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Esophagus Problems


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#1 Sd53

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 06:09 PM

Hi, I'm a newby, I was diagnosed with Sclero in 2003. After reading the various forums several different days, I realize I don't have near the difficulties as some of you have. However, my biggest difficulty right now, besides the swollen hands, tight skin and sore joints is my esaphagus problems. Because of this problem being an issue even before I was diagnosed, It seems worse now. That's why I'm writing ya'll to see if and what you do about it. What happens to me is, I can't eat certain things especailly at night or within 4 hours of bedtime. Sometimes I still have the same stuff come up my throat no matter when I eat or don't eat, and my biggest fear is that it will go into my lungs. So I try not to cough or clear my throat because when I do, the acid comes with it. I take Nexium during the day & Zantac at night and it helps a lot, but there are always nights during every week I wake up with it. I also sleep on a wedge pillow to help keep it from happening. Anyway, what I've been doing is as soon as I'm choking & want to clear my throat I start drinking water & more water & more. It won't make it go away, but I figure if I do this, I will get rid of some of the acid & burp, which relieves some of it. Then I just sit there and wait of course trying not to cough etc., It does pass in about 45 minutes usually, but why won't it stop? Does anyone out there have any good remedies?

#2 peanut

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:45 PM

welcome.
welcome.
Have you seen a GI doctor? It might be a good idea. I know when I got control of my heartburn my cough lessened. Sometimes our issues require different or more effective meds, but in the meantime you can try some these ideas:

* avoid caffeine, chocolate, fried foods, onions, anything greasy
* eat smaller meals throughout the day and try not to eat 3-4 hours before bed.
* I find chewing mint gum after meals helps digestion.
* you might have to sleep sitting up
* drink lots of fluid when you eat. I alway forget this one when I eat and my food comes back up. now I know what it is to be a cow.
* rinse your mouth if acid comes up cause its very bad for your teeth.
* you might be interested in Tessalon Pearl. You get a script for it from the doctor. It suppresses the tickle in the back of your throat that might be provoking a cough.

take care,
peanut

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my HMO makes me wear a helmet...

#3 bookworm

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 07:46 PM

Hi Newby,
I used to have a lot of esophageal problems of the sort you are describing. My problems cleared up amazingly with Prilosec, which is about the same as Nexium. On the occasions when I have the acid problem at night, in spite of the Prilosec, I chew one of the over-the-counter antacid tablets, and that works well for me most of the time.
I have read that propping up on pillows is not as good as actually raising the head of the bed with blocks of wood or something like that. I'll admit I have not done this yet, but I do keep intending to do it!
Have you talked to your doctor about this? I know that my doctor told me she could write a prescription for a higher dose of the Prilosec if my dose wasn't working. I am on the lowest dose of Prilosec that exists and it works well for me.
A lot of Sclero patients have acid reflux and esophageal problems. I'm sure you will hear from others on this subject.
That acid in the throat and nose is awful! I sometimes chew three or four of those little tablets when that happens!

Good luck!
Mary in Texas

#4 lizzie

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 11:06 PM

Hi, like most , I have oesophageal/reflux problems. I was taking Pantoprazole (PPI) but like you still getting reflux/ regurgitation at night. I mentioned it when I saw the gastro dr last month and was started on metoclopramide at night ( I think its Reglan in the US?), among other things it helps speed emptying of the stomach. This has made a difference.
Lizzie

#5 Sam

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 04:57 AM

I take nexuim twice a day and still have reflux, My GI gave me a powder form Zegrid to mix with water and drink it when the Reflux happens at night. You might want to ask you GI if they have any samples of that. I can't say it will you or not, everyone is different.
Sam

#6 Peggy

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 01:38 PM

My acid reflux is probably alot worse than yours in that I have to take a GI cocktail when it hits at night because it is burning my insides out. What this is is lidacaine that I mix with Maalox and it then numbs my entire espohagus and throat.

My husband built a frame that raised the head of our bed up 7 inches and it does help. I now know that I can't eat chocloate, any red sauce, and carbonated beverages, so you may want to review what it is you are eating during the day. I too don't eat anything after 6 at night just in case. I am petrified that these attacks will happen and will do anything I can to avoid them.

This powder that someone posted sounds worth checking into also.

Warm hugs from Minnesota.

Peggy

#7 danceswithcats

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Posted 19 January 2008 - 04:54 PM

Hello and Welcome SD53!

I've had some real bad times with this and have found that sometimes I just have to eat very mild meals for days to calm the thing down, no tomato sauce, no spices, etc etc. as has been cited and then I also find that Alka Seltzer really helps too. I take Omeprazole (generic for Nexium) twice a day, Carafate Suspension (really helps) and Tums too when it's bad. My sister gets the reflux real bad on occasion too but for her the only thing that works is the Gaviscon or Mylanta. We're all so different. Just keep trying the different OTC ones, as your dr says you can, until you find the one that works for you. Just be aware that the Alka Seltzer has aspirin and so if you're not allowed to take aspirin, skip that one.

I also sleep sitting pretty much straight up using a foam wedge and lots of pillows.

Good luck!

#8 jefa

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 12:12 AM

Hi, Sd53, and welcome to the ISN Sclero Forums. You have been given excellent advice from your new friends here in the group. Expect more of this and please feel free to jump in with your own advice on other threads. You can do a lot to counter reflux issues by following this advice, but it is a good idea to get a referral to a GI doctor to measure the severity of your own situation.

One note about the mint gum - even though it may be soothing, mint is one of the things that can actually cause the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) to relax, so is not really a good idea.

Here is our page on reflux: Esophagus: Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD


Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#9 bowbec

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 05:17 AM

Sorry to hear about all your symptoms.
I have the same problem and I have tried everything. There is no rhyme or reason to this mystery for me.
I see my GI every 3 months, have been treated for bacterial overgrowth monthly, have bed elevated sleep on wedge, take prevacid, nexium, tums, reglan etc...
I keeps tums on my nightstand so when I wake at 2 or 3 o’clock every night I don’t have to get up.
It doesn't seem to be determined by what I eat. But, It seems that if I am having regular BMs I have less reflux. I also have problems with stomach emptying. Of course I have a list of meds I take for that too.
Take care not to Aspirate reflux. That could cause a whole new problem! Coughing shouldn’t hurt because it brings air up from your lungs… doesn’t it?
I don’t know about numbing entire esophagus and throat, seems like that would prevent you from being aware of it.
We're all so different and Scleroderma is different for everyone. Though it seems like all has digestive problems.
Scleroderma stinks! :(
Diagnosed with Diffuse Systemic Scleroderma May 2005
Raynaud's, GI, esophagus, skin and lung involvement.

#10 Sd53

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Posted 21 January 2008 - 03:30 PM

Hi all, Thanks for all the reply's & suggestions. Sure sounds like we're in the same old boat...Ha! I went to the article jefa suggested and I'm amazed I mean AMAZED where the article was written from plus were you are all from. WOW I think I like this web forum alot. To know there are soooooo many of us, is comforting. Now, if we could just find out how to fix it!!! Anyway, I have had the "stick the tube down your throat & gag" test, and the GI tests, so I guess it's me and soda pop, caffeine & some of my med's that could be making it worse sometimes. Anyway, I'll give my dad's fizzy remedy a try and keep the tums by the bed. Last night I woke up in the middle of the night after I'd already taken my usual nitetime reflux stuff & took a nexium just in case & slept the rest of the night no problems. Anyway, thanks again, SD53 P.S. how do you come up with the pictures and a signature for your pages?

#11 debonair susie

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 07:37 AM

Hi Sd53,

Yup, we're all in the same boat!

The Tums is standard by my bedside... there are nights I break into a sweat and the pain is so bad. That day, I feel totally drained :blink:

I'm so glad you're here too... the more, the merrier :rolleyes:

Big Hugs, Susie
Special Hugs,

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#12 jefa

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 11:13 PM

Hi, Sd53

Stay away from the fizzy indigestion remedies and all carbonated beverages. Also limit your caffeine to the morning if you can't cut it out completely. I was having trouble with my hubby making me regular coffee (he is forgetful) but I have now successfully decaffeinated him, too. We have nothing in the house but decaf coffee and tea. (He does not even know this has happened and can't start the day without his cuppa.)
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#13 danceswithcats

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 05:58 AM

jefa why do you say stay away from the fizzy indigestion remedies? I have an Alka Seltzer every night or I wouldn't even be able to lay down sitting up at all!

#14 jefa

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 12:34 PM

The fizz is caused by a reaction of acid and alkali. If you look on the label of your favorite fizzy antacid, you will notice that the ingredients are essentially citric acid and baking soda with a pain reliever (aspirin/tylenol/paracetamol) added in. The fizzing reaction may help get the pain reliever into your blood stream more quickly which is why it works so well for hangovers. But you don't need the pain reliever for acid reflux control. To relieve the heartburn, you want to neutralise the acid already in your stomach with the alkaline agent. Mixing it with the acid before it even goes into your mouth, reduces the neutralising capability. You are better off taking a little baking soda in a glass of water.

Here is a Medicine Net article on GERD - I have linked straight into the sixth page which is on How GERD is Treated, but the whole article is interesting.
Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#15 janey

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:26 AM

Hey Darlin'
Welcome to the forums! Ditto to all of the advice you've already been given. There are just two things I'll add. The thing that has worked the best for me is sleeping on my left side. Because of the way the stomach is positioned in our bodies, its contents tend to stay inside (due to gravity) when you're on your left side. When we roll over to the right side, it's like dumping the contents - and where do they end up - in our throat! YUK! This is especially true if you have a hiatal hernia or problems with the stomach valve.

I'm hardheaded about raising the head of the bed, so instead I use a wedge pillow and two additional pillows that help prop me up from the hips. This helps a lot also. Of course everything works together, so all the things that have already been listed and sleeping properly can help reduce that acid reflux at night. Hope so anyway!

Big Hugs,


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#16 Sd53

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 05:42 PM

Thanks to all for your responses. It's not really funny :blink: But it is, cause what janey said, I've noticed and wondered why, when I roll onto my right side I start to burp, or try to, or like you said if I go to back to sleep in that position, I always have the acid come up. Now I know why, Very enlightening! I do usually sleep on my left side on a wedge pillow too. Thanks :)

#17 Buttons

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 10:21 PM

I'm taking Omeprazole in the morning but nothing for rest of day except Rennies/Tums to help in the evening.

What I want to know is how do get rid of the belching/burping which for me is awful in the morning before taking PPI & for a while afterwards? I often feel queasy with it & can't eat & get pains in middle of chest.

Do others get this & how do you deal with it?

Jensue

#18 lizzie

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 11:35 PM

Hi Jensue, I see gastro as well as rheumatologist - the gastro told me that I should be taking my PPI at night rather than in the morning.

Lizzie

#19 Piper

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 04:15 AM

Hi Lizzie, That makes sense to me, I've often wondered why I was told to take it first thing in the morning when night time is when I have the worst symptoms. I'm going to try taking it at night and see if there's a difference. Anything that might relieve the pain is worth a try.
Hugs, Piper

#20 jaxs

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:22 AM

hey there and welcome, I also suffer like u , I take an oral tablet morning times and its great for me takes away some of the symthoms ( some thing called lanzopol) and helps me alot hope u find some thing that works for u soon hugs jaxsx
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