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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Hello! heres my history.

I've had problems with heartburn for a long time, probably over a year. But it was only six or seven months ago I realized it wasnt simple heartburn. It would hurt a lot in my chest area & would get radiating pain when swallowing food (food was sharp as knives). The acid never stops at the chest area, it always comes up into my throat, I can feel this. A consequence of this was a very swollen throat (seen by an ENT, who diagnosed me with reflux).

I have been on nexium 20mg once a day (first two weeks was two a day) for about 3 months now. It only started working about 1,5 in. But yes, it is working (I want a higher dose and I know it would probably be better for me, but I am young and they don't want to describe a strong dose). Not fully though. I was at the ENT three weeks ago or so and she said swelling in my throat is going down for each visit, and that I should be fully healed within a few months (she said it could take up to six months for throat to fully heal).

I don't get that "burn" a lot anymore, however, I still experience problems. I sometimes get a "cold sensation" (funny huh) when I breathe in, I usually experiece this at night. its very weird. I also, after almost every meal, have a new symptom that I have never experienced. This popped up two weeks ago or so. The left side of my throat (and my left lymph node) will feel swollen and stiff, and sometimes like my tongue is pulling towards the left. This leads to a feeling of my throat being tightened and that my airway is diminished. It doesn't hurt much and its not so bad that I can't breathe or anything, its just very uncomfortable. I very seldom feel that my throat is 100% ok. My doctor put me on gaviscon 3x a day and at night aswell in addition to nexium. I also have white spots all over the back of my tongue, I don't know if this is related.

I was at an upper endoscopy this monday. It showed nothing. Why? Because I had been under treatment for three months. Because of this there were not sings of reflux that could be spotted during the endoscopy. Therefore he couldn't diagnose me, which is what he wanted. The throat takes a lot longer to heal than the esophagus, so even though my reflux symptoms haven't dissapeared (they are primarily throat related at this point) they can't confirm it from an endoscopy. Because of this he (gasp) wanted me to be off meds for 1,5 months & go back to eating everything on the "no-no" list so he could properly diagnose me. I refuse to do this. Why would I want to undo the healing and add to that, feel bad for 1,5 month? Therefore, I plan to continue the treatment with my ENT even though we don't know the exact reason behind my problems, but medecine is working, which is what counts.

Now for my question (hinted at by the title of this thread). I have done EVERYTHING to prevent waking up with a sore/irritated throat (I of course don't eat 3h before bedtime, eat light and healthy, I sleep on a wedge & all of that stuff). I woken up like this every morning for months, and I am sure this delays healing as it points at nighttime reflux. I have tried apple cider vinegar, which worked 90%. But, because of an incident with it (I almost choked when it got into my airways) my ENT doctor banned it for me. She hadn't heard of this treatment and also doomed it as a stupid thing to "add more acid to the body". but it is what has helped me the most at night, for reasons I can't comprehend. Sadly, this is ruled out now.

I am now taking gaviscon at night, sometimes it helps at least 70% but the last couple of mornings have been very sore, if you catch my drift. Throat has been incredibly sore in the morning. It goes away after about one hour and plenty of drinking,but it takes a bit longer for throat to be completely cleared of problems (I usually feel very thick in the throat).

What can I do about this? It feels like I will never fully heal when I cant prevent nighttime reflux. A stronger dose of nexium doesnt seem to be an option. We don't really make a different between LPR and GERD here in Sweden, its all filed under the same section. I don't know exactly what I have, but since a lot of my symptoms are throat related, I am guessing its LPR (like I said, acid easily reaches my throat). Then again, I have heartburn symptoms and I know a lot of people with LPR don't. But maybe I am one of the few. Or I might have both, who knows!

And even though the medicine helps, I am worried about more symptoms popping up. especially the swelling/sensation in my throat. today, it has been constant and been pretty bad all day. Do you agree on that my dose is too low or am I just too impatient?

if anyone has any tips I would be grateful, any other comments are also welcome. as you can see from my post I have many concerns!

hello! update!

Like you know I am now on Nexium 20mg twice a day.

I felt much better for about a week and was the happiest I have ever been. Then, this week has brought on a lot of stress. I no longer know if its the medication that isnt doing its job or if its temporary.

One of the worst symptoms is now gone - which was the swollen lymph nodes and headaches. I don't get those at all.

However, after eating sometimes (I am very strict with my diet, so thats not the problem) I can actually feel stuff coming up my throat. its no longer acidic like before, and it doesn't burn. it just feels like a fountain shooting up my throat. It doesn't hurt but whenever this happens I know my throat will be hurt. This still happens a lot, at least 5 times a day.

Now a lot of symptoms are gone, but I am still dealing with weird symptoms. For example after eating/drinking I will get this sore spot in my throat, it feels like acid mucous that forces me to cough. I can't explain it, but it feels like something is stuck in the upper part of the windpipe, causing me to want to clear it/cough. This is not the same as the lump in throat/mucous pooling, which I also still have from time to time. I also have an itchy throat, but I also have hay fever so I am thinking that might be the problem.

So, I called another ENT for a second opinion. I don't want to switch doctors but I just want a second opinion, if this doctor is horrible I will quit going to her. I have an appointment with my current doctor two hours after, so next Wednsday will be an eventful day.

Hoarseness comes and goes. Today, its horrible. But up until yesterday it had been going well. I am worried that its back.

I am back to waking up with a sore throat.

We'll see what happens now. The recent episodes might also be something temporary because of major stress (family sickness). I don't know anymore!
Thanks for the reply golfhat, very helpful. :)

Right now I am awaiting another doctors visit on thursday. I am going to the speech therapist anyway even though I know its not the main issue, mainly because its good learning anyway if I'm going to recover from the LPR damage. I want the healing to be as efficient as possible.

I am still on 40mg x2. It's going alright most of the time but right at this second am a bit frustrated. I am so incredibly strict with the food but I seem to get LPR episodes every now and then anyways. It's not constant anymore - its every now and then, but everytime it happens it lasts for about 30 minutes. It doesn't burn anymore - the pills are taking care of that - but when I get the episodes it leaves my throat raw and irritated, I get very hoarse for a while and it feels like there is no end to the throat damage. Everytime this happens I tend to panic because I'll get frustrated because theres really nothing I can do.

Right now, LPR isn't much about physical pain anymore but my "journey" is now at the point where I just want to recover. My genereal quality of life is better but occasional epsiodes leave me frustrated.

I am wondering, if you get a bout of LPR every now and then (but not constantly) - can you still heal? Because I am thinking, since my throat is already irritated it might also be easier for me to feel when LPR is taking place (like putting salt in a wound). Maybe longer into the treatment this won't be the case as the throat will have recovered itself a bit more? Can anyone who has recovered from LPR shed any light on this? Did all LPR episodes dissapear immediately or was it a gradual process?

I don't know really! I am staying positive. I have to keep telling myself that "this is just an exception, you have LPR under control" otherwise I freak out. My goal is to have got rid of LPR by the time summer is over. infact, I feel there is no other choice. I will do anything for that to be the case :)

When I look back to when I started this thread, I am at least 60% on the way.

Thanks for listening :)

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