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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board

Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index

Am 38 and was diagnosed with EE two years ago. Prior to that I thought I was going crazy and was just not chewing my food enough as had a very sudden onset of food compacting in my throat about two months after the birth of my first child (in also had very bad reflux in the final month of this pregnancy) which was two years before being diagnosed. My GP sent me for a barium swallow which came back normal as I had to swallow marshmellows (which I could have told them wasn't going to be a problem, I should have told them to ask me to eat a McDonald's cheeseburger and then they would have seen a real problem). Finally after a trip to the emergency department my doctor referred me to an ear, nose and throat specialist who diagosided me with EE after listening to my symptoms for about two minutes. It was such a relief to be told my condition had a name and that other people had the same condition. However he basically told me to stop eating bread and meat for the rest of my life which I found very depressing and also prescribed Flovent. I still wasn't very happy as was then breastfeeding my second child and even though was adviced that the risk of any of the steroids from the Flovent being passed to my baby were minimal I didn't want to take the risk. So after continuing to put up with the condition for another six months had another bad attack and had to call and ambulance to come and get me as I was at home with two children while my husband at work so couldn't drive myself to hospital. I decided to get a second opinion and found a specialist who basically confirmed what my first specialist had told me but in a much nicer less final way. He also gave me a FANTASTIC tip that has been a lifesaver and that is to drink carbonated drinks when you eat. I don't know why, but it works. It seems to have something to do with the bubbles. My specialist said that he has a number of patients who drank Coke when they ate or got food suck but I have found that there are too many bubbles in Coke so prefer mineral water plus it doesn't have any sugar but anything works Sprite, Fanta etc. I feel much more relaxed when I eat out now as if I forget what I am doing and eat two mouthfuls too quickly I recognise the signs and take a sip of mineral water and can feel the food pass before it impacts and gets stuck. I am much better at recognising what I can and can't eat and haven't eliminated anything yet but am just careful with the things that I know cause problems such as white, soft or crunching bread, sushi, meat etc and eat very small mouthfuls. I am thinking of trying a gluten free diet as am interested to see if it makes a difference but can't give up meat however I know what cuts I can eat in very small well chewed peices eg chicken leg is OK but breast is a banned, red meat that is very tender or marbled with fat is OK but well done and tuff is definalty off the menu.

I also now know that half my problem is anxiety. As soon as I swallow a mouthful that I know if too big or the wrong type of food and can feel the sensation of food getting stuck, I start to tense up and that makes the problem worse so having a carbonated drink close by is my safety net. It doesn't always work and when I do have an attack that mineral water won't shift I have to remove myself from the situation and calm myself down and usually try to induce vomiting to get it unstuck (horrible especially if you are out) and then try very small sips of mineral water. I am scared but have learnt to live with EE a bit better now. I am thinking of trying Flovent again but find it depressing that I will have to take it for the rest of my life but as my Doctor said many people have to take different medications for their entire lives. I do have the usual correlation with childhood asthma but have not had an attack since about the age of 12 and hayfever (I have always been a sneezer). I have had a skin prick test done and the main allogen was housedust which horrified me as I have a very clean house but the Doctor said that it could have been from our carpet so we have gone back to floorboards but I still have EE. It is such a mysterious illness especially as its onset was so sudden and out of the blue.

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