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GERD/hiatus hernia breathing weirdness

(23 Posts)
sleepy78 Sat 17-Aug-19 18:32:06

I wrote a recent post because i have had horrible digestion problems for 2 months. I have an appointment booked with a specialist at the end of the month but I'm scaring myself because it seems to be getting worse...
For 3 days now when my tummy is starting to be empty I have a weird fuzzy feeling in my mouth. I have often had the feeling that my chest is being pressed during the last 2 months but now I feel like my breathing is really a bit restricted and I'm scared...
In monday i have an appointment with a generalist to ask if i can start on some stronger medicine. But in the meantime i wondered if anyone has had this weird breathing thing with GERD or a hernia before?
There were 2 lovely people that gave me some very helpful advice on my last post but this is a different question....

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Seaweed42 Sat 17-Aug-19 18:35:11

Are you on any medication for it at the moment? If excess stomach acid is the problem, it does get worse when stomach is empty.

sleepy78 Sat 17-Aug-19 18:39:49

Hi Seaweed42
I'm just taking gaviscon which takes the edge off but it isn't working so well now. I've read about PPIs so I'm hoping the generalist will give me some on Monday and that they'll work. But until then rhis breathing think is panicking me...

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Egghead68 Sat 17-Aug-19 19:41:07

Sorry me again. I was told my acid reflux could make my asthma worse so clearly it can affect breathing (maybe the acid can get in the airways),
Hope you get sorted soon.

sleepy78 Sat 17-Aug-19 20:01:48

Hi Egghead68
No need to apologise! Your last comments made me feel much better and here you are to help me again!
I am just hoping the breathing thing doesn't get worse sad
I just have to get through tomorrow and then see if I can start on some PPIs like you...

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LifeIsGoodish Sat 17-Aug-19 20:28:56

I find that oesophageal pain can sometimes feel a bit like a menopausal anxiety attack, so when an attack starts I need to really listen to my body and think what I've been doing in the run-up.

Certain foods are definitely triggers for my reflux and oesophagitis, whereas stress is more likely to trigger a menopausal anxiety attack. Liquid Gaviscon soothes one, but not the other!

I take omeprazole when I'm having a lot of reflux or oesophagitis, and continue taking it for a few weeks after the symptoms have subsided.

LifeIsGoodish Sat 17-Aug-19 20:30:54

Forgot to ask whether the breathing thing could be anxiety-related for you? Have you tried calming exercises?

Also, have you had an ECG to be certain that that pain is GERD-related and not heart?

sleepy78 Sat 17-Aug-19 21:03:27

Hi LifeIsGoodish Thanks so much for answering. I do have a tendancy to be anxious and I definitely think that over the last few days my anxiety is making it worse! Hence why I wrote this post!
I will see the specialist on the 28th and I'm sure he will order tests to find the cause. I'll ask about my heart...

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sleepy78 Thu 22-Aug-19 07:42:56

Hello again
So I started on Nexium 2 days ago after seeing another gp. I wasn't managing and so wanted to start on something before the specialist appointment in septembeŕ.
It made a difference from the first day and I had 2 days where I still had some discomfort but I could function like a normal human again!
However this morning I feel really rough again with the pressure like before... I did eat some fig tart last night - too acid perhaps?
So my question is this... in your expérience does the nexium improve the situation more and more over time or is this the best it's going to get?

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Egghead68 Thu 22-Aug-19 09:29:17

I'm glad the Nexium helped for a couple of days. It sounds like you still need to be careful about not eating too late, avoiding triggers etc. Hopefully the fig tart caused a blip and you will be OK again now. I don't know whether Nexium takes a few days/weeks to reach maximum effect - possibly.

I THINK Nexium is over the counter and is less strong than prescription PPIs, so they might work even better for you if/when they are prescribed. You may be able to even eat fig tart on them!

Egghead68 Thu 22-Aug-19 09:30:58

P.S. You can also buy ranitidine in the pound shop and it is, I understand, a pretty safe drug (much safer than PPIs). It might be worth keeping some of this in.

You will need to stop the Nexium 2 weeks before a gastroscopy, if one becomes planned.

sleepy78 Thu 22-Aug-19 10:12:00

Hi Egghead68
Here the Nexium that I was given is prescription so maybe it's a bit stronger? I qm on 40mg. Actually it is Esomeprazole which is the generic I think. No pound shops here so no ranitidine... but I am continuing the gaviscon.
After I took it this morning I felt better - it definitely has an effect!!
That's very interesting about having to stop 2 weeks before the test. That won't be a fun 2 weeks 😣
Thanks for the support. This has all really made me sad...

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Seaweed42 Thu 22-Aug-19 11:42:15

Hi, yes eating a dessert late at night/evening would affect the indigestion and the stomach acid. Any sort of heavy dessert like that eaten in the evenings would cause me problems, even on the omeprazole. Like pastry, crumble, or homemade cake or cookies.
You might find that gets a bit better once you are on the stuff a while. You'll get to know what foods affect you.
My issues all started in the run up to menopause. Are you around that age at all? It's a difficult time with many weird symptoms appearing with no real answers. Take heart it does all settle down eventually.

sleepy78 Thu 22-Aug-19 12:17:42

Hi Seaweed42
I'll be 41 in a few days 😁 Does that sound about right?
Another question - did the medicine make you tired? I'm very tired at the moment...

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Egghead68 Thu 22-Aug-19 21:35:04

Ok - good you are on the strong stuff.
PPIs didn’t make me more tired than usual but they have a lot of side-effects - have you checked the list?
Yes do take heart. It WILL settle as you are responding to medication (some people don’t).

sleepy78 Fri 23-Aug-19 07:39:29

Thanks Egghead68
cake Have some virtual cake as a thank you (since real cake is hard to digest) grin

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wineandsunshine Fri 23-Aug-19 18:11:24

Definitely try ranatidine - you can get this OTC. I have 150mg prescribed after consultant did a scope and it's the only thing that helps (alongside watching my diet ob) and drinking tons of water!

LifeIsGoodish Fri 23-Aug-19 21:57:48

I was using Sharpies this afternoon, working in a well-ventilated room for about an hour. Even though a window and an outside door were pen, the smell started giving me a headache. Suddenly I had a really sharp, painful attack of oesophagitis, with the pressure, feeling like it was difficult to breathe. I didn't reflux into my mouth. It was just the oesophageal pain.

I'm certain that it was triggered by the Sharpies, not food, because I'm going on holiday soon so I'm being really particular about my diet in order to have a comfortable flight.

So I went through my hierarchy of strategies:
Listened-in to my body - no feeling of panic or dread, no trembling, no fuzzy ead-rush or sense of disconnection: not stress nor menopause.
I got up and moved around - didn't help.
Went outdoors and did some breathing-down and stretching - didn't help.
Sipped ice-cold water - this helped. To me this confirms that the pain was an oesophageal spasm.
Liquid Gaviscon - didn't help. To me this confirms that I wasn't refluxing, it was purely the spasm.

Since then I've been fine, with just a slight ache in my chest up to the back of my throat. A bit like the bruised feeling you get after a cramp in your leg eases.

I don't know whether this blow-by-blow is of any help, but here it is, anyway. wink

sleepy78 Sat 24-Aug-19 07:33:29

Hey LifeisGoodish
That is so helpful because now I'm taking the Nexium that is precisely what I'm left with from time to time. I have far less reflux but still have a cramping feeling in my throat and chest if I'm hungry. You described it so well! I don't get pain though. Usually I eat something and change position and it stops.
Now I have to try to explain that to the French doctor 😁

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PotterHead1985 Sat 24-Aug-19 11:23:45

I obviously ate something that disagreed with me last night because even with the omeprazole I had the worst burning and pain and was even sick. Unfortunately GERD and a hiatus hernia are not an exact science. I have had them for years.

sleepy78 Sat 24-Aug-19 20:46:08

Hi PotterHead1985 Sorry to hear that - did you work out what it was? It's annoying right?
I wonder why it starts? Mine came out of nowhere apart from the fact that it was a very stressful time.... Have you been taking the omeprazole for long then?

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PotterHead1985 Sat 24-Aug-19 20:59:46

Unfortunately yes. Indian food!! I love spicy food sad

sleepy78 Sat 24-Aug-19 21:06:33

Oh yes. That would do it....sad

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