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Yet another acid reflux one. Diagnoses welcome!

(23 Posts)
Brillig Thu 29-Sep-16 18:54:53

I've been reading old threads to try and get some useful background on why I get intermittent attacks of what I suppose the docs would call 'dyspepsia'. Never had any trouble with digestion and would have said I had an cast-iron stomach until 2 or 3 years ago, when I suddenly started with stomach pains after eating, indigestion, acid in throat etc.

Helicobacter pylori was ruled out and it isn't gallbladder issues either, apparently. I was referred for a gastroscopy but waited so long that all the symptoms had disappeared by the time the appointment came (and the nice gastro doc then said I'd only been on the list to be assessed for the procedure anyway, so he wouldn't do it!).

Symptoms largely stayed away but for the last 4-6 weeks have been awful - really bad reflux and I've been v reluctant to eat. Now that flare-up seems to have passed off again and I can eat fine (though no appetite to speak of)....but I now have what feels like a giant lump in my chest when I swallow that just won't go away. This seems quite a common thing and isn't painful at all, but it's making me feel very miserable and worried sad

I know I'll need to get the gastroscopy process underway again <sigh> but any ideas what this could be? Hiatus hernia, perhaps?

Brillig Thu 29-Sep-16 18:55:15

God, sorry, that was long.

millymae Thu 29-Sep-16 21:49:02

I'd hazard a guess ( I'm not a doctor, so it is just a guess) that you could have a hiatus hernia.
I'm basing my guess on the fact that years ago when I was ill (long story and not stomach related in any way) I had an endoscopy exam that showed I had a hiatus hernia. Had I not seen it for myself on the screen I wouldn't have believed it as it was causing me no trouble at all then. It is now though, on and off, and the symptoms I'm having are just like yours

Brillig Thu 29-Sep-16 22:21:13

Thanks, milly. That's what I'm tending to think, unfortunately. It does come and go - after the first big attack it all seemed to return completely to normal for months.

Better grit my teeth and try and sort out the dreaded gastroscopy. I must admit I was mightily relieved when I didn't end up having it last year!

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 29-Sep-16 22:28:15

Go to your GP, DH had similar symptoms and because of the feeling of a lump that didnt go away when swallowing got seen under the 2 week wait rule. He had an Gastroscopy and saw ENT for a laryngoscopy, all clear and now on ppis via the GP that are helping with the reflux.

Brillig Thu 29-Sep-16 22:39:58

I've already been on PPIs for a year or so, Another - so it was a bit gutting to have this latest big flare-up. Back to the GP for me I think.

Actually the nice gastro doc did say I could go straight back to him if my symptoms recurred, and he'd try and fit me in for a gastroscopy rather sooner than another 3-month stint on the waiting list....I'll see if that's still possible.

AnotherStitchInTime Thu 29-Sep-16 22:56:24

DH was on ppis before too and had previous flare ups, but the GP changed the ppi which helped. He was told that the feeling of a lump whilst swallowing was a worrying symptom hence the 2WW appt. His gastro said to look at diet and stress as triggers, he is much better since he cut down on sugar and bread, exercised more regularly and removed certain stresses from his life. Tomatoes, citrus, caffeine and fizzy drinks are also big no nos for him.

Brillig Thu 29-Sep-16 23:18:02

I changed too, funnily enough. One of them gave me terrible blurred vision so I asked to go back to omeprazole.

Yes, it's worrying and I'm trying not to get too het up about this lump sensation. It's actually not in my throat, more very deep in my chest if that makes sense - like a piece of bread or something right at the back that won't go down. Doesn't stop me eating though, I mean I don't have any problem swallowing.

Have pretty much cut out coffee, anything carbonated, alcohol, and shun tomatoes and spices. Feeling rather deprived I must say. And there are some big stresses in my life sadly sad

AnotherStitchInTime Fri 30-Sep-16 00:06:47

sad Sorry to hear that Brillig. Severe reflux is very painful and difficult to function with. DH has been admitted several times with suspected heart attack symptoms either from the reflux or reactions to reflux meds. Have you got time to fit in any calming exercises, yoga, tai chi, meditation, swimming, regular walks that might help you manage the stress?

gingeroots Fri 30-Sep-16 11:19:34

I think I'd go back and have the endoscopy - honestly the thought of it is worse than the deed . You'll be sedated ( unless you ask not to be ) and won't know anything about it .

Lump type feeling is not good ,one of those red flag things and needs checking . It might not be anything sinister ,but best to get it ruled out .

I've had eosphageal cancer ( which hasn't improved my spelling ! ) and it's best to get on this type of thing quickly .

And I'm pretty much fine now .

Brillig Fri 30-Sep-16 15:49:20

Thank you ginger and Another (and sympathies to *Mr Another*).

I just rang the gastro doc's secretary and, typically, she's away for several weeks. Instructions to ring another of the secretaries yielded another voicemail as nobody seems to work Fridays.

Will try again on Monday and meanwhile have booked the first GP appt I could get, which is for a week on Monday.

Glad to hear you're well now, Ginger.

Brillig Fri 30-Sep-16 15:49:49

bold fail grin

BestIsWest Fri 30-Sep-16 23:10:46

Just a shot in the dark - I had horrendous reflux for what seemed like ages, along with some other seemingly unconnected symptoms. turned out to be Primary Hyperparathyroidism.

gingeroots Sat 01-Oct-16 08:37:41

Sounds nasty best ,glad you got to the bottom of it . I remember when the consultant who had carried out my endocsopy told me it was 99% cancer and I expressed sympathy for him having to give such news that his reply was that it was much worse having to tell people that he couldn't find the cause of their problem/s .
Which it must be ,the body is a complicated thing !

Well done Brillig for getting on it so quickly ,I was worried I'd been a bit too frank blush

Fingers crossed they can fit you in soon . Let us know how it goes .

Brillig Sat 01-Oct-16 10:29:05

I will, ginger, thanks. Although obviously at this point a hiatus hernia sounds like quite an attractive option hmm

Brillig Wed 12-Oct-16 18:51:47

Not quite an update, if anyone's still reading. I got onto the consultant but unfortunately was told it would need a new referral to get the endoscopy, as it was too long since I'd last seen him.

So I went off to the gp appt I'd got booked and told her the story (it wasn't a GP I'd seen before about this) - she didn't seen greatly concerned and just said she'd refer me again for the camera test, but there was no mention of the 2-week rule. I did slightly query this but she didn't appear worried...I then asked if I'd have to wait as long again as last time (3 months!!) and she cheerfully said 'it shouldn't be that long'.

So that's where I am...not much further forward and still conscious of the lump sensation in my chest when I swallow. To add to the misery, I've now got a streaming cold and a hideous cough on top of the worry and lack of appetite. Not my finest hour I have to say hmm

gingeroots Wed 12-Oct-16 19:28:55

Thanks for updating Brillig ,though I'm sorry that it's taking so long to get the test done .

Once you've had the copy of the referral letter it might be worth ringing the hospital to see if you could be considered for any cancellations ?

Meanwhile hot lemon and honey ,paracetomol and bed !

Brillig Wed 12-Oct-16 19:47:46

Thanks for replying ginger, I'm glad of reassurance at the moment! I'm following your prescription to the letter or will be, after Bake-Off. Hope to have more positive news sooner rather than later.

vcrees6 Wed 12-Oct-16 19:49:37

Have you ruled out any food allergies or intolerances? Last year I started getting terrible acid reflux out of the blue. I cut out gluten and berries and the reflux stopped. If I've ever had gluten since it comes straight back. Worth checking if you haven't before trying out medication/endoscopies.

Brillig Wed 12-Oct-16 22:41:01

Thanks vcree, interesting suggestion. Tbh I hadn't thought of that as it doesn't seem related to diet as far as I can see. it might well be worth keeping a proper food diary though, good idea.

sadie9 Wed 12-Oct-16 22:53:58

Brillig, if you are going for the endoscope, I think they prefer you to be off the Omeprazole a certain number of days before they do it (I think that is the case). So check with the Consultant's secretary or whoever.

Brillig Thu 13-Oct-16 09:11:29

Oh, I think I've seen that somewhere, sadie, thanks. I'll definitely check.

Brillig Fri 11-Nov-16 17:11:30

Just coming back to update in case anyone was interested or in the same boat. I had the gastroscopy and was told I have a 'small' hiatus hernia (no info as to how big exactly, or what type). But everything else completely normal. Which was a big relief, of course.

Advice was to try doubling the dose of omeprazole for a month and if no improvement after consulting the GP, ask to be referred back to the consultant (who I didn't actually speak to after the procedure; I'd expected that I would, but a nurse came and handed me a bit of paper with a summary of the results, and quickly (a bit too quickly tbh) rattled through them - but I appreciate they were busy.

I'm feeling much better but still having a few odd swallowing symptoms and conscious of a sensation of just-on-the-verge-of-acid at the back of my throat, if that makes any sense. Hoping it'll all settle down further with time.

I was very, very nervous about the gastroscopy and asked for sedation - to reassure anyone who feels the same, I went out cold and have zero recollection of any of it!

Thanks to all for the hand-holding.

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