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Constant heartburn...terrified I have cancer

(25 Posts)
Sunshine4677 Fri 06-Oct-17 11:00:14

I'm a nervous wreck at the minute....been having issues with heartburn for years but recently (the past couple of months) it's really bad. For the past week it's been constant and meds aren't helping. I'm on omeprazole, ranitidine, and gaviscon and it still doesn't go completely.

The doctor has referred me for a gastroscopy but I'm terrified it's going to be cancer of the stomach or oesophagus. My anxiety levels are through the roof and I'm scared to eat.

Has anyone else had heartburn like this?

Thanks x

Softkitty2 Fri 06-Oct-17 14:27:22

It might be a hiatus hernia. A nissen fundoplication should treat it

Ropsleybunny Fri 06-Oct-17 14:35:53

I've suffered for years. I take 40mg Lansoprazole twice a day and sometimes I need Ranitidine as well just to get control back.

Your reflux is unlikely to be cancer but they are doing the right thing by checking. I've had two endoscopies, you'll be fine. Just make sure you opt for the throats spray and the sedative.

I've had the Nissens, it didn't help.

Sunshine4677 Fri 06-Oct-17 15:07:12

What is the cause of yours Ropsleybunny? It's been hell these last few days as it barely budges...hard to believe it's not something sinister sad Also, did they let you know what they saw on the endoscopy on the day? Thanks x

sufferingicecakes Fri 06-Oct-17 16:07:43

I had heartburn when I was taking these meds - not all the time - but frequently. Particularly when I had 'trigger' foods. However, they found nothing on endoscopy, not even hiatus hernia.

These meds actually make you worse as it encourages your stomach to over produce acid whenever the meds start to wear off. I have come off all meds now and I am actually much better than I was when I was on them - hard to believe I know. I actually dreaded going out for a meal when I was on these meds but since I have come off I can even eat 'trigger' foods to no ill effects.

Ropsleybunny Fri 06-Oct-17 16:07:48

Heartburn is caused by acid refluxing up your oesophagus. i honestly don't think they know exactly what causes it but things that irritate your stomach create more acid. It's very common in pregnancy. The valves at the top of the stomach and at the top of the oesophagus weaken as we grow older, although why some people have it and others don't is a mystery.

I don't touch alcohol these days and I avoid hot spicy foods. I know chocolate is bad for me but sometimes I just have to eat it. Losing weight can help and I could do with losing some more. Smaller meals helps and avoiding a big meal at bedtime. Propping the head of your bed up can also help.

charliebear78 Fri 06-Oct-17 16:33:33

Yes they will tell you what they find after the procedure if you opt for sedation.
I had it without and they told me everything looked fine as it was happening,the Nurse confirmed it afterwards-also if you have no sedation you can leave right away.

ScarlettDarling Fri 06-Oct-17 20:24:14

I go through phases which can last for months of having permanent heartburn. When I get it, it doesn't just come on after a meal, I have it 24 hours a day, even waking up with it in the morning when I have an empty stomach.

I tried lanzaprazole which didn't help at all so came off it after a few months. An endoscopy showed that everything was totally fine, nothing sinister or worrying.

After a while, the heartburn usually settles down and I can go for months without a single incident. I've been fine since about March but over the last week I have had heartburn a few times and am worried I'm about to enter another of my 'phases'.

I think it's anxiety which causes it for me. Try not to worry, it's very unlikely that there's anything serious going on.

trinity0097 Fri 06-Oct-17 20:32:15

Is it actually heartburn, or could it be your gallbladder?

Looksprettybad Fri 06-Oct-17 20:41:16

I found mine was caused by wheat/gluten but only after my gastroscopy was clear. I was on proton pump inhibitors for about a year before i found my trigger food.

allegretto Fri 06-Oct-17 20:42:50

I have this and it's a hiatus hernia.

Hulder Fri 06-Oct-17 20:43:53

If you don't have sedation they will tell you exactly what they saw straight away - and probably show you the pictures if you are into that kind of thing.

For me, my gastroscopy was normal but my USS was not - gallbladder out and I'm back to normal. Apparently it's pretty common for people with gallstones to be sent for a gastroscopy thinking they have ulcers.

I was on masses of omeprazole for ages. Unsurprisingly, my gallstones did not respond to it.

Mxyzptlk Fri 06-Oct-17 20:48:45

There's a theory that low stomach acid can cause heartburn so you actually need to make it more acidic, not less.
The idea is that when the acid is weak, the oesophageal spinster loosens, as it thinks there's not much going on. But then that weak acid gets into your oesophagus, and it causes heartburn.
Google low stomach acid and see if you think it might be that.
Great that you're getting it checked out, tho.

Mxyzptlk Fri 06-Oct-17 20:49:30

*sphincter, not spinster.

Ropsleybunny Fri 06-Oct-17 21:47:23

Mine is definitely heartburn, as I don't have a gallbladder.

wineandsunshine Sat 07-Oct-17 08:25:21

I had exactly the same symptoms as you - I even ended up saying to the consultant please tell me if it’s cancer....his reply...if it was cancer you would be dead by now 🙈
I had the endoscopy earlier this year with throat spray and it was literally over in three mins - all fine.
I continued with symptoms so after deciding to pay privately for an allergy test it turns out it was gluten/wheat and a LOT of other intolerances.

Sunshine4677 Sat 07-Oct-17 20:08:26

Thank you ladies... I feel loads better after hearing your stories. My anxiety has been really high so that's probably not helping. I don't know why I've got myself in such a state over this x

RosyPinkHugh Sat 07-Oct-17 21:37:16

Sorry to hear you’re so worried. I had exactly this when my gallbladder was playing up, not the typical pain that many people seem to have.

Sunshine4677 Sun 08-Oct-17 09:07:14

Does the gallbladder cause heartburn? I thought that would be more stomach pain than indigestion? Cheers x

Hulder Sun 08-Oct-17 11:07:24

As a doctor, I find everybody means something entirely different by indigestion.

Indigestion is supposed to be a pain felt in the stomach - but every patient uses the word in their own way and thinks they mean the same thing.

Hulder Sun 08-Oct-17 11:07:57

Same goes for heartburn - can mean allsorts.

Sunshine4677 Sun 08-Oct-17 11:26:12

My burning is top of the stomach and bottom of the oesophagus area so not sure which is correct. I just know it's almost always there....even if only a mild burning sensation.

trinity0097 Sun 08-Oct-17 13:28:48

I thought my severe gallstone problems was 'just' heartburn/indigestion and it can be felt in many places, mine was between my lower boobs and when really bad spreading to my back. Not everyone is the same, but two doctors first though put I had indigestion to start with, one GP and one A&E doctor.

Sunshine4677 Sun 08-Oct-17 17:05:07

Mine seems to radiate into my back too. Just wish I knew what the issue is as it's frightening me sad fingers crossed they don't keep me waiting too long for the gastroscopy.

Sunshine4677 Tue 10-Oct-17 10:47:29

Got a call today with a date for my gastroscopy. It's on the 9th November - 4 weeks away. Was hoping it would be a bit sooner to put my mind at ease, but the doctor obviously isn't worried or she'd have marked it as urgent sad

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