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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Hey everyone. Been reading these boards and quite a few other forums for a few months but finally decided it was time to make a post and seek some advice.

I've been struggling with LPR symptoms for about six months now and I'm extremely limited in my ability to treat them. I'll provide background information before getting back to that.

I'm 27 years old, 6'3", bouncing between 180 and 210 pounds. I've never been the prime example of health but I've never been sickly or anything from how I've lived. I smoked, drank a lot, and mainly as a teenager abused drugs. No real history of digestive issues. Occasional heartburn but nothing serious. I've had chronic sinus issues my entire life and have struggled with anxiety and depression for just as long.

About five or six months ago, my family and I took a vacation to Florida and spent 10 days in Orlando at Disney World. I wouldn't exactly say I took care of myself during this time. I overate a lot, drank a lot of beer, and smoked more cigarettes than I normally would have. Still felt fine prior to and during the trip. During our flight back to Michigan, I noticed that I was starting to get an itchy nose and congestion. When I say congestion, I don't mean mucus or snot, my nostrils literally, physically swell shut when I'm sick. The next day I had a full blown cold. My wife and two little ones ended up with it as well.

It was at this point that I started noticing odd things. It felt like my soft palate wasn't working properly. It constantly felt like something was stuck on top of my soft palate, in the back of my sinuses. It would get much worse after eating or drinking. Coupled with the worsening cold, I went into urgent care. I told the doctor I was sick and that I also thought food and drink were regurgitating into my sinuses. She prescribed an antibiotic, told me to take it if it got worse, and told me to see an ENT as she didn't have equipment to actually check my sinuses.

The cold got worse and worse. Eventually it became a sinus infection. My family all got better but I continuously got worse. I started living off of nasal sprays and pseudoephedrine pills just so I could be awake without feeling like my head was going to explode. At this point I started taking the antibiotics, it was a one week prescription. Finished it off and still wasn't completely better. Tried every decongestant, nasal spray, vitamin, tea, supplement I could think of. I began using a neti pot and Neil Med sinus irrigator but nothing seemed to clear me out. Couldn't afford any of it but was desperate for relief.

After about a month straight of misery, the sinus issues started to subside and I began weening myself from the oxymetazalone spray and pseudoephedrine. Easier said than done. Eventually I was heading back to normal, only the sensation of buildup in the back of my sinuses never went away. It was at this point that I started experiencing LPR symptoms: clearing mucus in throat a lot, coughing, voice going hoarse if overused, constant superglue like post nasal drip that never ever clears, globus sensation, extreme difficulty swallowing, sinus regurgitation. I would've seen a doctor immediately but I've been in a constant battle with the state over my our family's state insurance and can't afford to see one out of pocket. I began researching on the internet and found boards like this.

Stared taking generic OTC omeprazole, continued for about a month at 2x20mg per day. Globus sensation cleared up slowly, as did difficulty swallowing. Nothing else though. I stopped the omeprazole as I found it completely impossible to eat more than a couple of bites of food at a time without getting painfully bloated. Began researching alternate medications and supplements. At this point, almost three months had passed since I initially got sick. My anxiety and depression became unbearable as I was beginning to lose hope of ever feeling normal again.

Started taking Vitamin D supplements, sublingual B-Complex, and Vitamin A. Did almost nothing.

Fast forward to today and almost nothing has changed. I currently take all of my vitamins still, I've stopped nasal irrigation as it doesn't seem to help and honestly makes the stuck sinus mucus more noticable but still doesn't clear. I take Pepcid Complete when I wake up and before bed.

Current symptoms are, superglue sinus mucus, constant dehydration, tinnitus, headaches, nasal congestion and dryness and burning. Stomach pains and occasional bloating. Occasional throat tightness and pain. Occasional swollen uvula. The worst of it is the sinus mucus and post nasal drip. It's driving me insane and nothing seems to help it. I can't eat or drink anything without my sinuses flooding with mucus. Even water and alkaline water trigger it.

It's become an obsession and my anxiety and depression have been at the worst they've ever been over the past couple months. It's always on my mind and nothing helps. I try not to break down and cry because it makes my sinuses that much worse for the next day but it's hard when I'm so cripplingly depressed everyday about this. I don't have a single person I can talk to about it because nobody I know goes through it. It just seems so trivial to everyone else. Even my girlfriend is absolutely sick of hearing about it and having to listen to me snort and hack up crud a million times an hour.

I can't see a doctor about it until my insurance issues are taken care of and I my family doesn't have a lot of money so altering my diet is difficult when we can't afford for me to be eating different food than everyone else. I just feel so lost and stuck at this point and feel like I don't have the strength to keep trying and don't know what to do at this point.

I guess I'm just asking for advice at this point. Any would help. Kind words would help. What helped you? What can I do differently? Is my anxiety and depression related to this? Because it seems to be a feedback loop. Symptoms cause anxiety, anxiety amplifies symptoms. Repeat ad nauseum.

If anyone needs clarification on anything please, please, just ask and I'll do the best I can to respond.

Thanks so much in advance.

EDIT: Additional info as to other steps I've taken: I've quit smoking. I have a vaporizer now that I use pretty sparingly, been tapering down the amount of nicotine in it biweekly. I've cut back the alcohol. Still have a couple beers here and there, struggling with stopping completely due to anxiety and depression. Stopped drinking soda, energy drinks etc completely. I basically drink milk and water and occasionally tea now. I know I don't get enough liquid in me due to fear of mucus whenever I drink something. I stopped smoking marijuana months ago due to sinus irritation and overwhelming health anxiety while high. Attempted to improve diet, but as I said, it's difficult without having any spare money.

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