Talk

Advanced search

Possible hiatus hernia - feeling horrible

(18 Posts)
sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 13:08:35

Hello
I have had quite bad digestion problems for a month now and after seeing a gp in England and abroad where I live, I have been taking gaviscon for most of that time. I still feel awful though - i can eat more or less normal amounts now but have either a bubbly feeling in my chest or a full stomach feeling most of the time. The worst is that sometimes the reflux makes me feel like i can't breathe properly.
I have an appointment with a specialist at the end of August but am feeling very sad and scared in case it is a hernia/ I'll have these symptoms forever/It's something worse....
Anyone had a hernia and reflux which improved?

OP’s posts: |
Egghead68 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:04:11

Hi - I was recently diagnosed with a 2cm hiatus hernia and GERD. I had a one month course of Lansoprazole which settled the symptoms a lot. They are now manageable (for now) with Rennies, ranitidine and avoiding eating within 4 hours of lying down or exercising (where possible). They were hellish before, so I fully sympathise.

Hernias don't necessarily result in reflux - they can be symptomless - and reflux isn't necessarily caused by hernias. If you HAVE got an HH it won't get better but will not necessarily always be associated with reflux symptoms.

I'd try asking your GP for a 1-2 month course of a proton pump inhibitor (e.g. lansoprazole/omeprazole) to settle it. N.B. they often don't like to prescribe them for longer due to side effects.

I have harped on about this before after my traumatic experience but if your doctor recommends a gastroscopy / upper GI endoscopy to diagnose the hernia, please ensure you have at least some sedation and that it is given time to work (the BNF says 5-10 minutes). Mine was conducted unsedated (I was told I would have light sedation but they were in a hurry) and it was the most traumatic experience of my life (although a minority of people are able to tolerate this reasonably well).

Egghead68 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:13:37

www.nhs.uk/conditions/heartburn-and-acid-reflux/

sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:15:28

Thanks Egghead68
I read up about the omeprazole etc and scared myself because dr google said they're really bad 😣 but I assume they'll try me on that next. When you say manageable, what do you mean? At the moment I am on school holidays but I don't know how I am going to manage to go back to work as a teacher as I have reflux symptoms more or less all day at the moment 😣 I will keep in mind the advice about the endoscopy as my gp actually already gave me the prescription to have one done. I thought I should see a specialist beforehand though, especially as I haven't yet tried the PPIs..

OP’s posts: |
toldmywrath Fri 09-Aug-19 14:20:12

I've got a hiatus hernia and reflux. Diagnosed by gastroscope. Yes I second sedation! Mine was all over in a blur, just the initial biting on the tube thing was a bit unpleasant. (Plus the throat spray was yuck)
I rarely suffer with any symptoms, have been on PPI Lanzoprazole for decades now.

sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:23:17

toldmywrath that gives me hope! I'm really struggling today.
But they didn't say anything about side effects if you take them for a while?

OP’s posts: |
Egghead68 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:24:25

My understanding is that taking omeprazole or similar for 1-2 months is relatively safe.

Manageable for me means no symptoms or just a mild acidic taste that goes if I suck a Rennie. Prior to treatment I was in severe discomfort and felt like I had a permanent lump in my chest/throat.

You probably will need the gastroscopy but please strongly consider sedation and not just throat spray (unless you'd be comfortable swallowing a broom handle all the way down and then having it wriggled around for 5 mins without anything to "take the edge off"). It's awful unsedated and they will hold you down and press on even though you may/will be wretching, vomiting and gagging throughout.

Egghead68 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:26:44

Cross-posted with toldmywrath. I think in practice lots of people take PPIs longterm relatively safely (I am an HCP and many of my patients are on them long-term). However, it's better if this can be avoided.

sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:38:36

Ok toldmywrath and Egghead68 that's helped me a great deal. I really hope they let me be sedated since I'm in France. The concept of living like this makes me want to cry. I switch towards feeling like I can't breathe properly when my tummy is empty to feeling like i have a lump in my stomach if I eat. I've chosen eating today because I am losing too much weight but i think I need to eat smaller meals and bigger snacks...
Thank so much for answering smile

OP’s posts: |
Egghead68 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:41:05

sleepy78 I was the same and never thought that 1 month on a PPI would make a difference but it really has.

There are various treatment options available (including surgery as a last resort) so in all likelihood they will find something that works for you.

Best of luck.

sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 14:45:07

I really want to avoid the surgery if possible!! I'm frustrated because it came on all of a sudden - possibly because of stress/moving house? Anyway, thanks again 😁

OP’s posts: |
sleepy78 Fri 09-Aug-19 15:08:12

Has anyone here had the surgery?

OP’s posts: |
toldmywrath Sat 10-Aug-19 09:10:55

Egghead, I've had a gastroscopy for monitoring (checking for Barrett's oesophagus, which I don't have)
Believe me when I say I'd be so poorly without my Lanzoprazole, I'm on the lowest daily dose possible.
I was also tested for H Pylori (negative)
No surgery here, hasn't been mentioned.
Stress can make it worse. Eat little and often and don't eat too late in the evening.
Has your GP considered that something else might be causing the bloating?

toldmywrath Sat 10-Aug-19 09:13:08

Sleepy78 best wishes to you.
I find certain foods make me feel unwell (tomato soup is one)
Perhaps Google this.

sleepy78 Sat 10-Aug-19 11:16:59

Thanks toldmywrath
I have my first rdv with the specialist so nothing is sure yet for me.
What is barretts oesophagus?

OP’s posts: |
sleepy78 Sat 10-Aug-19 11:18:47

toldmywrath I agree for the food - I am trying to work out what helps and what makes it worse. I have avoided tomatoes completely and cut down on tea and wine sad and the half a croissant that I had yesterday did not go down well!

OP’s posts: |
Egghead68 Sat 10-Aug-19 12:45:47

www.macmillan.org.uk/information-and-support/diagnosing/causes-and-risk-factors/pre-cancerous-conditions/barretts-oesophagus.html

toldmywrath Sat 10-Aug-19 14:10:37

Thanks egghead.

Join the discussion

Registering is free, quick, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Get started »