MY PROBLEMS LIVING WITH GERD!
I have suffered with GERD for YEARS! Before I even knew what GERD was! I recently earlier this year had another horrible hit from GERD that lastest for months before I could get it under control. It also can lead to horrible anxiety, which then leads to you have more problems just from the anxiety like panic attacks and making you feel like you are going to die, or you need to go to the ER now! I have felt like this many times, and the root problem is from GERD and reflux every single time. I have even gone to the ER before because of HORRIBLE shortness of breath, chest pain and more and they did many tests on me a couple years ago at that time and they just could not figure out what was wrong, they just kept seeing on the tests that I am healthy and I have no heart issues, lung issues or really anything else for that matter!
Finally, the doctor came into my room in the ER after I had been there for hours and he said something along the lines of “do you know if you have or even been told if you have GERD?” I said no and then he told me what it was exactly, and then we started to get on the same page after I have had stomach issues since I was a teenager! It was an “AH HA” moment and everything then starting making sense and they told me I had GERD, gave me a prescription and sent me home. Days alter I began already feeling better, but it really took a couple of months to get to feeling back to normal again. What medicine did they give me? It was a PPI like omeprazole (Prilosec OTC) only just the prescription version which each pill was a large dose I believe 40mg and I took it 4 times per day for about 2 months. PPI’s block your stomach basically from making acid. The acid was creeping into my throat over time after I had gotten bad, it was hurting my airways, possibly getting into my lungs sometimes, making my throat tight, plus giving me all these chest pains, which then like I mentioned, gives you a panic attack and makes everything much worse fast!
With GERD you feel sometimes like someone is sitting on your chest, especially for me when I lay on my back to go to bed, or even just sitting down because of pressure of my stomach being smashed while sitting, chest pains that are all over the place, headaches from the stress of reading horrible things on Google that basically says you are going to die because your heart is bad, which for some may be the case sometimes so ALWAYS take shortness of breath and chest pains very seriously! I read also, that over 50% of those that go to the ER that think they are having a heart attack, it is actually GERD or some other stomach issue! Which is CRAZY, but true! So always go see a doctor make sure what is going on, but do not think instantly you are going to die….. Sometimes it feels like I just cannot get a big enough breath of air, chest pains that spread all over the place, MOSTLY in the middle of my chest where my air way and throat is from the acid hurting my throat, feeling like your going to pass out because you cannot breathe, and sometimes with exercise it can make it flare up, but it will NOT all the time, if it does even when you are taking a PPI and are fine other times, you may have something like asthma, which many with GERD have some form of asthma. I am not a doctor, but have done so much research and spent so much money and time going to many doctors, I just wanted to write this to help others out that might have the same issue.
For me, PPI’s like Prilosec over the counter even with weeks simply did not work…. Ranitidine which blocks acid, will work sometimes or for short periods of time, but only PPI’s will stop your stomach from making as much acid, and your doctor can give you the correct dose, and if you have insurance, it is even cheaper than buying it OTC anyway! I now take 40mg pill 30 minutes before my first meal of the day, every day and I have felt 90% better over the past 45 days since starting this PPI medicine again! One of the worst side effects it does give me, sometimes if you take it at the wrong time directly when you are eating, or way to long before you eat, it can make breathing issues worse for me, also it gives me pretty dang bad diarrhea, which if that is the worth, and it helps me breathe, it is something I just have to roll with and move on the best I can…. Before I ever went to doctors, I was having acid problems SO bad that I was taking 10 to 20 tums PER DAY, which is not good for you, plus not fixing the problem it just covers up your problem! Also, a big thing is taking deep breaths and sleeping with the head of your bed elevated (6 inches using bed risers helps me ALOT). Something no one likes to hear, but it helps me also and It is hard for me to do, but it is to EAT HEALTHIER and watch what you eat and that helps a TON also! Watch out for spicy food, lot of tomato anything like spaghetti or ketchup, lots of chocolate and all that kind of thing make GERD flare up pretty bad without any PPI and it still can even while taking the medicine. When you first take a PPI, it will not help your serious GERD problems RIGHT AWAY, it will take 2 weeks, a month or even a little over 2 months like me, be as patient as you can, keep as calm as you can, change some of your habits and give it time and keep in touch about your progress with your doctor!
hopefully this article will help you, from me I am currently 25 and I have dealt with this issue badly since I was about 21 years old, at this age I have already had many tests, scopes (upper and lower) more than most men the age 60 have had, which sucks but if you help your self-starting today you can make this problem better for yourself! Good luck to you and I hope this helps you out! stay positive!