks under and see if it helps!

    But WHY ???

    Green Light - I wonder if a person can become gluten intolerant. I've been rather vocal on this board about people who go on these new wave dietary kicks - and then I think, maybe, just maybe...? I'd have to take my foot out of my mouth if it helps!

    Regarding the Boost - might try that, too. The TUMS are a good source of calcium, but not recommended by my doctor for indigestion as she says it actually makes you produce more acid.

    I'm cutting out wine but find cider ok if I need some social stimulation.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  12. #12
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    Oh, one more thing -

    I developed a cough, but no other symptons such as fever, chills, not had a cold, nothing at all. Doctor knew right away that it was the acid burning my oesophagus and with the Tecta the cough went away immediately.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2000
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    CT
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    Raising the head of the bed may help because of the physics of the situation. When you are lying down, say on your back, the stomach fluids slosh towards your back. This puts it much closer to the sphincter (love that word) that is supposed to keep stomach acids from flowing back up.With GERD, the valve doesn't work well and the acids slosh up into the esophagus causing pain! (Think of an open jar on its side as opposed to upright) I was told to raise the head of the bed about six inches. You can find those bed risers for dorm beds around now and only use two. Didn't help me much, but I am a side sleeper. Lying on your left side is generally the best for side sleepers due to the anatomy.



  14. #14
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    Jan. 4, 2007
    Location
    TX
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    I took the wheels of the two bottom legs and that raised the head of the bed enough to be of help.

    If you have problems laying down, have them check for hyatal hernia, that is what I have.

    The Dr had to stretch my esophagus three times now, the third time he could not, it was too erosioned to be able to do it and had some suspicious spots he biopsed, but all came out clean.
    Since I just had a friend die with esophageal cancer, it was a bit of a scare.

    Have they run an ultrasound for gallbladder problems?

    I hope that the medication helps you.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2007
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    961

    Default

    Haven't followed up with regular doc yet-will call this week but getting in there will probably be next to impossible as usual. Feel a bit better today, the lump in my chest and the burn is there (although much duller than it was), and the stabbing pains have all but disappeared. I am having a hard time wanting to eat anything which is highly, highly unusual. Perhaps that's the bright side. Thanks for all the info everyone, and I'm hoping it does not annoy me too much at school tomorrow.

    And the good news is the coffee didn't seem to make it worse. I really want an end of summer beer but that might be a mistake. So it's me and my water bottle.

    Now I know why horses with ulcers don't want to eat (someone else said that too I think).
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



  16. #16
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    May. 4, 2003
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    Canada
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    Because of the further complications and worsening of the situation, I think it is important to get a handle on the situation early as possible. Good luck.
    Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 29, 2007
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    961

    Default

    So-interesting bit of info that I didn't put together 'til now. Someone told me I should get checked for Lyme disease. Didn't think anything of it until I remembered my rash....when I was in the ER I thought I was getting stung by the monitor clips they attach to the electrode things when I moved around-thought they were digging into me. Noticed a raised red rash after I left-thought absolutely nothing of it. Until just for kicks researched Lyme. Symptoms match-although they match other things too. But-is this too weird a coincidence. Could I have picked up a tick and it bit me in the hospital. Could have been in my shirt then crawled around once I stripped and put the gown on.

    Not sure if I should hope for that or not. But I'm off to the ER tomorrow again with new info.

    I took a picture (even though it's now 5 days old)-not sure I can post a Facebook link to it on my phone, so didn't upload it. But happy to email it to anyone who thinks they can recognize it.
    "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    NY
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    4,119

    Default

    I'm experimenting with yogurt before my coffee and before every meal. I only eat plain, non flavored yogurt, Colombo? Not the Dannon. I've cut out dairy and wheat, but sometimes wonder if the wheat is not the culprit.
    Now, it seems its related to the change in weather (from high temp, 90% humidity), to lower temp and humidity( but high pollen).
    Someone said apple cider vinegar with MOM. But I forget what MOM means..
    Okay wiki says

    Apple cider vinegar, otherwise known as cider vinegar or ACV, is a type of vinegar made from cider or apple must and has a pale to medium amber color. Unpasteurized or organic ACV contains mother of vinegar, which has a cobweb-like appearance and can make the vinegar look slightly congealed.



  19. #19
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    May. 11, 2010
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    PA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    If you have problems laying down, have them check for hyatal hernia, that is what I have.

    The Dr had to stretch my esophagus three times now, the third time he could not, it was too erosioned to be able to do it and had some suspicious spots he biopsed, but all came out clean.
    Since I just had a friend die with esophageal cancer, it was a bit of a scare.
    I suddenly was woken up in the middle of the night with the worst heartburn ever...I was very concerned since I don't really ever have heartburn/reflux issues ever. The pain did.not.go.away for a few days. Then I would think it was calming down and boom...flare up again. I really thought I was having a heart attack at one point. It hurt so bad.

    My doctor prescribed me omeprazole and sent me to a gastroenterologist, who did an endoscopy and said I have a small hiatal hernia. I also had an uncle who had just been diagnosed with esophageal cancer, so I was quite concerned.

    For me it seems to be the quantity of food and the closeness to bed time that really sets me off. In addition, I feel like bready/doughy things really push me over the edge (like pizza). I haven't had an incident in some time, but I am very careful about how much I eat at night and make sure that I only indulge in the bready stuff once in a while.

    PS: I still drink about 3/4 a pot of coffee a day, so there is still hope for you



  20. #20
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    Jan. 14, 2006
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    Nashville, TN
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    I have achalasia, and at the beginning it acted like The Worst Heartburn Ever. It's actually my esophagus spasming. I had the spasms for nearly 10 years before the rest of the symptoms kicked in.

    Just one more to throw in the pot. All the typical treatments for heartburn helped me not one bit.



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