Acid reflux - who's got it?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Tintagel_Demondong, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    I have had acid reflux for over ten years. I have come to realize lately how serious this matter is. It's not just a matter of working through the pain. Damage is done to your esophagus, and this can cause serious health problems.

    I think that too many people ignore their acid reflux, and don't realize how dangerous this is. I still eat out every day, but I'm being more selective about my diet. After taking IB for years for my hip problems, I have awful stomach issues. I think that bBucko has had the same experience with IB.

    I am just hoping that people realize what the triggers are and how to deal with them.
     
  2. Bbucko

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    I have been taking Ibuprofen to combat migraine and arthritis in my cervical spine for almost 25 years, and it's eaten away the flap that closes my esophagus from my stomach.

    The only thing that works for me is Nexium. Believe me, I've tried everything.

    Good memory, BTW. Color me impressed.
     
  3. Phil Ayesho

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    It can cause the very problems that Jason is dealing with now.

    Oddly- if you want to reduce acid reflux naturally, STOP eating ANY wheat, and reduce your intake of caffeine and alcohol as much as possible.
     
  4. Groanman

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    Due to acid reflux and the damage it was causing to my esophagus a couple of years ago, I got a piece of steak lodged in my throat and had to go to emergency. Thought I was gonna die if it moved and choked me. Finally the doctors managed to get the steak passed using sips of Sprite or ginger ale to lubricate the passageway.

    I was on double doses of Prisolec for three months until the damaged esophagus healed, and now take on Prisolec every day...probably for the rest of my life.

    No more problems, so it must be working.
     
  5. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    I have had acid reflux for decades. I have to take Aciphex. So far, no other medication works. When I try otc meds, I wake up with my throating swelling shut. Also, ummm it will shred my stomach too. My problem is genetic. Too much stress, foods high in acid, and carbonated water make it worse. Also, if I will eat broccoli every single evening & take my meds, it seems to be a lot better. My medicine works best if I take it by 10 pm every night.
     
    #5 D_Bob_Crotchitch, Feb 14, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  6. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    I gues you didn't read Jason Els thread and what can happen from acid reflux?
     
  7. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    I did indeed. That's why I'm wondering how common it is... thus the thread. I should have made a poll. I guess it's too late now.

    I'm guessing that this is most common in N. America due to diet and other habits. Just a hunch.

    I was discussing this tonight with another LPSG member who was eating fried ice cream, which made me nauseous.
     
    #7 D_Tintagel_Demondong, Feb 14, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  8. D_Bob_Crotchitch

    D_Bob_Crotchitch New Member

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    It may be part diet and part genetics. So many people on the North American continent share common national ancestry. In my case, my mother's dad had it. His brothers had it. They lost a lot of their stomach to it. I am just thankful they had meds when I started having it. Diet alone does not help mine.
     
  9. Bbucko

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    Diet, smoking, stress...it's the American Dream, baby. And it never gets any easier, y'know.
     
  10. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Just a question. How could you have AR for ten yrs and post here? Are you looking for advice? I'd assume you had alot of that from doctors. People obv don't get help wether from no health insurance (Thank USA comapnies) If you had this for 10 yrs what's up? Is it better? You totally don't want it to go the way some other people have had it prgogress.
     
  11. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    Two things.

    If you have beyond occasional indigestion or occasional acid reflux, get an endoscopy if you're over 30. You can have chronic acid reflux and not know it. The youngest patient treated for the cancer I have is 21 but, that's extremely rare. It's also extremely rare in someone my age (42). Most victims of Barrett's-related esophageal cancer are in their 70s. The esophageal erosion that occurs when that flap between the stomach and esophagus doesn't close properly or stay closed is called Barrett's Esophagus; the disease is Barrett's Syndrome. It's considered a pre-cancerous state so don't treat it blithely. Caught before cancer sets-in, healing is rapid and you should be in the clear.

    Treatment is ridiculously easy. You basically take a pill for it once or twice a day and that's it. The pills actually heal the esophagus and reduce acid production in the stomach. Most over-the-counter antacids like Rolaids or Tums only help neutralize acid. They're not enough. You need an acid-production inhibitor that also heals the esophagus. These are called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Zantac and Prilosec do this, but they don't promote healing as well as Nexium or Aciphex. There is a new drug which is considered to be the best for this and it's called Protonix (aka pantoprozole). If you're currently taking Nexium or Aciphex, ask your doctor about Protonix. The only side-effect I have with Protonix is difficulty swallowing and feeling very full very quickly if I eat too soon after taking the pill. To counteract that, I drink while eat. I also happen to be on a very high dose you may not experience that.

    Not to be ominous, but Barrett's-related esophageal cancer is one of the fastest increasing cancers there is. While still relatively rare, it is growing in occurrance almost exponentially. About 15,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the USA but 10 years ago there were less than a thousand a year. Next year the expected number will be 18,000. Drugs like Protonix, Aciphex, and Nexium may put a dent in that number (I hope).

    Oddly enough, there does not seem to be a genetic component to this according to the Barrett's experts I've personally consulted. My father has Barrett's and so do I so it is possible that there's simply not enough information collected to prove a genetic link. Researchers are looking for any particular cause, but there doesn't seem to be any. I'm not a big beef eater and tend to avoid deep-friend foods as I simply don't care for them and never have. A fine aged steak at Peter Luger is wasted on me. I prefer fish, vegetables, chicken, pork, and frequently cook Asian food for myself. I'm not perfect, however, and have been known to stop at Micky D's on roadtrips or pull a frozen pizza out of the freezer when I'm lazy and I do love ice cream. Still, I eat rather well. I do smoke and have for years (yes I'm in the quitting process). Even then, the doctors I spoke to don't see it as a statistical factor for this type of esophageal cancer. They've even seen Barrett's in people who are strictly organic/macrobiotic and vegan so there doesn't seem to be any particular diet that prevents this.

    The only thing to do is to get yourself checked-out. Lower esophageal cancer can be completely without symptoms. I only found out I had it when it had progressed to stage four and then only when the lesion bled so much one night that it created an anemic state that nearly killed me and that's despite the fact the lesion is still considered quite small. I hadn't noticed tarry stools (another symptom) except one other time and I dismissed that as a side-effect of recently taken doeses of Excedrin Migraine. Don't let it get that far. Do get yourself an edoscopy if you have chronic acid reflux or indigestion and get yourself on a PPI in the mean time.
     
  12. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    Honestly, I am one of those people who hope it will just go away. I've been improving my diet and avoiding caffeine and all my other usual triggers. My GERD is much better, but not totally gone. I take Ranitidine as needed, which is usually just a few days a week. A few years back I was taking it twice a day.

    I just read Jason's post and, since I'm over 30, I guess I should ask my doctor to do more than just prescribe me some pills, even though I have an endoscopy phobia. Jason's condition really woke me up. I really mean that. I've thought about this often for a few weeks now, and wondering how many other schmucks are just taking pills or ignoring the problem completely.
     
  13. D_Tintagel_Demondong

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    You got paid for that, right? :wink:
     
  14. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The right pill makes the difference. If you take any of the better PPIs you can avoid the progression of the disease and even reverse damage.

    Pop a pill a day or get cancer, chemotherapy, radiation, worry about your loved ones, put them through HELL, and then maybe die for all the effort.

    Which sounds better to you?

    Seriously rec, get on one of the newer PPIs and you should be able to not worry about this though I do recommend getting an endoscopy if you've had this for a long time.
     
  15. HellsKitchenmanNYC

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    Listen to Jason...he knows of what he speaks...
     
  16. Guy-jin

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    Get treated, man. You do not want to get cancer because you were lazy, afraid or indifferent towards going to the doctor. :smile:
     
  17. D_Portelay Porquesword

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    How long have I known you? Longer than anyone here.
    How many years have I been harping about getting to a Dr and getting that under control?

    Look at what all of these people are telling you, butt head. Listen to Jason, for he is surely going through it right now. He is right!

    I've heard you when your acid reflux is causing you pain. You can't even eat a hot meal! It has to cool before you eat it!!

    Stop this nonsense and get to the damn doctor already!
     
    #17 D_Portelay Porquesword, Feb 14, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  18. naughty

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    Workin&#039; up a good pot of mad!
    Yes,

    It is a pain in the patoot as well as the throat. I often have thought I was having the "Big one" when it was ACID REFLUX. Do go get some help with that. I take a prescription med for it but there is also Nexium and Prilosec over the counter. Check them out.
     
  19. nudeyorker

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    I have learned to control it with diet! It was a beyotch! I thought I was having a heart attack the first time I had symptoms. But if it's that bad you had best go to to the doctor and get some meds!
     
    #19 nudeyorker, Feb 14, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2009
  20. crossy

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    Take the Nexium alone and wait a few hours before you eat. Barretts esophagus is a real nasty one. No big meals before you sleep. A barium swallow is a good test.
    For those who may be concerned Nexium, is not Kosher for Pesach. The blue color comes from a dye which contains an enantiomer of gluten.
     
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