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GERD, reflux: Where do I begin?

Posted by @jakki14 in Digestive Health, Sep 20, 2011

I feel like my body is falling apart, but I don't know what is serious and what is not.

I've been suffering with severe GERD for a couple of months so I went to the ER and got a CT scan. The CT scan found a hiatal hernia. Same scan found 2 small AVM lesions on my right lung, as well as athritis in my lower back. Next, I had a endoscopy which found "gastritis" and "esophagaetis (sic)" and a "prominent thyroid." I had a colonoscopy at the same time that found "spastic colon" and one polyp. I assume they removed the polyp and did a biopsy, but I don't expect colon cancer (even though my dad died of that.) I am 50 yo and the only major illness I have had in the past is severe asthma.

#1) Can anyone tell me about this "prominent thyroid?" Do I need some kind of screen or test for that?

#2) Next, the only treatment I am on for GERD/hernia is Protonix and Zantac. I've been taking them daily for a couple of weeks and still suffering. Strangely, when I had the endoscopy on Friday, it seem to get things moving so that I could expel some of the gas. I felt better for the next couple of days, but it's creeping back.

Tags: lung conditions, Cancer

Lynda O.Lewis likes this

Posted by Anonymous-bafd1d10, Sep 29, 2011

It took me almost a year to figure out that the pains I was having were from acid relux. I tried a number of different medicines for acid reflux, but some did not work very well for me, protonix being one of them. I've been using Prevacid now for almost two years with excellent results. My acid relux is gone most of the time. Hope you feel better.


Posted by @bellyacheblues, Oct 1, 2011

Don't assume that your diagnosis of gerd is from your hiatal hernis like I did for 4 months. I was on magadoses of prescription antacids and I finally went to a doctor at a large hospital in Philadelphia because I was feeling no better but taking so much medicine. I also have a hiatal hernia. He did a gastric emptying test on me and found that I have gastroparesis, ideology unknown which means there is no apparent reason that I have this disease. I am now on a low residue, low fat diet aned 250 mg of erythromycin before each meal and excercise. I hope to start feeling better each day.


Posted by @bink, Sep 25, 2012

Hi there bellyache blues 🙂 , i too had Gerd and was told it was so bad that i needed to have a surgery for it called a nissen fundolipcation and so i did..... and wished i had never ! long long story short i too have Gastroparesis and have been told it is due to the Dr. that did the NF surgery on me cutting the vegas nerve in my stomach which makes it unable to contract any longer there for paralizing my stomach 🙁 , i was put on reglan which seemed to help but shortly after starting it i became real shakie and my Primary doc said no more ~ it was causing parkinson symptoms so i am now only on protonix which was my life saver and i nibble or have a spoon full of something i dont eat much at all . i also have a hiatal hernia , i send prayers your way that you start feeling much better soon as the GP is not an easy thing to deal with .


Posted by @kdn, Dec 15, 2011

2 things for acid reflux: 1. sleep on your left side so that gravity helps. and 2. Massage your esophagus with a tennis ball to help it relax - up and down your center line in the front. Also you can press the tennis ball into a roll below your left rib cage to mash the stomach back through the hernia, but be careful and be sure to use the ball or pressing your psyphoid process (spell) could puncture your heart.


Posted by @jakki14, Dec 19, 2011

Thank you. I will try the tennis ball routine. My acid reflux is better than it was when I originally wrote this, but it still bothers me from time to time. My doctor eventually put me on a generic for Librax which helped TREMENDOUSLY. For anyone unfamilar, Librax is half anti-spasmodic, half benzodiazepine (like Valium) and it definitely relaxed my system. I took it for about 2 weeks, but I stopped when I started feeling better. #1) It makes me sluggish (sleepy) and #2) I do not want to be addicted to a benzo. Thanks everyone for your help and concern 🙂


Posted by @kdn, Dec 19, 2011

And if it makes you sleepy, then you're more likely to go on to bed too soon after supper. Try light bland early suppers. And good luck. Katharine


Posted by @jakki14, Dec 23, 2011

Thanks. You're exactly right... when I take that medicine, or especially a muscle relaxer, I can't stay awake after dinner and fall asleep by 8 or 9 p.m.! I am an early riser, so it's good that I go to sleep before 11... but this is ridiculous. I feel like a old coot going to bed so early.


Posted by @mnangelmom, Jul 5, 2016

I have GERD. It is very bad. I was tested and because of the GERD I have a swallowing disorder and to do the surgery to fix the muscle they had to do a belsy fundoplication instead of just a plain one. It did not however end the GERD. I am on medicine Protonix and I take it once a day which is a true blessing, I have read so many bad things about it that I thought I would quit and just live with the GERD, I tried and the longest I made it was 5 days and they were not pain free. My friend is at a month but she can not eat anything but rice cakes, yogurt and kefir because of the bad heartburn and she is taking duo fusion and alka seltzer gold. It does not encourage me to try a third time to try and stop. I read about the breaking bones and other problems but Mayo clinic lists the breaking bones as a slight risk so I am not sure if I should stop the Protonix as it helps so much. I still can not bend over after eating so I have to schedule chores and things around eating and time to get the food out of stomach. I guess what I am wondering is should I try to quit the medicine or should I just keep on going with it. My surgery was in 1996 and I have been on Protonix since 2000 and I have taken several severe falls and knock on wood have not broken anything. I am trying not to fall. I asked my doctor when I saw him the other day and if I should quit and he said no but we didn't have time to discuss it. After two tries, using probiotics, digestive enzymes, Betaine and papaya for heartburn and eventually gaviscon for heartburn cause the papaya didn't work after the second day. I really don't know what to do and my friends attempt does not leave me wanting to try especially since I can get my med so cheap. I have had the GERD since I was 8 and I am 68 now. So I have lived with it a long time, the last 20 years have been the best because of the medicine. Any help would be appreciated.


Posted by @kelseydm, Jul 6, 2016

Hi @mnangelmom. Welcome to Connect! We are glad to have you join us. It sounds like you are asking the right questions and trying all of the right things. I don't have any experience with this medicine, but it seems like if your last 20 years have been the best and your doctor encourages you to stay on it, that it might be the best course. What is making you want to change?

I've moved your post over to this thread since there was already a related discussion taking place and many of the people on this thread, including @bink and @jakki14 have posted about Protonix. I'd encourage you to read through the comments above yours. I'm also tagging @cocoteresahamiltoncom, @srodriguez and @swhitmire who have all had experience with Protonix and can hopefully provide some insights into the pros and cons.

Wishing you the best!


Posted by @mnangelmom, Jul 6, 2016

What makes me want to quit is that I keep reading everywhere that protonix is not a long term med and that it will cause weakening of bones making it more likely to break if you fall as you get older. There were some other things of minor importance but is seems that the harder you try the more you don't go anywhere. I have quit other meds and had no problems but with this GERD you just can not quit, and maybe the protonix is not made for long term use, because big pharma wants money but I can not control the GERD with only antacids that is why I finally went through with the surgery inspite of the difficulty of the surgery the regular fundoplication is much easier to do and recover from. A lot of people I have talked to did well on it and I had hoped I would also. I have tried most of the meds out and am allergic to all of them so having the protonix to use is a true blessing. I thought it would be easy to quit and I could live without a med that has side effects I don't want like ringing in ears, hives, being fatigued, diarrehea, nausea, being thirsty, dry mouth, and a whole slew of others. I also have epilepsy so it can trigger seizures but I don't think it is doing that. I still get GERD symptoms at time if I eat late and forget and go to sleep, if I have anything with a red sauce, Mexican or Italian and it has to be lunch or I can not sleep until really late. I have trouble sleeping and Protonix can cause that also. So all things considered I thought it was a good idea, but in reality it is not a very doable things or I have not found it to be. I am losing weight because of non alcoholic fatty liver disease and they did a ton of tests to find it and one was an endoscopy and they found a new hiatal hernia starting, and I have lost 35 lbs and am still losing. That has not ?

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