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 Post subject: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 11:29 am 
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Hey People,

I am trying to sort through something that happened to me this summer. I know what causes acid reflux and I know what one does to treat it.

I need to know what it feels like.

Here's some questions to help you describe to me what it feels like. I, of course, hope no one here has it but given that there's so many people here, it's not difficult to get a response about something around here.

What's it feel like?

1. Burning?

2. How bad does it burn?

3. Is it tolerable?

4. Is it intolerable?

I'll be back later today to see if there's any replies. Thanks for any feedback you have to offer!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:04 pm 
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Throbbing pain. You might think you are having heart attacks.
Constant low level burn.

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Last edited by SteelHead on Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:22 pm 
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Careful. It is also possible that what your doctors currently think is acid reflux may turn out to be a gall-bladder problem. The two are not always easy to distinguish clinically.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:24 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
Hey People,

I am trying to sort through something that happened to me this summer. I know what causes acid reflux and I know what one does to treat it.

I need to know what it feels like.

Here's some questions to help you describe to me what it feels like. I, of course, hope no one here has it but given that there's so many people here, it's not difficult to get a response about something around here.

What's it feel like?

1. Burning?

2. How bad does it burn?

3. Is it tolerable?

4. Is it intolerable?

I'll be back later today to see if there's any replies. Thanks for any feedback you have to offer!

Chap is right that it might be a gallbladder problem, but gallstones, etc. are a much higher level of pain. If you are only having this heartburn at night (after you have gone to bed), it is probably reflux.

You say you know how to treat it, but do you know that you shouldn't eat ANYTHING (especially chocolate) for several hours before you go to bed ?

Do you have Alka Seltzer around the house? The next time it happens take a couple in a full glass of water and sit up for twenty minutes before going back to bed. If it's reflux, it should have subsided by then. Alka Seltzer will do you no harm and can actually be helpful if you are having a heart problem (the aspirin in it).

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:31 pm 
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My ENT told me that when you have a cold, if the mucus turns into thick white gunk, that is from it mixing with reflux. A problem with bronchitis.

I need to get to walmart to get a wedge pillow. Sleeping with your head higher helps, I had the head of my bed raised, but without a bedframe, it was doing a number on my box springs. Reflux wakes me up at night.

For daytime reflux, just a glass of water helps.

Reflux plus NSAID's can be a wicked combination. Avoid them.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 6:57 pm 
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I had it until a gastroenterologist cured it for me.

The pain is quite literally unbearable. We're talking suicide-level pain.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:47 pm 
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I knew someone would have something to say, thank you all!

I am not trying to sort between reflux and gallbladder. I had gallbladder surgery years ago. I really didn't want to explain because I wanted people's objective responses to the questions I asked.

I'm trying to distinguish between the pain associated with reflux and an episode of AFIB. I don't know if anyone remembers my mentioning being taken to an ER a while back. That's the event I'm talking about.

What happened that day has (so far as I am concerned, but being inexperienced with the pain associated with both--because I've never had either) all the elements needed to lead up to reflux but ends with SVT (180 bpm) and AFIB. I had to be treated at the house (if I'm speaking Greek here, just go with it) using the Valsalva maneuver (twice) and chemical cardioversion (the treatment from hell) (twice) then transported, got another medication in transport that fixed the SVT but didn't fix the AFIB, and then electrical cardioversion at the ER (propofol is of the gods!) to fix the AFIB in minutes and blessed peace on earth.

When I got the burning in the chest part, I was convinced that I burned my esophagus but having never experienced reflux I couldn't possibly know, I freaked out in my head, heart started racing and voila...SVT/AFIB.

When Shades says unbearable pain--that's exactly what I experienced. I have no way of knowing if that was reflux or the onset of an episode of AFIB (they can both start with burning chest pain) but I know without a doubt that I ended up with SVT&AFIB. I've never had any of this before.

What I do know is that a week to 10 days later, I was put on 2 medications for this one-time-first-ever-event to treat AFIB that I was happy with at first but 2 weeks in I developed 2 side effects from one of the meds, one of which I can't live with. Doing my follow up about the meds on Friday and so I thought I'd poll the teeming masses here about how bad reflux actually feels because what I really want to do is fall back, regroup, rethink this, and get off the one medication I don't want.

I have a very high tolerance for pain, so let me describe this pain.

Burning, burning...BURNING...OMG BURNING!! BURNING!!! HOLY GODDAMN ____!!! I CAN'T TAKE THIS!!! KILL ME NOW!!!!!

My heart didn't start flipping out until well after I reached the "KILL ME NOW!!!" stage and called EMS. Does that sound like reflux? I took (after checking possible interactions) a prescription medication for reflux we had here at the house--not my own. If someone had handed me a bottle of drain cleaner and told me that drinking it would fix it, I would have ripped open a bottle and chugged it.

The burning went away--the arrhythmia stuck around.

The problem is that now, I don't know what the chest pain associated with AFIB feels like. I do have a place I can ask about that unless someone here has had that experience.

Well now my IRL is on the thread, what the hell ever, I want off this medication and I need to be able to make my case on Friday because it's a med that you have to carefully titrate off of. I'm stuck between a beta blocker and hard place right now.

Follow up question: For those of you who have had this, Shades, how did you feel afterwards? Did the pain go away immediately? If you ate something did the lining of your esophagus feel raw or anything? I didn't have anything like that after it was over. If there are lingering effects of reflux, that could help me to sort through to the end of this little ball of yarn.

Okay whatever this says is whatever it says. And thank you for your replies.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:56 pm 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
For those of you who have had this, Shades, how did you feel afterwards?

After an unbearably long time of unspeakable misery, it sort of subsided very little by very little on its own. But that was sometimes after I'd already gone to the emergency room.

Quote:
Did the pain go away immediately?

Oh Hell no.

Quote:
If you ate something did the lining of your esophagus feel raw or anything?

Not at all. It wasn't heartburn. The doctor told me that my stomach acid was so plentiful that if more than usual was produced thanks to stress, certain drinks (like alcohol or coffee), or the like, then that little bit of excess overwhelmed the mucous lining and caused me to start digesting myself. Hence the pain: I was literally breaking myself down from the inside out.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 1:20 am 
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Shades, thank you! Was the pain as I described in my post?

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:32 am 
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About 5 years ago I was sitting up in my bed eating some microwaved rice and cheese while watching a football game. I was on the phone with my sister when suddenly I felt this weird sensation in my throat. The feeling was difficult to describe at first, but it quickly escalated and I ended up running to the bathroom to try vomiting, which I was unable to do. I had just started eating and I was maybe on my third bite, but I was hungry so I was eating fast and it felt like food just got stuck in my throat and wouldn't go down. But it didn't just feel like the food was stuck there, it also felt like the food was getting bigger in size and stretching out my throat. I remember the best way I could describe it to the doctor was to say imagine someone stuck an air needle in your throat and then started pumping air in it. The pain was excruciating, and even though I could tell I was still able to breath, I felt like I was about to die.

The doctors at Kaiser Permanente listened to me explain the pain, and they decided to schedule a surgical procedure for me a few days later. They put me under and stuck a camera down my food pipe to see if they could find any swelling or what not. They didn't. The doctor said he would try to stretch my pipe out as much as he could so it would make it easier for food to pass from that point on.

The crazy thing about all of this is that the doctor and nurse mentioned "acid reflux" to me, NOT ONE TIME. They had me thinking I just experienced some weird, inexplicable biological event. But some months later it started to happen again when I would eat fast and someone at work said it was acid reflux. So I went to the pharmacy and purchased Prilosec and it really helped a lot. I took one tablet every morning for about a month and I haven't had that experience since.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Tue Aug 08, 2017 6:24 am 
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Imagine having a madras curry wedged in your gullet adjacent to the rib cage.

It intensifies and subsides. It can be VERY uncomfortable.

Sometimes eating can make it subside (depending on what's causing it), small mouthfuls of room temperature milk can make it subside.

From my experience the cure has simply been to lose weight, eat less, avoid fatty, greasy, spicy foods.
And....wait for it....Alcohol is NOT helpful.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 12:15 am 
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Well, fortunately or unfortunately, I have a follow up to this thread. I have myself sorted out good and proper now. Had the burning tonight after eating but not even as close to bad as it was back in June, went directly into afib do not pass go, do not collect 200$.

Had the paramedics here and everything. Accepted transport to the ER because who knew what was going to happen. Got checked out and to make a long story short, I managed to get myself out of the afib on my own. So no types of treatment whatsoever. Bunch of labs done, everything came back normal.

The burning, for me, has nothing to do with acid reflux. The fact that I ate prior to now two events is simply coincidental. The burning is associated with afib and nothing but afib. And as I look back on the past couple of years or so, I think I had afib every single time I thought I had heart burn, though it never triggered a tachycardia response like it did in June.

So anyway, I'm okay and now that I look back on this evening I made a couple of mistakes in my responses because I was scared crapless that the burning would be horrible like it was the first time. But, I managed to get myself through an episode of afib and actually got MYSELF out of it.

Wow, what a crazy thing this is to deal with and talk about a learning experience/trial by fire! I'll know better what to do if this happens again.

Whew!

And thanks, guys, for all the responses you shared here. I appreciate it!

Aside to afib: You have met your match!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 5:02 am 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
I had it until a gastroenterologist cured it for me.

The pain is quite literally unbearable. We're talking suicide-level pain.


How were you able to cure it? My doctor put me on Prilosec for mine. Although there was/is no accompanying pain with mine.

I've had gallstones for more than two decades, without suffering pain from those. So far I haven't needed it removed. If that contributes to acid reflux, maybe I should.


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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:35 am 
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I would just like to offer a word of caution to those who regularly take a meds for acid reflux that are classified as Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPI's when used for long periods of time (years) can cause bone loss. If you are in that category of folks who do take PPI's long term, a good idea is to have a bone density test via DXA scan and see how you're doing bone-wise and follow on scans at 2 year intervals.

I started having DXA scans 4 years ago. To make a long story short, I discovered that my bones are A-Okay but that took 2.5 years of stress and aggravation to learn. Long, long, long, story. Along the way I learned about PPI's (which I do not take) and the impact on bone density. I don't take PPI's but would just like to pass that info along for those who do.

Not trying to scare anyone, just inform.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Sun Aug 27, 2017 10:41 am 
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AmyJo wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
I had it until a gastroenterologist cured it for me.

The pain is quite literally unbearable. We're talking suicide-level pain.


How were you able to cure it? My doctor put me on Prilosec for mine. Although there was/is no accompanying pain with mine.

I've had gallstones for more than two decades, without suffering pain from those. So far I haven't needed it removed. If that contributes to acid reflux, maybe I should.


I'm not sure if gallstones contribute to acid reflux. That's a good question for your doc. You're lucky that you don't have gall bladder attacks because they feel much like what Shades described with reflux and what I described as having to do with afib. I did have my gall bladder out years ago (pretty easy breezy compared to other surgeries and absolutely easier than how they did the gall bladder removal back in the day) but I can tell you that the pain associated with gall bladders attack will make you think you're having a heart attack.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 11:09 am 
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AmyJo wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
I had it until a gastroenterologist cured it for me.

The pain is quite literally unbearable. We're talking suicide-level pain.


How were you able to cure it? My doctor put me on Prilosec for mine. Although there was/is no accompanying pain with mine.

I've had gallstones for more than two decades, without suffering pain from those. So far I haven't needed it removed. If that contributes to acid reflux, maybe I should.


I'm just bumping this question up in the hopes that Shades will answer the question you asked, because I'd like to hear how his doc cured his issues as well if he's willing to share.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 4:06 pm 
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AmyJo wrote:
Dr. Shades wrote:
I had it until a gastroenterologist cured it for me.

The pain is quite literally unbearable. We're talking suicide-level pain.

How were you able to cure it? My doctor put me on Prilosec for mine. Although there was/is no accompanying pain with mine.

If there was no accompanying pain, then I doubt you have acid reflux disease.

But to answer your original question, my doctor prescribed Protonix for me, which I took for a number of months until I stopped having symptoms.

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:32 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
If there was no accompanying pain, then I doubt you have acid reflux disease.

But to answer your original question, my doctor prescribed Protonix for me, which I took for a number of months until I stopped having symptoms.


That's pretty darn great! I'm happy that you're free of it!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 9:36 pm 
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So back on this little horse I've been riding. I've been identifying and working to avoid my own triggers for this AFIB business. Caffeine is top of the list so I'm reducing intake as we speak.

Remember when I said that I thought that acid reflux was involved? My doctor and the paramedics poo-pooed the idea.

My ASS. Yes, there IS an association between acid reflux and AFIB.

Take a look: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19911354

Good to know. I'm hot on the trail of possible reflux triggers as well now. Bite me, AFIB!

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 12:19 am 
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Jersey Girl wrote:
That's pretty darn great! I'm happy that you're free of it!

Thank you. It's so good to be free (of that).

In other news, I assume "AFIB" = aortic fibrillation?

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 Post subject: Re: Tell me about acid reflux
PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 9:52 pm 
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Dr. Shades wrote:
Jersey Girl wrote:
That's pretty darn great! I'm happy that you're free of it!

Thank you. It's so good to be free (of that).

In other news, I assume "AFIB" = aortic fibrillation?


Atrial Fibrillation

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