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Acidy Stomach??

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Chad Ferguson, Jan 5, 2004.

  1. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    As of late I've been kept up at nights due to what I believe is stomach acid. It feels like it as usual, I go drink some milk and the pain goes away for only a couple of minutes. As well, I usually take Zantac for this and it goes away in a matter of minutes. Now, the Zantac doesn't seem to stop this either? What is this, and what can I do?
    THanks
     
  2. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Chad, it sounds like GERD. a condition that allows stomach acid to wash up into your esophogus. One simple thing to try is to elevate the head of your bed and see if that helps.
    The other thing to do is to see a doctor ! I was having problems with constant heartburn that caused a persistant cough and made me hoarse. I found a gastro doc who performed an endoscopy and told me that my esophogus was irritated and that I had GERD. I've been taking Nexium and feel fine. It is important to get this checked out as the constant irritation can lead to something called Barretts esophogus, which is a precursor to cancer.
     
  3. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    Yes, this sounds exactly like GERD (Gastro Esophagal Reflux Disorder). This can be very problematic if you don't get it taken care of. I second paying a visit to your family doctor.
     
  4. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Here, here. I agree completely. I've lived with it since I was pretty young, possibly as young as five. It's uncommon for people that young to have acid reflux, but it's known to happen. I was formally diagnosed with acid reflux back in October 2001, and my doctor put me on Prevacid for a month. The only thing is, Prevacid or even Nexium can only be taken for short-term periods. The long-term effects can be just as painful as acid reflux. I went for two years free of acid reflux until this past October, when it hit all over again.

    Let me give you some common sense suggestions that might help you in your case:

    - I agree with the earlier suggestion, sleeping with your head elevated. In addition, if you sleep on your left side, that will help ease stomach pains.
    - Chewing gum will also help, since the saliva generated from chewing gum will keep the fluids in your system going.
    - Drinking low-acidic juices and fluids also help. Minute Maid has a pulp-free low acid orange juice that's good, and it won't hurt your stomach. I also drink two cans of V-8 juice and three bottles of water, and munch on club crackers, every day to keep food in my system.
    - Watching what you eat and how much you eat is a very important thing in curbing acid reflux. This is especially the case with certain kinds of foods, in my case it's with Mexican, Italian, and Chinese foods. While they're among my favorites, I have to watch for certain foods that might be too spicy or cooked in MSG or have been sitting out for too long. If you're not careful, that can also cause acid reflux seriously. For that matter, eating too much food at one time can trigger acid reflux. Eating moderately, and having someone keep you accountable to moderate eating, can also help curb acid reflux.
    - I've also found that eating an ice cream cone after a meal can also help curb acid reflux, since the ice cream will coat your stomach effectively.

    These are practical suggestions I've had to keep to mind and practiced over the last couple of years, so I hope they help you in your situation.
     
  5. Kevin_Spradley

    Kevin_Spradley Stunt Coordinator

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    I had been having the same problems you are mentioning, until I went to my doctor in November. After some testing, they discovered that my reflux was being caused by a hiatal hernia. My doctor put me on Prevacid, which has changed my life. After speaking with my doctor about Prevacid, it is okay if you have reflux, just along as it is not acidic reflux which will cause the lining of your esophagus to change to defend against the acid, and this esophageal lining change will become Barret's syndrome, a precancerous condition.


    GO SEE A DOCTOR!!!
     
  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Hmmm. I've had a bad throat for decades, and have had x-rays, scope exams, etc. Allergies were ruled out a few years ago. But I just saw an ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) doc who suggests some reflux AND poor breathing (constricted nasal passages) that leads to mouth breathing (in sleep, or on cold winter days) are both burning and drying my throat.

    Reflux or "heartburn" is very unpleasant, as you know.

    I've taken TUMs for years, but these may just be disguising the symptoms like Zantac probably does.

    Anyway, this doc has just prescribed something called "Robeprazole" (sp?) which I believe is to reduce the acidity of any reflux that occurs, and a non-prescription nasal mist, to try for a few months, before a return visit.

    But I like Lew and Bill's practical suggestions.

    For example, this doctor confirmed my suspicion that even a smooth Scotch in the evening is not a good idea. I even suggest good posture while eating, and especially don't wolf down junk food! (Sorry to sound like Mum [​IMG] )

    You don't specify your age Chad, but reflux can cause a lot of damage over years, so watching diet, developing "sensible" habits, may pay off big time. I second Richard's second - worth seeing a doctor about.
     
  7. Dave Morton

    Dave Morton Supporting Actor

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    I have this too. I've used the prilosec OTC and it has worked. Another thing that seems to work for me is exercise. When I start exercising, it seems to get the blood flowing and reduces the reflux. The holidays are usually hell for me in this regard.
     
  8. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Bill, I have to disagree with you on 2 points ...

    Chewing gum is one of the things I was told NOT to do. The chewing and extra flow of saliva fools your stomach into believing that you are eating. The stomach then produces more acid in response.
     
  9. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Chad, another vote for GERD. Go see your doctor asap. You will probably be prescribed a acid-blocker and he/she may run a few tests. (See below)
    Nexium
    Prevacid
    Prilosec
    These work much different than Zantac, Tagament, Pepsid. They are much more effective. My doctor did an endoscopy (hey free demurral buzz and a shuttle home) to first see the severity of the esophagus damage, take a biopsy(to test for a bacteria) and the integrity of the sphincter valve located at the top of the stomach. If you test positive for the bacteria, you will be prescribed antibiotics in conjunction with your treatment.

    Now years later, I merely take 1 Prilosec (over-the counter here now in USA) about every 4 days and I never suffer from reflux.



    Chad, don't wait for the pain to get more severe. Many compare the pain to a heart attack.

    Side Note: I took Nexium during it's clinical trial, it's amazing stuff.

    John mentioned Rabeprazole, which is Aciphex.

    A lot of great practical suggestions mentioned, sorry if I repeat any:
    1. posture
    2. do not overeat(eat until stuffed)
    3. elevate the top of your bed. Most doctors and hospitals
    actually will provide you with the blocks.
    4. limit alcohol intake
    5. cut down or quit smoking
     
  10. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Each person's case is unique. What works for one person may not work for another, based on his or her body's chemistry. These are just simply the things I have tried, observed, heard from my doctor, and found to be effective in my own battle with GERD.
     
  11. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    Thank you for the quick reply's everyone! First things first I guess, my age is 22, if that makes a difference in any of this? Also, you mentioned that Zantac just hides the problem, oculd you be a little more specific? A friend has given me a little more update and perhpas this can clarify things as well. I went out and partied pretty hard on New Years and as a result I was puking the whole night. The puking just happened to be black which my friend is saying is your stomach lining.(is this true) I figure this could just be a short term thing and all will end well. Also I have to admit I have yet to find a doctor in my town that actually repesects and treats me nicely. I was a little shocked too hear about this GERD since Cancer is the number one killer in my firned tree. SO perhaps one more shot at a doc wouldn't hurt just to be safe. THank you very much!
     
  12. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Chad, as the guy who referred to Zantac, Gaviscon, etc., as "disguise", I meant that like Tums, it eases the bitterness and burning of heartburn or reflux in my throat by coating it (the throat lining). But doesn't reduce the reflux itself.

    I gather that doctors now want to try medications that reduce the acidity of the reflux. (I got a referral to an ENT doc via a family doc.)

    However, my plan now is to adhere to all the practical advice about avoiding the foods, habits, ("party harty" much? [​IMG] )that cause reflux, and try to avoid long term use of expensive meds, that might have side effects.

    I'm 55 and some of the damage is done, but at 22, you may be able to beat the problem early. Good luck!
     
  13. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Chad:
    Happy New Year [​IMG]
    As for your questions:
    - There are several ways to 'treat' problems with stomach acid, Tums, Rolaids and the like attempt to neutralize the excess acid that is already in your stomach causing problems. Zantac and Pepcid were the 1st generation of stomach remedies that tried to stop the acid from being produced in the first place. Todays prescription stuff (Nexium, Prevacid, etc.) I believe are called PPI's (proton pump inhibitors). They stop the little acid pumps in the stomach from producing acid. Seems that you don't need a hell of a lot of acid to digest your food. Taking any of these without seeing a doctor to get a specific diagnosis isn't the best thing to do.
    - The 'black' stomach contents could be many things, one of them is blood (a decidedly remote possibility). Could also be what you ate/drank. Did you take any Pepto Bismal ? It starts life pink but turns black inside you. At the risk of being gross, anything else coming out of you black ? Could be the sign of a stomach ulcer.
    - I guess it's possible that if you 'drove the bus' you could have hurt yourself internally, but that's a stretch

    Bottom line here is that you should go to a doc and get yourself checked. The 100% know for sure test is called an endoscopy. You are sedated (great stuff [​IMG] [​IMG]) and the doc snakes a TV camera down your throat and gets to see what's what. They will also take tissue samples to check for H-pylori, which is a bacteria that causes ulcers (antibiotics work well against it) and other nasty stuff.
    I've had 2 endoscopies done and ate lunch 2 hours after, when the sedation wore off.
    Don't sweat the cancer angle, it takes an extended period of untreated GERD before Barrets starts. Another good reason to see a doc and get a diagnosis.

    Keep us posted, and good luck !
     
  14. Eric_L

    Eric_L Screenwriter

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    I thought I had a similar problem and found out it was just the adult onset of lactose intolerance. Often LI is accompanied by irritable bowel syndrome.

    I really hate those terms - they make me sound so antisocial - intolerant and irritable!

    I prefer Lactase deficient and sensitive bowel syndrome... [​IMG]
     
  15. Stephen_Opipari

    Stephen_Opipari Stunt Coordinator

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    Chad,

    Go see a Dr ASAP. I was right about your age when I started getting heartburn at night, I'm 30 now. I dealt with it with Tums for about 5 years.

    Then I finally went to see a doctor. First had a Upper GI and they found some damage to the esophagus, but nothing definitive about a cause. I had to go to a Gastro guy and ended up having a endoscopy and the doctor found that I have a hiatal hernea. That's where the stomach comes a little up through the hiatus muscle causing the flap into the stomach to not close properly.

    I was put on the drugs of the time (basically a huge 800MG tagamet) and went merrily on my way. But, the Tagamet stopped helping the issue where 2 years ago I was put on Prevacid. The Prevacid works wonders for me and helped most of the esophageal damage repair itself.

    The reason why I say see a doctor now, is that as the esopagus lining get's damaged (it's not meant to coat against stomach acid), you increase your changes for esophageal cancer as you get older.

    Also, if you are overweight, start looking some of thoes extra lbs, it eases gastro problems such as GERD, then again, what doesn't looking weight help with. [​IMG]
     
  16. Bob Graz

    Bob Graz Supporting Actor

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    I too experienced GERD last year. Zantac stopped working for me. Tried 1 prevacid per day, helped for a couple weeks then acid reflux came back. Saw a GI who prescribed 2 prevacid per day, that did the trick. Took it for about 4 months, went off of it and I've been fine ever since. I had a bunch of tests, incuding endoscopy, to rule out anything serious. I did have some gastritis, but no apparent reason why. Apparently 4 months of prevacid was enough to clear it up.

    Other things I did:

    Stopped drinking the morning coffee
    Reduced milk to almost zero
    Reduced alcohol to almost zero

    Sometimes it's a matter of playing with your diet to see if you can improve your situation. I agree with the advice to see your Dr. again.
     
  17. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    I thought milk was great for your stomach? Well as of right now, I've decided to diet or just change my eating habits altogether. I like to party and all so I really don't see the alcohol thing dropping too much. I will go see a doctor is the very near future here, just to be safe and all. I will post an update although I'm sure my problem is out of your mind already but perhaps whatever my outcome is will help others. Anyways, any more help would be great, so far you guys as always have been nothing short of amazing. Thank you very much.
     
  18. Bill Williams

    Bill Williams Screenwriter

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    Chad, do keep us all posted on how you're doing. At 22 you're in the age range where you're pretty susceptible to GERD. It's typically when a person reaches his or her 30's that he or she really falls into that category. I've had it since I was five (I'm 37 now), so my statistic is a bit unusual, but as everyone has shared before, it's a matter of different solutions that work. Definitely go to the doctor and listen to what he says, and do keep us posted on how you're coming along. Hang in there, buddy!
     
  19. Chad Ferguson

    Chad Ferguson Supporting Actor

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    AS I promosed, here's an update. I went ans saw the doctor today. I was prescribed a drug that is just a stronger version of Zantac. Also, I have been booked to see a specialists so I can have a camera down my throat. I was also given a blood test to check for something called CBC.? The doctor didn't want to jump to any conclusions yet like GERDS. Well, that's the update, does this compare to anyone else's experiences?
    Thanks
     
  20. Zen Butler

    Zen Butler Producer

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    Man are you in for freebie high. Hello Demurral! Sounds like you're on the right track. Good luck
     

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