GERD and/or Hypersensitive Esophagus

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    On Friday, I had a Bravo Ph radio transmitter attached to my esophagus, as well as having an endoscopic exam.

    I was supposed to wear the Bravo receiver on my waistband or at least keep the receiver close to me for 48 hours and press the appropriate button when I feel heartburn, chest pain or regurgitation. The receiver displays both the time and the Ph level; so I've been able to see if my heartburn or chest pain (or regurg) gets worse when the Ph is below 7 (more acidic). I haven't always looked, as I knew the information in the receiver would be entered into a computer and analyzed by my gastroenterologist.

    However, when I *did* look at the Bravo Ph readout, there didn't seem to be any consistent relationship. I felt pain when the Ph reading was below 7 (though the lowest I noticed was about 5.6) as well as when it was above 7 (the highest being around 10). The research I've done suggests that acid reflux involves fairly prolonged exposure to acidic contents with Ph of 4 or less.

    About 45 minutes ago, the monitor suddently started flashing "C1" instead of displaying the Ph number. So now I'm not sure this test will even be valid, as it appears that somehing may be wrong with the equipment. When I had the transmitter put in, they gave me an emergency room number to call if I had questions or problems over the weekend, but when I called a few minutes ago, nobody seemed to have a clue about what might be going on. (The ER doc said he'd ask the on-call gastroenterologist to phone me.)

    Meanwhile, I've been trying to do some research on the Internet, and I discovered that a lot of people with GERD have normal heart and esophagus tests. A significant proportion seems to have pain due to a "hypersensitive esophagus." That made me think of my fibromyalgia, the hypersensitive everything syndrome, as I have heard it described.

    (On the other hand, I also found material that suggested the problem could be related to motor problems affecting my esophagus. Since I have multiple sclerosis as well as fibro, it occurred tome that there could be neurological things affecting certain motor functions, too.)

    In any case, I was wondering whether anybody on this board is familiar with the "hypersensitive esophagus" diagnosis--and any treatments that may exist for it.

    Thanks for any information or insight you can offer.

    --Laura R.M.

    P.S. FYI, the article that got me thinking about a possible fibro connection was "Unexplained Chest Pain: The Hypersensitive, Hyperreactive, and Poorly Compliant Esophagus." The article was published 10 years ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine.[This Message was Edited on 06/04/2006]
  2. lamchop

    lamchop New Member

    I have had a tricky oesophagus for a while, it seems to play up when I eat something that I dont have the ability to process, like commercial meats (kabana etc). My stomach goes into overdrive flooding with acid trying to process this food and the result is GERD.
    I have found, other than avoidance, that natural pineapple juice is wonderful as it contains the element to assist the digestive process.
  3. ilovecats94

    ilovecats94 New Member

    I have been dealing with this now since January 2006 with the chest pains. I even got so ill that I got pneumonia on 4/6. I thought I could control this with just OTC meds, but found out I couldn't.

    Have been on Nexium 40 mg. since 4/14. Was doing okay, until recently I had what I call a GERD attack and then tonight at 9 PM, it was really horrible.

    I thought by now I would be healed and not having the severe chest pains. Beccause I'm diabetic, it may take longer to heal than 8 weeks. I surely hope this medicine works because if I have to go to Protonix (my insurance won't cover Prevacid), then I have wasted all this time. I have 4 more months for my Rx and then if I'm still having problems will go back to the doc and see if I can get another Rx.

    I didn't get a hypersensitive esophagus dx. I have had the dry cough at night now for many years and I pretty well knew by my symptoms I had GERD.

    I just didn't want to see the doc about it, because I thought I would end up in the hospital as an in-patient and I couldn't deal with that right now.

    Hope you feel better, Laura.

  4. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    On 06/05/06 01:01 AM, Faye wrote:

    "I didn't get a hypersensitive esophagus dx. I have had the dry cough at night now for many years and I pretty well knew by my symptoms I had GERD.

    "I just didn't want to see the doc about it, because I thought I would end up in the hospital as an in-patient and I couldn't deal with that right now."

    I thought I had GERD for *many* years, after being kind of casually diagnosed by a gastroenterologist. (He didn't give me any tests because at the time they were very invasive, and he said the treatment would be the same based on my symptoms rather than the dx.)

    I take H2 blockers (generic Zantac 75), proton pump inhibitors (currently, generic Prilosec--3 times a day!), Tums Ultra and lately, Rolaids Multi-Symptom. And I *still* get heartburn and chest pain.

    Maybe I do have GERD, and maybe the meds are keeping the acid under control. But I'm still having symptoms; so I need to check it out.

    Wearing the monitor this past week end and keeping the diary made me pay closer attention and also allowed me to see the Ph readings when I had symptoms. Now, I'm no longer sure what's going on. I think I've been having esophogeal spasms when I swallow, with or without the acid factor.

    I guess what I'm saying is that although you said you don't want to be admitted to the hospital, it might be a good idea to check with your doctor about the GERD diagnosis. The Bravo Ph test I had over the week end wasn't really so bad, and it was done on an outpatient basis. Once they attached the capsule with the transmitter, I went home. (You need a driver to take you home after the procedure, as they medicate you when the attach the transmitter.) After that, you just have to wear the receiver unit (kind of an oversized pager) or keep it close to you for the 24 or 48 hours of the test.

    In any case, thanks for your good wishes.

    --Laura R.M.

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