The One Where I Use Big Words

So I don't have acid reflux disease (GERD, the GE is gastro-esophogeal).

And probably never had.

I was "diagnosed" with it 6 years ago.

I use air quotes because my particularly-genius Gastroenterologist says doctors like to throw the GERD diagnosis around like the common cold.

One quick look and some acid backing up and BOOM BOOM POW you have reflux disease.

Like how I threw a little Fergie/Peas in there.

Nevermind mom, i'll explain it later.

I have had no classic signs of GERD for 6 years.

All the noise is in my stomach and that isn't GERD.

So after my EGD-or endoscopy-or esophagogastroduodenoscopy if you're medically inclined, I learned I had a severe case of gastritis and duodenitis. Inflammation big time in my belly. Over time, an attack like I had could lead to major ulceration.

What caused it...well acid of course. But, not because I have GERD, but because my stomach is weak on healing itself. But what's causing all the acid?!

I gave a specimen sampling of my .....waste...to look for something called H.Pylori Bacteria. Something common in causing acid build up and recurrent pain.

Well that test is pretty 50-50, so I'm having another test in a few month to rule out the bacteria-cause. If I indeed have this growing in my stomach a serious case of antibiotics (not in the penicillin or sulfa families) will be necessary.

If not, the cause of this major stomach attack is probably brought on by stress, or possibly just a weak stomach lining caused by overuse of ibuprofen. I'm a Motrin-mama and always have been. Doctor says that over time I could have just ripped apart my stomach with it, it does that to people!

In the mean time the Omeprozole (Prilosec) I've been taking has been healing my stomach.

Thank god!

15 supporters in group:

  1. Heather's Hacienda said...

    So glad to know that you FINALLY know something about that pain! I feel sure you have been uncomfortable. Here's to healing that stomach of yours!!!!!!! ;)

  2. nicole said...

    wow- isnt it weird how you can be mis-diagnosed for so long?

    i had same issue re bacteria and they said i had ulcer/ 6 years later i had same scope you had and bamm, no ulcer...SIGH....prylosec is my best friend!

    helps to get 2nd opinion!

  3. Jane Lively said...

    Since I'm 1) somewhat of a hypochondriac, 2) have also been "diagnosed" with GERD 10 years, and then again 3 months, ago, and 3) my hobby is providing unsolicited medical diagnoses after intensive Google searching (thank you internet!) I think you might look into two possible causes:

    1. Lactose intolerance or
    2. Esophageal hiatal hernia (basically when the stomach creeps into the espohageus.)

    Try cutting out ALL DAIRY for awhile and see if you feel better. This worked for me. Omerprozole works, too, but don't like taking meds, which is weird for a hypochrondriac, don't ya think?

    **Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional and all suggestions should be checked with a licensed physician.

  4. Chelle said...

    I'm so glad you're finally getting some answers. Poor thing! Six years is a long time!

  5. Krystyn said...

    I'm so glad you finally got to the root of your problem and the medicine is working. Hopefully, you don't need those strong antibiotics.

    Next for me..a pH test. I'm still confused as to why...pretty sure it was determined I don't have the acid problem. Ughhhh.

  6. Manic Mother said...

    Oh I have so been where you are..stomach problems are no fun. I was told I had GERD too, I didn't I had gallstones and a tumor on my adrenal gland that was causing weird symptoms. I had to do so many tests before they finally figured it out..probably a years worth of them. I had to poop in a jar too..lol oh that one was no fun. Did you get to eat a radio active egg sandwich yet? That test was my favorite. Hang in there, it will get better, it just sometimes takes them awhile to figure out what your "better" is.

  7. MamaJoss said...

    Glad you are starting to come to some conclusions and treatments that will hopefully work for you. Gosh..as if PMS, labor and all the other mid-section trauma isn't enough, you have to deal with this. Fell better Jen :)

  8. Martha in PA said...

    I am glad it seems like you might be on the road to some answers! Yes GERD is one of those things that are so "popular" now. I hope the meds help your tummy heal and that you don't have the bad bacteria!

    BOOM BOOM POW... thanks, now I'm gonna be singing that tonight!

  9. Cathy said...

    I'm happy you're finally getting some answers! I have IBS, so I know what it's like to deal with chronic tummy/intestine issues - it's no fun. I hope this leads to some new treatments that will have you feeling better :)

  10. Midwest Mommy said...

    Ouch! Hope your tummy heals quick.

  11. Jill said...

    a sample... what fun!! :)

    and h. pylori? i feel like i'm reading about me here from many years ago.

    my fave test was drinking the barium while they take xrays of the tummy.

    hope you get all your answers!

  12. JennyMac said...

    misdiagnosis...ugh. I was on allergy medicine for years before I was allergy tested and am allergic to nothing

    Hope you get better soon.

  13. Lucy postpartumillness.com said...

    I was diagnosed with gastritis last month. I have been having issues for months with my tummy. I have so much acid that I get burning throughout my whole body. I have had a much better week over the past few weeks due to drinking and eating probiotics. It took some time to balance the acid but now Im not popping tums like candy anymore. I was prescribed the Omeprazole too but I wont take it because of the effects on the heart. Nice to see it works for you.

    Lucy

  14. Beeb said...

    So sorry to hear that you've been dealing with this. I get esophageal spasms, which were initially diagnosed as gastritis. Basically, stomach acid splashes up into the esophagus and causes it to spasm. This causes absolutely excruciating chest pain. After many trips to the doctor, they determined that in my case, it was being caused entirely by stress. Now I can usually prevent attacks before they start because I'll key into the physical cues - I'll notice that my chest is feeling really tight if I'm really stressed out or upset about something. I don't know if yours will turn out to be the same thing or not, but for me I had to take steps to deal with stress to get relief from my condition. Good luck and feel better soon, I know it's the absolute pits - but you are well on your way to a definitive answer and a course of action. Until then, keep eating those saltines and ginger ale!

  15. because I said so said...

    I am the proud owner of a duodenal (sp?) ulcer caused by Naproxen use. I was prescribed Naproxen (well before over the counter Aleve- but Aleve is also naproxen...be careful) for knee inflammation before and after my first knee surgery. This was in the early 90's before they knew the extent of damage that Naproxen overuse causes. I know have a hole in my stomach (ulcer) to prove it. I did the H.Pylori thing too....NO FUN...so sorry.

    It can become inflammed for several reasons....too much ibuprofen or aleve OR stress. Those things send me into a tailspin every time. I take Prilosec for it and something else (I'll get back to you on that one) but it's important to get it under control. Stress is a biggie for me. I have had it so long I know when it's coming on. Starts out as a knawing feeling under my breast bone and turns real ugly real quick. Quite miserable. Avoid anything citrus or tomato based for sure. Have they done a scope? That's how they found mine. Once they found it and treated it I was fine....until and unless I am too stressed or take too much pain stuff.

    Hoping you get better soon!!! (hugs)

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