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GERD - experiences?

(83 Posts)
Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 08:21:55

Hi
I have suffered with GERD since I was pg with my ds2 who has just turned 4...so about 5 years or so.
It's awful sad
I have been on omeprazole and am currently on lansoprazole (30mg) per day.
I also drink gaviscon before bed.
I had an endoscopy just over 2 years ago and it was normal according to hospital.
I have also been tested for heliobacter pylori and was negative.
So, I guess my question is twofold...
Is there anything else that can be done gp/ medication wise?
And should I be worried about still having GERD after 5 years?
Had a really bad time last week...I think I may have had gastritis actually, and my throat is raw sad
I have decided to go GF and cf to see if that helps but I do find it hard.

twolittlebundles Mon 22-Oct-12 08:43:25

I have GERD- had everything from minor reflux through to awful GERD since I was a teenager. Things that have helped me are:

diet:
dairy free, gluten free, low acid and low fat diet. Its a pain to do, but the results are great. I also take probiotics every day (just from pharmacy) and notice a difference if I stop.
If I know I am going to eat something that will make it flare up, I take some slippery elm. It isn't great tasting but again, helps a lot and keeps the rawness at bay.

If I can, I walk a little after a big meal (tbh, I do this about 20% of the time, but it helps when I do it).

I was also told by my gastro specialist to raise the head of the bed (its on two bricks), which helps a bit too. Low stress is meant to help but I do not have a low stress life!

I had a full endoscopy and colonoscopy a few months ago and was diagnosed with Barrett's oesophagus, caused by long term GERD. It sucks.

Telesales650 Mon 22-Oct-12 08:52:24

I have also had this for about ten years and can cope with it quite well but it has caused a side effect of causing a irritating cough which is worse at night!

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 10:26:30

Yes, I have had a cough for about 2 weeks now which I am sure is reflux related.
Two....that's one of my fears I guess...developing barrats oesophagus sad

cheekydevil Mon 22-Oct-12 13:20:34

I have had this for about 20 years or so and can say that twolittle's advice is bang on especially low fat bit as the stomach produces extra acid to deal with fat.
I would check with your GP though that you are ok to take gaviscon with lansoprazole as I was told not to.
There is an operation you can have to repair the hernia if you have one but your med is ok long term and during pregnancy according to my GP.
Also avoid clothing that is restrictive around stomach area.

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 13:21:53

20 years?
Poor you sad
I am happy to keep taking the lansoprazole but just wondered if I will be on it for the rest of my life? sad

cheekydevil Mon 22-Oct-12 13:27:04

Oh, forgot to mention alcohol also aggrevates GERDs.
It sucks but other than diet and lifestyle changes or the op then meds it has to be.

twolittlebundles Mon 22-Oct-12 19:14:39

tbh, the Barretts was a big surprise- and I spent a few weeks terrified of the possibilities, but I am now trying to take the diet changes a bit more seriously.

Badvoc, I have no idea- I know that the gastro told me not to expect it to go away unless I have an op. Wasn't impressed with that one!

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 19:15:42

Don't drink or smokesad
The op sounds pretty major and I want to avoid it if I can.
Also I have heard it doesn't always work?
I have a gallstone too...could that be connected?
I wouldn't mind having my gallbladder out...
Am very fed up sad
Will go back to gp this week...

LadyStark Mon 22-Oct-12 19:32:19

I take metaclopramide in addition to omeprazole which makes a difference to me - although I am sick with my reflux, I know not everyone is.

In terms of little things that help, full fat coca cola seems to help settle my stomach or anything very plain and low fat, rice cakes are good. Alcohol doesn't tend to make me worse but fatty food definitely does, it's hard trying to avoid it all the time - especially as I do a job that means I eat out 3-5 times a week!

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 19:36:37

Yes to cola! I discovered that when pg with ds2 smile
But otoh I know carbonated drinks aren't good...
I eat rice cakes, and fairly bland food anyway..potatoes, veg, soup etc.
Will cut out the chocolate.
Am drinking fruit tea ATM instead of coffee/tea with milk.
I do eat a lot of eggs but they are pretty good for you afaik.
Don't eat fried food, crisps etc
Am just getting desperate now sad

madhairday Mon 22-Oct-12 19:42:45

I've also had GERD for years, related to a lung condition I have.

It does indeed suck. The pain can be absolutely agonising and sometimes downright scary.

I'm booked in for an endoscopy soon, currently on omeprazole twice daily.

What I have found helps is no red wine (boo) and spicy food is also out. I also find if I eat too much it flares up, so try to eat smaller portions. If I eat too many carbs it is worse too. Dairy seems ok for me, but I'm not sure. I'm keeping a food diary to see when it is at its worst. Chocolate does make it worse too. It's pants. Pah.

Somebody recommended eating an apple during a flare up, apparently it calms the acid down. It doesn't work for me but might for you.

Hope you can find something that helps.

ThatVikRinA22 Mon 22-Oct-12 19:45:10

i have LPR - all my valves are knackered. i take omeprazole and ranatidene (sp?) daily and i will have to take them for ever.....i think i had symptoms of GERD around 15 years ago but it was left unchecked until about 4 years ago.

its sucks.

Have you tried raising your bed head?

twolittlebundles Mon 22-Oct-12 19:48:24

have you had an allergy test? Might be worth getting a full test for foods you have intolerance or allergy too- it can be surprising. My allergist found I am allergic to potatoes sad (nearly cried); but cutting them out helped a lot with the reflux.
If dairy is an issue, then ANY dairy at all (even hidden in baking etc) will set it off.

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 20:05:34

Well, my health isnt great tbh.
I was dx with me/Cfs in 1997 and have flare ups occasionally - I guess that's another worry - and earlier this year I was badly anaemic (8) due to long standing gynae issues.
I had a coil fitted in may but tbh it's not really helped...I still seem to bleed a lot.
I also have a herniated disc in my back which happened last summer. I had a proceedure to help in may too but it hasn't worked.
My mum is coeliac and I am pretty sure I am too but all the NHS test say no. There is a more sensitive one but can't afford to get it done privately.
My thyroid is also borderline low but has been for years...I am - just - above the normal range.
I am at home with the kids as its half term here and I have actually been scared today at how ill I felt sad
I look dreadful too...
Wwyd?
I dont think I can take yet another gp a lot where I come clutching a blood test form only for the tests to come back "all ok" and leave me no better off and feeling like a hypochondriac sad

Badvoc Mon 22-Oct-12 20:06:09

Yes I do find apples help smile

LadyStark Mon 22-Oct-12 20:18:30

Weirdly, carbonated drinks generally aren't good for me but full fat coke seems to be the exception!

It is grim, I am also anaemic quite regularly and generally feel run down and ill quite a lot. It sucks.

cheekydevil Mon 22-Oct-12 20:43:23

I find eggs the worst thing to eat and definately no citrus

Badvoc Tue 23-Oct-12 08:13:59

Yes, I don't do citrus.
Have stopped eating onions, spicy things, coffee, tea, milk etc.
Have really cut down in carbs too and haven't eaten bread for weeks.
I eat lots of bland stuff...eggs, potatoes, veg, if I eat cake and biscs they are plain (lots of birthdays recently!)
I ate apples, strawberries, nectarines fruit wise.

trigger2 Tue 23-Oct-12 08:26:05

Twolittlebundles - I am interested in what sort of thing you eat on your diet. I've gone lactose free which doesnt make much difference, I've had a negative blood test for coeliac, but haven't tried gluten free yet as I'm hoping that my GP will take pity on me and refer me for an endoscopy/biopsy. It's a big hope I have to say as I haven't found them that helpful.
Regards

twolittlebundles Tue 23-Oct-12 08:50:26

Hey trigger2, happy to share. Here is my list of things that work for me:

Fruit and veg:
Mango, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots, Avocados, Sugar snap peas, Carrots, Zucchini, Asparagus, Spinach, Mushrooms, Kumara (sweet potato), Acid free tomatoes, Pumpkin, Beetroot, Berries, Nuts and seeds

Protein:
Fish, Prawns, Beef, Lamb, Chicken, Chickpeas (small amounts), Egg (small amounts)

Carbs:
Gluten free bread; Gluten free pasta, Rice, Quinoa, Gluten free and dairy free cakes (quite a lot of these!)

Dairy needs to be out of your system for 2 weeks totally for it to really be effective IME.

Out of interest, when you had your blood test, were you eating a lot of gluten before the bloods were taken? In order for the test to be accurate, you need to have been having a med-high gluten intake, otherwise the antibodies won't be in your blood to show up. My first test was negative at the dr, but when the gastro ordered the test again, I was told to eat a fair amount of gluten in the lead up and it showed significant intolerance.

I have had what feels like every test available, and they haven't actually been that useful- aside from the diagnosis of gluten intolerance, they have found Barretts and given almost no advice/assistance, basically because there isn't actually a lot that can be done I think.

Sorry for essay!

trigger2 Tue 23-Oct-12 16:55:26

Wow, that's great thank you for that. Interesting to see you dont have apples there. I used to eat loads of them but now find they really disagree with me so i only have one occasionally.

I've been lactose free for 2 weeks and havent noticed a great difference in terms of stomach pain, bloating, gas etc. I have done spells of lactose free over the last few years which helped much more. Strange

Before the blood test I ate normally. I've heard some people say you need to eat the equivalent of 6 slices of bread per day, where I had say 2. But i regularly eat pasta, noodles & other carbs.

I've found my gp really unhelpful. I'm convinced there's something else going on, like coeliac. I've tried to keep a food diary but didnt see anything obvious from that. I'm back to gp next week and I hate being difficult but I really feel I'm being fobbed off.

Thanks again

twolittlebundles Tue 23-Oct-12 19:12:16

apples only work for me if they are cooked for some reason- I have no idea why!

Is it possible to see a different gp? My old gp was not very interested, so I moved and the new one immediately referred me to a specialist.

Have you looked at IBS?

trigger2 Tue 23-Oct-12 19:31:05

Yeah I'll see what my regular gp says next week. She's suggested IBS to me but my family has history of allergies, intolerance & coeliac, so I'd put money on it being one of them. I just dont know which !

PackItInNow Wed 24-Oct-12 19:29:08

I've heard that an apple a day is a natural remedy for GERD. I also hear that the natural pectin in the apple is something to do with it?

Read it online, but can't remember where. It implied that half an apple after a meal will help to ease acid reflux. It also said something about dipping apple segments in honey or black strap molasses because of the potassium content helps lessen stomach acid and also lessens the reflux.

Am trying to remember where I saw it, but that was what I remember it saying.

The thing is, before I came across the article, I found I didn't need as many Lanzoprazole per week if I ate apple, banana and honey for dessert once a day. I went through a phase of eating it every day and after 18 days, I realised I hadn't taken my Lazoprazole for all that time. I now eat an apple most days and have only taken about 3 or 4 in the last 2 months.

I find that if I don't take an apple/honey/banana or all 3 for roughly 5-6 days, then the reflux comes back, although not as bad.

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