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Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: severe aerophagia w/GERD... don't know what to do


 wassupwassabi - Wed Jul 27, 2005 12:13 pm

Starting in early March, I suddenly developed chronic nausea and constant belching. Prior to this, I virtually had never belched before. I saw a doctor and he thought it was due to GERD and put me on Prilosec, which had no effect on it. Then I was referred to a gastroenterologist and tried Aciphex, also no effect. Then I got put on Reglan which helped a small amount with the belching but far from stopping it. Then after 2 weeks of just Reglan, the belches started to burn so I went back on PPIs, and I'm currently taking Protonix.
I've had a barium swallow which showed moderate reflux, an endoscopy which showed mild inflammation in the lower esophagus and stomach, a gastric emptying scan which was normal, a chest x-ray and CT scan which was normal, and a esophageal manometry test which said that I have weak contractions in the lower esophagus and weak sphincters, as well as some esophageal spasms. Since I have no heartburn when on PPIs the gastroenterologist thought a 24 ph study wasn't necessary.
Another gastroenterologist listened to me breathe in and out and he said that a lot of air is traveling through my esophagus which explains the constant belching and nausea, but it's just happening when I breathe in and out, even when I'm just breathing through my nose (I'm not doing any swallowing but somehow the air is still getting through). He said this was extremely rare to see. I was in school but now I'm home for the summer, thinking reducing stress might help the problem, but it hasn't gotten any better over the past 2 1/2 months.
The doctors I've seen say that surgery to treat GERD is a bad idea since I'm "inhaling" so much air into my stomach and they're stumped about what to do other than to continue the Protonix/Reglan. I'm sick of belching 1000+ times a day and feeling really bloated.
Do you have any idea how or why it's possible to be "inhaling" air into my esophagus/stomach, and do you know of any way to treat this?
 burpingguy - Wed Jul 27, 2005 5:14 pm

I posted yesterday under "Constant Burping/Head Pressure" - read that for my background. Currently, I am on Protonix for stomach acid/GERD and it definately took care of the acid reflux which was giving me asthma. BUT, the burping has not changed at all!!! I have lived with this for five years and it's incredibly annoying. My doctor doesn't know what's causing it and I'm currently trying a mild dose of anti-anxiety medication (Lexapro). The reason for this is that I noticed that most of my symptoms, including the burping, almost completely dissapear when I'm relaxed on vacation or at a party. I can actually eat and sit without much discomfort. But as soon as I come back home, it all goes to hell again. I'm only two weeks into Lexapro and it has helped lessen muscle cramps in my neck and scalp but it hasn't done anything for the burping. I am bloated as well - my stomach is distended, even in the morning before I've had anything to eat - the pressure pushes up into my esophagus and it feels like it pushes on my heart and lungs. I sometimes have shortness of breath when it's bad and my head feels pressurized - I've measured my blood pressure at 170/79 at its worst. I've had most of the tests you've had and have been given the same diagnosis. As far as the swallowing air thing goes, I haven't noticed myself doing it at all BUT my burping does seem to be worse when sitting (at work or in the car) and it gets worse under stress. It may have to do with the esophageal muscles and the nerve(s) that control them - they may be spasming and pumping air into our stomachs, or allowing this to happen. I read a previous post by someone who said they tried anti-spasmodics like Donnatal, Hysocomine, Bentyl and Levbid but I haven't tried these yet. I also haven't been tested for food allergies but since it happens first thing in the morning before eating, I doubt that's it. I would really like to keep in touch with people who have the same symptoms I have in case they ever find a cure or at least something that helps them. You can e-mail me at burpingguy@hotmail.com. Thanks.

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