GERD and FMS

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Apr 13, 2003.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I thought I'd read that GERD (acid reflux) is associated with fibromyalgia, along with TMJ dysfunction and IBS. (I have all of them.) Recently, though, I've noticed that the descriptions of fibromyalgia don't mention GERD. Is GERD typically associated with fibromyalgia, or is it something completely separate?

    --Laura R.M.
  2. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    The reason it is called Fibromyalgia Syndrome is because a syndrome is made up of symptoms and problems that can exist in people all by themselves, but when a certain set of the same symptoms exists all together in many people, that makes up the syndrome.
    IBS, TMJ and GERD are all things that you can have without having Fibro, but if you have Fibro you have a much higher chance of getting them. I believe the last statisticss I saw for the congruence of these things with Fibro were: 70% correlation with IBS, 25% correlation with TMJ, and 66% correlation with GERD.
    I have Naturopathic training, and I strongly disagree with the conventional medical treatment for GERD for at least 2/3 of the people who are dx'd with it. Please go up to the top of the page and do a search of previous posts for "GERD" or spell out the full name if you don't get a lot of results that way. There are many previous discussions here on this subject, including my natural protocol for treating GERD.
    Regards,
    Klutzo
  3. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I'll look into this further. I found (and printed out) a message you wrote on April 3 about this. I plan to look for more information on hyperplasia and to talk to my doctor about it.

    --Laura R.M.
  4. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    If your doc is a conventional MD or DO, he/she will probably pooh-pooh the alternative treatment because the drug salesmen have never told him/her about it. Of course not, there are no drugs involved, and no money to be made!
    I have a cousin who has taken Prilosec for many years and has hyperplasia now. He has to have an endoscopy of his stomach annually to check for cancer, but he still won't try the very simple natural protocol. He still trusts doctors, something I stopped doing a long time ago. There are some very unhealthy conflicts of interest going on in medicine these days.
    Klutzo
  5. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Klutzo, how can I tell whether I have too much acid or too little in my stomach? I almost never have food regurgitation (which sounds like what you described as a symptom of too little acid), but I *do* have a lot of acid coming back up my esophagus, sometimes all the way into my mouth. I get a lot of heartburn, and I have a chronic sore throat, which I attribute to GERD.

    So if I can't trust my doctor to help me because he may just be unwilling to consider the alternative explantation, how can I be determine what's going on just to check it out for myself?

    --Laura R.M.
    [This Message was Edited on 05/14/2003]
  6. kredca4

    kredca4 New Member

    When I was dx with GERD, my Primary Doc. gave me a script for Prilosec, it helped to get rid of the Heartburn that I had non-stop for 7 day's. That was about 8 years ago, maybe 7, any way, I was to take one a day for the GEERD, but I found that I can't take them, due to the capsules being in a Purple color. I have bad reaction's to red dye's.

    So I watched what I ate, cut out Tomato Sauce, All Melons, most Juices, I can drink Cranberry juice, but I have to dilute it some.
    I don't eat, greasy foods, or foods at a All you can eat type of place, because they use MSG to keep the foods looking fresh and fruit from getting brown.

    I can eat Chinese, but not the fast food kind, I just tell them no MSG, and then I do forgo the EggRoll's, sigh, they are sooo good.

    Anyway, I got rid of all the Rich, Greasy,Spicy, Food's

    I also have Raised my Bed with a couple of small blocks placed under the headboard, and I have different size Pillow's to keep my head up slightly above my body when I sleep, without it giving me a bad neck ache, I also have SS, and DDD.

    Never lie down after eating a Meal, sit at the computer and gab for awhile after eating, that way the food will slide down better. ;o>

    Years ago:

    I went to a Good Friday Service at the Church I was going to at the time. I had just been told the day before that I had GERD and MVP. I had gone earlier to a Woman's Prayer group just before the service. I sat with a Older Woman who was my Mentor, and after the Candlelight Service, we went outside and ran smack dab into a Friend of my Friends.
    This gal was an ex Stripper, big boob's, tiny frame, white hair, and she still chomped on gum.
    When my Friend Ruth asked her Friend to Pray for me because I had Acid Reflux Diease, well this tiny woman put her hand right over the area that the damges was at, and I Swear, I felt a Warmth under her hand, then into my body. She didn't say anything, no Big Prayer, just a touch and a silent Prayer.

    I didn't Believe that people could be Healed that way, so after a few day's, I had to go back to the Dr. for a Follow up, and he said the GERD was gone?????
    I told him what Happened, and he of course was at first skeptaeal (sp?) just as I was, but it was gone, no doubt.

    Well I went my Merry way, and got to eating the lousy foods again, Plus I drank striaght shot's in my Wild day's which did some damage that scared me insides.
    Yep the GERD started to act up again, so I went back to what I was doing when it was better or gone.

    Now I seldom take a Prilosec, I keep them on hand just in case, throw out more than I take, then get a new script, but I only get it for a small amount no point in having a lot if it get's tossed.

    Have you had test's? What kind did they put you through.?
    I'm going to have to have some more Run on me, and I'm hoping there are better test's than the last time, Ouch!

    Good Luck to you, sorry to be so gabby, can't sleep tonight, and it being so close to Easter, your Post reminded me of how that Experience.

    Hope you find something that will work for you,
    Luckily I do have some Doctor's that I Trust, or I would still be in Sorry shape.
    Sincerely
    kredca4

    [This Message was Edited on 04/14/2003]
  7. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I just realized that I never responded to your message regarding GERD, in which you asked me what tests I had for GERD. In fact, I never had any tests at all. The gastroenterologist I was seeing about my IBS problems diagnosed the GERD. He offered to have me take the tests that were typically used at the time, like a barium enema, but he said the treatment would be the same regardles of whether my symptoms were caused by acid reflux or an ulcer. So, especially in view of my IBS, he didn't want to put me through any uncomfortable procedures unnecessarily. He did leave the choice up to me, however, and I chose to just follow his treatment advice, which was pretty consistent with everything else I've read about GERD.

    More recently, though, I've heard about some different tests for GERD, and though they don't sound pleasant, I'm beginning to wonder whether I should have some kind of official testing after all. My GERD definitely has gotten worse in the last week or two, though I haven't changed my eating habits.

    By the way, I haven't noticed any connection between particular foods and GERD. I went through the food-elimination testing with IBS and narrowed things down, but with GERD, it not only doesn't seem to matter *what* I eat, lately it doesn't even seem to matter *whether* I eat. I have the burning almost constantly now, though I take Protonix twice a day and use Tums a lot.

    We tried elevating the head of the bed when I first was diagnosed with GERD, but it didn't make much difference. So now, when we replaced our bed, we didn't raise the head of it.

    My best friend is a "healer in training" so to speak. She has tried healing me twice, though not specifically dealing with GERD. Unfortunately, she says people with MS (which I have) tend to have closed "shakras," making it harder to heal them. However, the last time she did the healing, she put her hands on either side of my head a few inches from my ears. I definitely felt a warmth from her hands, even though she wasn't even touching me!

    Again, thank you for taking the time to respond to me.

    --Laura R.M.
  8. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    Re: tests to determine if you have GERD. That doctor ought to have his license taken away. There is a huge difference in treatment for an ulcer and treatment for GERD! Not to mention that stomach cancer is 95% fatal in five years. To run no tests at all is #$&*%. (Sorry, I am not a fan of doctors). He must not have read any new research for at least ten years! These docs fry my as*!

    The test for GERD is not scary. You swallow some cherry flavored barium and they have you lie down and take an x-ray to see if any of it backs up. End of story.
    For an ulcer you need an endoscopy where you are lightly sedated and a flexible tube with a lazer light on the end goes down into your tummy and a biopsy is taken for helicobacter pylori,which is the cause of most ulcers. I think they may have a new blood test for the helicobacter, but you can have the bacteria without having an ulcer, so the biopsy would still be needed. Then, if you have an ulcer you take a strong course of a combo of antibiotics and bismuth to kill the bacteria. The endoscopy is not a bad test...I've had it done twice. And,they give you a souvenir picture of the inside of your tummy, in color!

    Now, for how to tell if you have too little acid as a cause of your GERD. the next time you are eating and start to feel indegestion, stop eating immediately and swallow two tablespoons of either cider vinegar or lemon juice. Don't take more than a tiny bit of water to wash it down with. Wait a few minutes. If you feel worse, then you are part of the 1/3 of GERD sufferers who really do have too much acid, but if you feel better, then you are part of the majority who are losing your acid production as you age and need to help it along. Try 500 mgs. Calcium Citrate with each meal, digestive enzymes with each meal, raising the head of your bed, not eating within 2 hrs. of laying down and if all that fails, adding small doses of hydrochloric acid supplements to your meals will usually clear it up, but this is a natural treatment , and like most non-drug treatments, it takes a few months. I went from totally miserable from GERD to not knowing I even had a problem in seven months of this treatment.

    Hope this answers the questions.
    klutzo
  9. klutzo

    klutzo New Member

    for those who asked the questions above. K
  10. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Re doctor who didn't test for GERD: He was considering *all* my other symptoms, not just acid reflux. I later had a barium test for swallowing problems and throat pain (through my current health plan), which supposedly showed nothing wrong. But I can tell you from the pain that there was, and is, something wrong! The barium, though, aggravated my IBS!

    Re the test for too little acid: I don't remember the last time I felt symptoms of indigestion *while* I was eating. I almost always get the burning before, after and/or between meals. So I don't think your test would work for me. I should note that eating something--like bread or a cracker--usually reduces or eliminates the burning, while drinking something acidic like orange juice (sometimes even just water) tends to make it worse. Would your test be valid if I tried it between meals?

    I asked my speech therapist (whom I saw for swallowing problems, which she *did* confirm, by the way) about GERD and the possibility of too little acid. (I had asked my doctor about that, too, and not surprisingly, he discounted the idea, as you had predicted.)

    But the speech therapist also has GERD herself and seemed much more open about things. She, too, didn't think the problem was too little acid. She even suggested that I eat a graham cracker about 15 minutes before bedtime to give the acid something to work on. As I said above, I already had discovered that when the acid was especially bad, eating a cracker or piece of bread could ease the problem. But she came up with this suggestion independently, which leads me to believe that this isn't an uncommon thing with too much acid. After all, if the problem were too little acid causing food to back up the esophagus, wouldn't eating something make the problem worse, not better? Also, I rarely regurgitate food along with the acid. I just have *lots* of acid, which burns all the way up my esophagus, along the back of my throat and into my nose.

    I'm not trying to be a nay-sayer, Klutzo, but *in my case*, I really don't know if your suggested test applies, since my problem seems to occur under different circumstances than what you describe. If drinking a few swallows of orange juice makes the burning worse, would that be as valid a test as swallowing the lemon juice? If so, then I definitely have too *much* acid.

    --Laura R.M.
  11. healing

    healing New Member

    I have just started suffering from GERD since having gallbladder surgery earlier this year. Never had a problem in my life 'til this year. I am still struggling to find what helps get rid of it. Definitely not adding acid!!

    Carbs help mine too, I think. Just went back on Atkins this week and have had nothing but acid all week. Even multiple Prevacids can't touch it. Sleeping sitting up. <sigh>

    Just caved in and ate several saltines in a last ditch effort to keep from having to call the doc.

    I too get the acid between meals, and I have no indigestion, just burning up my throat and into my mouth, enough to make the edges of my tongue curl. I try to drink a lot of water to protect my teeth.

    Anybody have any other suggestions? This is almost more miserable than the FM!!
  12. Tango2

    Tango2 New Member

    I was wondering if any of you are on Diltiazem for high blood pressure? I read that some meds for high bp including Diltiazem can cause the lower esophageal sphincter to not close properly resulting in reflux. The Nexium (same as Prilosec) that my doc prescribed is not working been on it for 1 month.

    Thanks,

    Ann
    [This Message was Edited on 05/14/2003]
  13. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I've never had gallbladder surgery, and I've had acid reflux problems for years, but it appears that our symptoms are similar. I was on Protonix for quite a while, and it seemed to help at first. I got a 7-day free trial Rx for Nexium before I went on Protonix, and that completely knocked out my heartburn, but it wasn't as severe then as it is now. I think part of my current problem is side effects from the meds I take, including aspirin for FM pain. I can't take too much Tylenol because of liver problems, and oddly enough, I've found that painkillers like Vicodin and Darvon don't seem to help any more than aspirin or Tylenol--but they make me throw up. I'm taking Neurontin (300 mg/day) and Wellbutrin (100 mg/day) for pain, and I can't be sure whether they're working. However, when I cut back on my Neurontin, I *think* the pain was worse. I also think it was worse before I started the Wellbutrin. Neurontin, though, can cause heartburn. (I'm not sure about Wellbutrin.) But even though the Neurontin may increase my heartburn problems, I don't really want to stop it because in combination with low-dose Wellbutrin, it *does* seem to help the FM without making me feel dizzy or drugged out.

    I recently switched from Protonix to Prilosec (which is supposed to be like Nexium) because the Protonix didn't seem to be working for me anymore. So far, after about a week, the Prilosec doesn't seem to work any better than the Protonix did, but a friend who just made this switch said her doc told her it can take two or three weeks for the Prilosec to start working. I tried a 7-day sample of Prevacid earlier, and I felt worse than I did on Protonix; so I went back to the Protonix.

    Lately, though, even doubling up on the Protonix dose didn't seem to help much. All this is making mincemeat of my throat. I was on a conference call on May 13, and my voice started getting so hoarse I could barely talk. And within an hour or so, I *couldn't* talk at all. I had very severe laryngitis the next day. Today, my voice sounds back to normal, but it still hurts when I talk.

    I asked my ENT what I could do regarding the chronic sore throat that now seems to plague me--a problem that has forced me to stop singing, even singing the songs I write myself. (I'm an amateur composer.) The only thing she suggested was that I gargle with salt water! IO've heard that one for years whenever I had a sore throat, and it never seemed to work for me, but I may wind up trying it again anyway.

    In fairness, I didn't go into the GERD as a possible cause of the chronic sore throat. I plan to talk to my primary doc about this at my next appointment and maybe go back to the ENT (or to some other specialist) if needed to try getting some relief.

    I'll let you and others on this board know if I find something that works. I hope you'll do the same.

    Good luck and best wishes.

    --Laura R.M.

    P.S. I share your view that the acid burn sometimes seems worse than the FM.

    ==========

    healing
    (321)

    GERD 05/14/03 07:05 PM

    I have just started suffering from GERD since having gallbladder surgery earlier this year. Never had a problem in my life 'til this year. I am still struggling to find what helps get rid of it. Definitely not adding acid!!

    Carbs help mine too, I think. Just went back on Atkins this week and have had nothing but acid all week. Even multiple Prevacids can't touch it. Sleeping sitting up.

    Just caved in and ate several saltines in a last ditch effort to keep from having to call the doc.

    I too get the acid between meals, and I have no indigestion, just burning up my throat and into my mouth, enough to make the edges of my tongue curl. I try to drink a lot of water to protect my teeth.

    Anybody have any other suggestions? This is almost more miserable than the FM!!

  14. AC77

    AC77 New Member

    Like everyone here said, Prilosec, and Nexium are good same with prevacid and all the PPIs an H2 blocker is another option, such as tagamet.

    For whoever posted they couldnt take the purple pill...Nexium or Prilosec, becasue they are allergic to dyes. You can empty the capsule into some apple sauce or right into your mouth with liquid! the capsule part itself is not what makes it extended release, its the little pellets inside. With some medications you cant do this with this one you can. Just DONT chew them! swallow whole.

    I don't know if GERD is part of FMS but definetly a lot of people have it and in todays age, its easy to treat....just hope you have insurance! Since there is no known cure yet for FMS we can just treat the symptoms and the body as a whole...not cure it yet, like we can a bacterial infection with antibiotics. I am sure your stomach will feel better when you take some meds.this class doesnt have many side-effects, if any for most of us. My dr just put me on Nexium until I can get a diagnosis from a GI doc.
  15. healing

    healing New Member

    Thanks for responding...I do in fact take Prevacid, but my doc doesn't want me taking it 2xday more than 5 days in a row. Well, with what I'm suffering right now, I could take it 5xday and it still wouldn't help!

    My docs do acupuncture and told me once that treating post gallbladder surgery GERD was the "bread and butter" of acupuncture. Well, my GERD is now worse than before my surgery -- in fact, I didn't really have it before the surgery, just rib/back pain and indigestion (sometimes severe). I guess I'll call my doc tomorrow -- know he'll want me in for a course of acupuncture. Perhaps I should ask for a different medicine since Prevacid doesn't seem to be working.
  16. dolsgirl

    dolsgirl New Member

    I have gerd also, IBS, migraines and tons of other symptoms, right now depression topping the list. dolsgirl
  17. Miles

    Miles New Member

    Hi! I also have FM & Acid reflux, burning mouth & few other things. I am taking Prevacid 30 mg in morning, then the Dr. gave me a prescription for Pep AC 20 mg at night. I still have to watch what I eat. I was looking up on Acid reflux & they are saying Lioresal (Baclofen) which is a muscle relaxant for MS is helping with Gerd. Have you heard about this? Also my husbands friend is saying The PH Miracle is suppose to be good for Acid & FM. I have such a problem with medicines I am almost afraid to try them but I have a sore spot on my throat that keeps coming back. I really glad there is this support group that we can talk to each other. Deb
  18. tansy

    tansy New Member

    I take baclofen when my muscle spasms get worse. I too had all the symptoms of gerd, used to be Rx some long acting antacids. But baclofen prescribed after problems got less troublesome.

    Told it was weakness in sphincter. Back problems mean I have to keep very upright with shoulders back to avoid pain and ribcage spasms, this has reduced the number of times I have acid reflux. Stooping really aggravates it.

    It's far less of a problem now, when it does reoccur it settles more quickly. How much of this is also due to diet, digestive enzymes etc I don't know, but I definitely cannot take betaine hydrochloride.

    I am aware of theories on too little stomach acid, but they do not apply to me.

    Cheers

    Tansy
    [This Message was Edited on 05/25/2003]
    [This Message was Edited on 05/25/2003]
  19. healing

    healing New Member

    Chewing Gum After Meals May Fight Reflux
    Tue May 20,11:21 AM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!


    By E. J. Mundell

    ORLANDO (Reuters Health) - Researchers say smacking on a piece of gum for about a half-hour after each meal can give some relief from acid reflux.

    Their small study found that post-meal gum chewing appeared to reduce acid in the esophagus and quell heartburn symptoms among people with chronic reflux problems.

    "Chewing gum stimulates saliva," explained researcher Dr. Angela Anggiansah, of Kings College in London. She said saliva, which is more alkaline, "neutralizes the remaining acid in the esophagus. That's the whole mechanism."

    The findings were presented here this week at Digestive Disease Week, an annual international gathering of gastroenterologists.

    In an interview with Reuters Health, Anggiansah said dental experts have long known that chewing sugarless gum can slow the growth of cavities, mainly by lowering acid levels around teeth.

    Her team wondered if the same mechanism might work to fight gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common but distressing condition where acid in the stomach washes up into the esophagus. For many patients, GERD is at its worst soon after a meal.

    In their two-day study, the London researchers had 21 people with GERD eat a high-fat meal specifically designed to churn up reflux symptoms. On one day, participants were also asked to chew a stick of gum for 30 minutes following the meal, while on the other day they went without.

    The researchers then used a special probe to measure levels of acid within each patient's esophagus for about two hours after each meal. Patients were also asked to record any incidence of heartburn, using an electronic "event button."

    The result? "For the patient without chewing gum, (post-meal) reflux is much higher compared with the patient with chewing gum," Anggiansah said.

    Specifically, pH levels in the esophagus were below an acidic four for an average of nine minutes when patients didn't chew gum, compared to just 4.7 minutes when they did. Also, patients recorded fewer episodes of heartburn and discomfort during the gum session.

    None of this means that GERD patients should toss out their medicines in favor of chewing gum, however. Anggiansah stressed that the study was small and it's far too early to draw firm conclusions.

    However, she believes "gum therapy" holds promise and said her team is planning a larger study.

    The study received no funding from gum manufacturers or any other private source, Anggiansah said. However, the Wrigley gum company did pay for the researcher's travel expenses in attending the Orlando conference.






  20. healing

    healing New Member

    My physical therapist did some visceral work on me last week after my doc performed acupuncture. He worked on the muscles around the esophagus, the esophagus itself, both stomach sphincters, and my diapragm. It really helped!

    Also, I read in another article that taking antacids after a meal instead of before can help. Antacids move through the stomach quickly, therefore do not provide much help when taken before meals. If taken after, they stay in the stomach longer and can provide real help keeping the acid down. I find that Tums work pretty well.