Skip to comments.Anyone here have GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)?
Posted on 07/07/2010 9:38:08 PM PDT by The Magical Mischief Tour
Anyone here have GERD?
Reason I ask, last month I started having what I would described as mild to medium chest discomfort/pressure in the middle of my chest and lower sternum and weird aches on my left side arm pit area and in both arms usually just either side of the elbow. Not stabbing pain but aches like you have when you get the flu.
The only "pains" I have in my chest are not deep pains at all, but what feels to be shallow muscle cramp-like aches, something you would expect feel after doing 100 push ups or lifting weights.
No shortness of breath etc...
They came and went for a few days then one evening they hit hard and scared the bejesus out of me so I headed to the ER.
After half the night spent in the ER. Doctor found nothing abnormal with my EKG, blood tests, no sign of heart attack, blood clots or pneumonia. He said it was most likely GERD.
I don't smoke (I collect cigars, yeah don't ask...) and rarely drink and I'm not over weight.
No family history of heart disease. And I undergo a Class 1 Flight Physical every 12 months, and had a Treadmill Stress Test 3 years ago. Which was fine.
But my question to those who suffer from this, is this.
Do your pains at time mimic aches and cramps in the chest, without the burning you would think of with heartburn. And do you get aches and cramps in your arms or any other weird unexplained pains that your Doctors say could be caused by GERD?
I really don't get the burning sensation, but I take OTC Prevacid once daily and have for years to control HB.
The chest pressure and aches come and go randomly, not tied to any one activity such as exercise, laying down or sitting up right. Sometimes exercise even makes the chest pressure go away but not the aches in my arms. I don't know if a heavy mean will cause them as I have stopped eating big meals and opted for several smaller ones.
Its just a strange batch of symptoms, hard to describe and qualify. And to make matters worse the ER Doc told me that GERD mimicking chest pains can make your stress and anxiety level go up aggravating the pain and pressure.
Anyone else have this, can offer up any advice?
Its more frustrating than anything because it hard not to think its you heart when you have chest pains... which causes you anxiety levels to go up.
Two years with heartburn, and one episode where the doc & I both thought it could have been a heart attack... I imagined the pain was similar to what one would feel when struck through the sternum with an arrow, lodging into the back just behind the heart.
That’s not fun. I stopped drinking coffee, avoid all sweetened or carbonated drinks, and changed my diet completely. Lost 20 pounds, and feel great. I still sometimes get mild heartburn if I eat anything with onions, raw or cooked, or if I over do it on tomatoes. I eat about two cups of raw/slightly blanched broccoli with lunch. Lunch is usually a romaine lettuce salad with red and yellow bell pepper, carrot, radish, with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
Dinner is usually a small minute steak, baked chicken, prawns, crab, or occasionally turkey, with a cup of rice and about a cup and a half of steamed or stir fried veggies.
Most importantly, I started eating breakfast again. Oatmeal, or a granola bar, and once or twice a week eggs with bacon.
I’ve been doing this for the past 16 months and I haven’t felt this good since I was in the Navy sixteen years ago.
Ten years ago, I would have scoffed at the idea to eat this way, but looking back, I wish I had done it earlier.
First, get a magnesium suppliment, or eat a can of spinach or other food high in magnesium. If you get an almost immediate relaxed feeling, get sleepy, notice your legs aren't crampy any more, you either have a magnesium deficiency and or you are eating foods containing too much calcium.
Second, at you next big meal(not breakfast) mix up 10 ounces of water with 2 ounces of real lemon juice, drink a third or half before the meal and continue as you eat. If you get all the way thru without the feeling of reflux, you don't have GERD/Acid reflux, you have the reverse situation where your stomach doesn't have enough acid to digest the amount of food you just ate, and it is getting rid or trying to get rid of the excess. Lemon juice is also one of the best bioavailable sources of Vitamin C, which you prolly don't get enough of either.
Papaya is useful in aiding digestion because the enzymes of the fruit help to digest proteins, fats, and starches. The fiber of the fruit is helpful in streamlining the digestive tract. Papaya is a very alkaline fruit, and this is one reason that it is often useful in soothing an upset stomach. So, if you know somebody suffering from the effects of cooked food, or feeling off center after consuming sugar or meat, advise them to eat a papaya. Dried papaya is especially effective in ridding the digestive tract of constipation. But, be warned, if you eat a lot of dried papaya at one time, do not travel too far from the bathroom because dried papaya can really clean you out:-)
Come to think of it my husband first had symptoms when he was working 65 plus hours a week and drinking 5-6 cups of coffee a day. He used to say he had “a couple of cups” of coffee and it wasn’t a problem until he realized his cup size was about 20oz each! That job was also very stress filled and that didn’t help either.
This went on for me for a few weeks last summer. I started to have pains just as you describe. I went to summer camp with my Scout Troop (I’m an Assistant Scoutmaster) and half-way through the 2nd day I decided I was having a heart attack. I ended up getting taken to the emergency room.
When I walked into the emergency room there was a receptionist who asked me what my problem was. I told her I had chest pain and pain down my left arm. Her expression changed radically and in about two heartbeats I was in a wheelchair and in about 10 heartbeats I was flat on my back with 6 people around me, blood pressure being taken, an IV going in, EKG patches on my chest, nitroglycerin under my tongue and a lot of questions being asked.
As we say in the tech support business, “no trouble found”. Things calmed down. Blood was drawn and sent to the lab. I was pretty much left alone. An older female doctor with an Eastern European accent sat down and talked to me. We talked quite some time about our life stories. It was actually very pleasant and relaxing. She told me that I was going to be admitted. Her guess was that I had GERD (which she explained) but that given I’m a not-skinny male over 50 they were going to work up my heart just to make sure.
The next day after not sleeping well on the ward (not their fault, that’s how it is in the hospital) I took a two-part cardiac stress test. No blockages, diagnosis was GERD. They put me on one daily pill, 40 mg pantoprazole. I went back to Scout camp and did a Mile Swim the next day so that everyone wouldn’t think I was an invalid.
I was told:
1) Sleep with your head elevated (an extra pillow).
2) Stay away from spicy foods (I lay off of even onions and green peppers).
3) Don’t ingest peppermint or anything peppermint flavor (it relaxes the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach).
4) No caffeine.
I had a bit of an issue a couple of months ago, but otherwise I’ve been fine. My GP tells me that a lot of it is stress. As one other poster mentioned, part of my problem was that my fear that the pain was cardiac put me under more stress, so I felt more pain, etc. in a feedback loop. Finding out my heart was O.K. really helped as much as anything else. I didn’t start freaking out every time I felt a twinge.
Get your heart checked out and you’ll fell better. Literally.
Some physical labor during the day, and a long walk with the dog in the evening to relax also helps ... :)
★ FREEDOM! ★
I have GERD. Here’s the best way I can describe the “cramps”...
You know how it feels when you get heartburn? Well, sometimes, I won’t get the burning sensation, but I will get a severe pressure in the same area.
NO. No pain in my arms or my chest wall associated with GERD.
Please get a consult with a dr who’s willing to dig deeper.
If it’s not a cardio issue, you may uncover something simple like a potassium problem.
When my GERD first started, I had almost no heartburn, just an unrelenting pressure. (just below the sternum and slightly to the left.) An internal medicine dr took me apart and finally (accidentally) figured out that it was GERD.
While I was going through the testing phase, he tried to explain to me how complex that one area of the body really was. There’s a lot going on in that area. You could have a problem that’s very easy to fix.
Over the years, I was prescribed numerous medications to treat my GERD. Different meds because the Navy clinic kept changing their formulary. Aciphex, Previcid, Protonix, none of these really worked for me. Prilosec has been the best I’ve found. The clinic has carried it in generic form ever since it went OTC. I take one a day, my wife, two. I am overweight but she is not. Stay away from alcohol, greasy, fatty, and acidic foods. And jack up the head of your bed. I put 5 inch long 4X4 blocks under the head. Let gravity work to keep the acid down at night.
Oh yeah, I forgot. Cut back on the coffee. Too much tears my stomach up. And I love my coffee.
My advice exactly to try this inexpensive remedy before going to the huge expense of specialists. I told my daughter this remedy just a week or so ago when she had very bad, painful heartburn. I told her heartburn is NOT an over abundance of stomach acids as most people thing, but a LACK of stomach acids. I told her to take a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Within 5 minutes she could feel it abating and within about 10 minutes she was fine. She was astonished. She said it tasted like crap, but was happy it worked.
For you coffee drinkers who have GERD:
There is a acid-neutralized instant coffee called KAVA that won’t aggravate your GERD (at least it didn’t for me, whereas other coffees did).
Give it a try. And no, I don’t work for them—I just like the product.
You can find where to buy it in your area from this website:
www.kavacoffee.com (then click on “where to buy”).
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