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Acid Reflux / GERD Message Board


Acid Reflux / GERD Board Index


If you have continuing acid reflux symptoms despite prescription medication and negative results from every test, PLEASE read this:

My symptoms began as burning in my chest and throat and eventually became severe. I tasted acid in my mouth and I had constant epigastric pain (below the sternum). I could barely eat anything because I would get full so easily, sometimes with just a half a glass of water. I lost 40 pounds in 2-3 months because of this. I slept in a recliner chair for 6 months because the burning would be so intense when a layed down in bed. I stopped going to class,at my college, I stopped hanging out with friends and I was scared to death that it would never end.

I had been to countless physicians and gastroenterologists and had tried high dose nexium, protonix, zantac, prevacid, zegerid, carafate, and even bentyl (an anticholinergic which reduces muscle spasms; one doctor thought i was having esophageal spasms which ended up not being true). Sometimes my symptoms would go away, but they would always come back in a week or so. I had all routine blood tests, H.pylori, barrium swallow, endoscopy, gall bladder ultrasound, and gastric emptying study. ALL tests came back negative.

One day in desparation, I saw a nurse practitioner and begged her for help. She told me she thought it was stress and anxiety causing my symptoms. I was shocked. I never thought of myself having stress issues and I was generally a happy, healthy person before all of this started. I had a very difficult time believing I was doing this to myself through anxiety because I didn't feel like I had a problem. Because I tried everything else, I took her advice and tried accepting it could be stress. She showed me a relaxation technique similar to meditation. The next day, my symptoms were basically gone!!! I couldn't believe it. There is no other explanation for it.



I assumed I had to be treated with drugs. But I didn't need them and they were doing nothing anyway. Now when I get symptoms, I use these relaxation techniques and tell myself that I'm causing the burning. Sometimes I just go for a jog and I feel better.

My point is if you have acid reflux and nothing helps and doctors have given up on you, consider it may be stress or anxiety. Really try to convince yourself that it's possible, because it is possible. Learn relaxation techniques like meditation (and please reply to me if you need specific techniques which have helped me; and I'm not talking about that weird chanting meditation stuff), exercise through the pain and burning, eat healthy, and admit you may have a problem with stress/anxiety. Get counseling if you need it. I'm telling you proton pump inhibitors such as nexium, prevacid, aciphex, and protonix work. They effectively inhibit acid production in the stomach. If multiple trials of various medications aren't helping your acid reflux and no doctor can find anything wrong with you, it's probably STRESS.

Please let me know if I can help with any of this advice.
One relaxation technique I use involves a form of meditation. I usually do this while sitting in the shower because the sound of the water blocks out other distracting noises. You could also do it by a fan in the beginning until you get better at this.

The goal is to focus your mind on one thing only and be oblivious to everything else (much like how a teenager playing video games is so involved that he/she can't hear the parents telling them to shut it off. Or the focus you have when reading a very good book).

I sit in the shower with my eyes closed, legs extended and completely focus on the feeling of one of my big toes pressed against the bathtub. (I do this because I'm bringing focus away from my burning chest and throat). It sounds silly, but completely focus on just the feeling of your toe pressed against something, try to visualize it, even repeat the word "toe" in your head. Of course you could focus on anything, but just focus on one thing and start off by doing it for about 10 minutes, never opening your eyes. Thoughts and worries will constantly pop up in your head but just dismiss them and keep focusing.

This technique takes time and can be frustrating at first. It took me about 4-5 days before I felt like I was good at it. Eventually you get to a point where you are so focused on just one thing that has nothing to do with your stressful life (like a toe) and you just space out and no thoughts pop up in your head. It's very relaxing and feels good to take control of your racing mind. Try it for a week in 10-15 min sessions and see what happens. Don't get too frustrated and keep at it. Also a good exercise regimen will do wonders for stress and anxiety. Let me know how it goes or if I can help further.
This is what could be my problem why I've been suffering the past year or so. I've always lived a pretty healthy life and good diet. I used to train four times a week at the gym and always been active. Until a year or so ago when I started with the reflux symptoms and now being told by the docs I do have it.

The past 4 or 5 years I've been a very stressful person due to negatives in my personal life. I also started suffering anxiety attacks with the high amount of stress I was having and my life started going down hill. This is when the reflux started. Now down the line I'm still suffering and still have stress and anxiety. I'm actually a lot worse now after losing a very close friend of mine 4 weeks ago. I was devastated and it's still all so surreal to me. Only two weeks ago I've now got a pea sized lump in my neck, which I'm sure is down to the severe stress I'm under.

I really need to sort my stress levels out and I am trying, but don't seem to be getting anywhere. A friend of mine wants to start meditating with him next week. I'll let you know if this helps.

I'm 90% sure the reason why I have severe reflux is down to stress and anxiety though.

I'm glad I've read this topic. Made me feel a little better. :)
I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Things will get better eventually.

Something else I wanted to mention is the tendency for stressed out/anxious people with medical problems to constantly surf the internet for help in treatment and diagnosis (sometimes to the point of obsession). I know this is ironic because we wouldn't be having this conversation if we both didn't use the internet for help, but I do believe that constantly researching medical conditions and listening to people's complications can cause or exacerbate some symptoms, especially conditions like acid reflux. All I am saying is that if you believe your acid reflux symptoms are attributed to stress/anxiety, part of what helped me was stopping the constant internet searching about acid reflux. I was obsessed with reading about drugs to treat acid reflux, comlications of the disorder, reading blogs about people who suffer for years and years without relief. It scared me to death and made my symptoms worse. Just make sure when you're using the internet to search about medical conditions, it's helping you (like hopefully this will) and not further stressing you out. This helped me tremendously and I believe it's a big part of reducing stress/anxiety in your life.
[QUOTE=onfire123;4138663]These are the very same symptoms that I am having despite taking Nexium/ Kapidex and Pepcid AC, and starting to diet hoping that losing some weight would help.... Can you please share with me the stress releiving excercises that you use?[/QUOTE]

One relaxation technique I use involves a form of meditation. I usually do this while sitting in the shower because the sound of the water blocks out other distracting noises. You could also do it by a fan in the beginning until you get better at this.

The goal is to focus your mind on one thing only and be oblivious to everything else (much like how a teenager playing video games is so involved that he/she can't hear the parents telling them to shut it off. Or the focus you have when reading a very good book).

I sit in the shower with my eyes closed, legs extended and completely focus on the feeling of one of my big toes pressed against the bathtub. (I do this because I'm bringing focus away from my burning chest and throat). It sounds silly, but completely focus on just the feeling of your toe pressed against something, try to visualize it, even repeat the word "toe" in your head. Of course you could focus on anything, but just focus on one thing and start off by doing it for about 10 minutes, never opening your eyes. Thoughts and worries will constantly pop up in your head but just dismiss them and keep focusing.

This technique takes time and can be frustrating at first. It took me about 4-5 days before I felt like I was good at it. Eventually you get to a point where you are so focused on just one thing that has nothing to do with your stressful life (like a toe) and you just space out and no thoughts pop up in your head. It's very relaxing and feels good to take control of your racing mind. Try it for a week in 10-15 min sessions and see what happens. Don't get too frustrated and keep at it. Also a good exercise regimen will do wonders for stress and anxiety. Let me know how it goes or if I can help further.





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