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Date of last update: 10/15/2017.

Forum Name: Gastroenterology Topics

Question: Scared, possibly GERD or worse

 orinski - Sun Jan 08, 2006 4:33 pm

I am 26 years old, slightly overweight (although I exercise 5 days a week and have started to lose some weight), and I do not watch what I eat--I love mexican food. I used to use tobacco, but have since stopped.

I have had heart burn since I was 16 when I started taking tetracyclean (sp?) for acne. In the recent years, my heart burn has been getting much worse. On a GOOD day, I pop 20 tums in addition to my pepcid ac. I tried prilosec and it was great, but after my treatment ended, my reflux came back within a day. After I could not take the waiting any more, I started Prilosec again, without the recommended waiting time, but it made my stomach really sour, and I became quite naucious (sp?) on a daily basis.

Yesterday, I woke up and I had a really weird sensation in my throat--like a burning sensation. I DO NOT have pain when I chew, swallow, or eat, but more just a sudden discomfort in my throat. Today, I have a general tightness in my neck and I am starting to freak out.

I am very concerned and really scared. I have a long family history of this type of stuff--my mom is on a daily pill for the rest of her life, and I have vivid memories of my grandparents eating antacids hourly.

Is there anything that I can do? What is the instance of cancer? What is the instance of a cure? Is this normal for someone my age?
 Dr. Safaa Mahmoud - Sun Aug 06, 2006 10:28 am

User avatar Dear orinski,

These symptoms are very suggestive of GERD.

People with GERD will experience one or more of these symptoms,
swallowing problems
Chest pain,
Pain in the throat,
Morning hoarseness, and
Discomfort in the chest

Others may experience a feeling like the food stuck in their throat or tightness in the throat, dry Cough and Shortness of breath. These symptoms are mainly due to inflammation of the esophagus(esophagitis).

Infection with H. pylori should be excluded and treated if presents.

Investigations include:
Specific tests for H. pylori.(breath test)
Abdominal US CT scans to exclude other GI causes.
Upper and lower Endoscopy.

Endoscopy sometimes fails to diagnose GERD and other tests should be done to confirm the diagnosis like Esophageal acid testing , Esophageal motility testing and Gastric emptying studies.

Prokinetic drugs that strengthens the sphincter and improves the gastric emptying. When there is an acid reflux it is not enough to treat the symptoms with one drug instead the addition of Anti acids, Acid H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole (Prilosec) help to control the symptoms.

Certain foods are known to aggravate the condition, and you better avoid them. These include chocolate, beverages containing caffeine, fatty and fried foods, garlic and onions, spicy and tomato containing foods.

advise you to Follow up with your doctor. Only by complete history, physical examination and investigations, the correct diagnosis can be reached.

Best regards,

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