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Have you got GERD? Any advice for me?

(23 Posts)
TR888 Sun 08-Mar-20 08:57:46

Hi,

I think I have GERD. Well, I definitively have acid reflux, which was diagnosed about three years ago during investigations for possible cancer (scary time!). Luckily it wasn’t and all medical investigations stopped. Since then, I have had several flare ups which seem quite worrying. For example, I feel as if I had an ulcer or something like that in the left side of my throat. It can feel painful when I talk and this is a problem as I use my voice a lot at work. Occasionally, even having a conversation on the phone feels exhausting. My kids are still quite young and when they misbehave they really sets things off, making the pain in my throat really quite bad. I sometimes also have quite bad breath, which I am mortified about...

These episodes can last for a few weeks and then go. I have been To my GP recently and been prescribed omeprazole to be taken when I the reflux is particularly bad. I can’t say it’s doing much. I also have anemia, which I know can be related, but this is something I have had on and off since I was in my late teens (now I’m in my late 40s).

If you have GERD, what lifestyle changes have you made that have made a difference? Also, would you push for a referral for further tests? I worry this might be more serious than my GP makes out.

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfOversharing Sun 08-Mar-20 09:02:27

I have GERD - have done for years. I don't understand the use of omeprazole on an as needed basis. I take lanzoprazole daily. Things that help me - no spicy food for dinner, no lying down after / close to eating, cut down coffee, if it's particularly bad I increase lanzoprazole & eat bland (mashed potato is my go to). But in your case, I'd go back to GP & ask if an endoscope might be suitable.

TR888 Sun 08-Mar-20 09:06:58

Have you had an endoscope yourself?I hear they are horrible. I have had a camera through my nose a few times during my investigations three years ago, but that is not the same, is it?

OP’s posts: |
fairgame84 Sun 08-Mar-20 09:08:08

I've had it for 13 years.
You need to take the omeprazole every day, not just when it is flaring up.
If it is causing a sore throat then try gaviscon liquid because it costs the throat.
Try not to lie flat in bed.
Avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine and stress (easy to say, harder to do).
Find out what your own triggers are. I'm fine with spicy food but water before bed makes it worse confused
If the omeprazole doesn't help then go back to the gp for a different dose or different medication.

esmerelda1988 Sun 08-Mar-20 09:10:43

I have reflux due to being born with a hiatus hernia and having no sphincter at the top of my stomach to stop the contents coming back up confused
I have taken lansoprazole daily for many years which makes it a non issue for me but I do find if I miss a day then it returns so I don't think the 'take it when you feel bad' approach is a good one as it's a cumulative effect.

QueenOfOversharing Sun 08-Mar-20 09:45:27

I haven't had an endoscope - they're not meant to be very pleasant, but if you're having symptoms that don't resolve, they might need to. But @fairgame84 is right - the PPI (omeprazole) needs to be daily. I'd do that, try the other tips & see how it goes. Then if that helps, ask GP for a repeat script for omeprazole. You can adjust the dosage if it helps a bit, but not enough.

QueenOfOversharing Sun 08-Mar-20 09:46:15

Same as @esmerelda1988 if I miss a dose, I do then find it flares.

fairgame84 Sun 08-Mar-20 09:51:44

I've had an endoscopy. It's horrible. If they send you for one then ask for sedation because it's awful without.

They don't do endoscopy as a routine thing for gerd in my area. I only got one because I've had reflux since 2007 and last year I was coughing so much from it that I was wetting myself and I was at the end of my tether with it all.

TR888 Sun 08-Mar-20 11:41:57

Thank you all, this is really useful. Ok, so I will take Omeprazole every day from now on and see if things improve. I will also cut out on fatty and spicy food, coffee (ouch!), tea, acid foods (ouch!!!) and so on. Funnily enough, the food that seems to trigger reflux the most is tomato, does any of you find the same?

Fairgame84, so sorry to hear how bad your reflux has been. I thought mine was bad enough but clearly not. And what you say about endoscopies is quite scary, thanks for the tip about sedation.

Can you recommend any good blogs or other source of advice (apart from the usual NHS and similar sites)? Thanks.

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfOversharing Sun 08-Mar-20 13:54:05

For me, I love nachos, but know that the salsa will make me suffer.

Redannie118 Sun 08-Mar-20 14:10:58

Long term GERD sufferer as part of Scleroderma. I take lanzoprazole morning and night and extra ranitidine at night if its bad. I also carry a small bottle of gaviscon everywhere. Prevention is the only way to go, not to scare you but if its so bad its burning you throat it can be effecting your lungs too.
Health unlocked is a fantastic support network for any chronic health conditions and the only one most hospitals and consultants recommend.

QueenOfOversharing Sun 08-Mar-20 14:47:49

Seconding Health Unlocked - I've got some incredible support for recent thyroiditis.

TR888 Sun 08-Mar-20 15:18:32

That's fantastic, thanks. I will definitely check Health Unlocked.

OP’s posts: |
TR888 Mon 09-Mar-20 18:32:27

Hi, I just thought I'd thank those of you who recommended Health Unlocked, it's a great site. I've also booked aGP appointment to discuss medication and possibly further medication x

OP’s posts: |
QueenOfOversharing Tue 10-Mar-20 08:34:31

It's a great resource - I was recently unwell with a thyroid thing & they have been fantastic on there. And really thorough.

WhoEatsPopTarts Tue 10-Mar-20 08:40:57

I had it for years, very badly and it’s completely gone, I started eating Keto and stopped drinking alcohol in order to lose weight. It was only when I went on holiday and ate carbs and drank wine again that it all came back. I don’t know why it makes a difference, but for me it’s been an unexpected bonus.

Egghead68 Tue 10-Mar-20 09:56:29

Mine went when I got my BMI down from 25 to 22.

Twenty2 Tue 10-Mar-20 10:05:33

@WhoEatsPopTarts I find carbs triggers my heartburn, bananas especially!

TR888 Tue 10-Mar-20 10:24:03

My BMI is 23, so body weight is not an issue. I find carbs are fine for me; in fact, at the moment they seem to be much easy to digest than fruit, for example.

OP’s posts: |
WhoEatsPopTarts Sat 14-Mar-20 00:33:50

I don’t eat fruit on a low carb diet other than the occasional berries, maybe that’s helped.

OneHanded Sat 14-Mar-20 01:43:36

I am prescribed daily lansaprozole (swapped from omeprezaole as a vegan alt). Drink coffee and peptac (also prescriptive) like it’s going out of fashion. Avoid apples and raw tomatoes now as they are a definite trigger.

OneHanded Sun 15-Mar-20 16:21:17

Always sleep as upright as you can too! Overtime you’ll find you can sleep more and more propped up and it stops too much acid from burning you overnight!

Dilbertian Sun 15-Mar-20 16:41:30

Carbs are definitely a trigger for me. Wheat is the worst, but whenever I have a carb-heavy diet the reflux flares up. Eating low-carb does not necessarily mean losing weight. You can eat this way as a matter of course - a way of life diet, rather than a weight-loss diet.

Also hot drinks in the evening. I'm fine with cold drinks, but if I drink a hot drink after about 8pm it repeats on me horribly.

Peppermint tea at any time comes back to visit my mouth. Bleurgh.

Very spicy food also not good. But not all types and not always. I haven't figured this one out.

I would definitely push for more investigations because uncontrolled GERD can eventually cause a lot of unpleasant problems.

An endoscopy is unpleasant, but not too bad. I was absolutely terrified of mine. I had to choose between getting it done without sedation in one week's time, or with sedation in 3-5 month's time. I choose to get it over and done with sooner! So I just had the throat spray. The bit I feared the most, swallowing the tube, was over in an instant and I didn't feel it at all. The rest, well, it wasn't fun. But it passed. If there's a next time, I won't be afraid.

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