Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Acid Reflux and Chronic Illness?

       Readers~ I would love to get your input on this! I have been fighting heartburn/acid reflux for months now.  I am learning (and not liking what I am learning) what my "trigger foods" are and I know that part of the problem is weight gain but this is not a fun battle.  It keeps me from getting a good night's sleep because it kicks in as soon as I lay down and at least one night a week it's so bad in the middle of the night that I wake up coughing up the "acid" and have to sleep half sitting up on my couch if I want any rest.  I have talked to both my Rheumy and my GP.  Neither is surprised.  They have me on a daily Prilosec which helps a bit but I still go through at least a 25ct bottle of Tums Freshers a month.

     The weight gain is a significant issue.  I have been fighting it so long and nothing is working.  I swear, I could do nothing more than drink water for a week and I would gain 5lbs.  It's stressful, it's frustrating and it's disheartening.

    The other side of it is that the whole acid reflux thing really bothers me.  I don't know anyone who LIKES to vomit but when I am coughing and bringing up the acid, I just wish I could throw up and have it over with.  When I get up on the "morning after" my throat is just raw.

   I know that my meds contribute to this in a way- but I can't stop those without serious ramifications.  One trigger is overeating.  I have to be very careful and find that "full but not too full" line.  It also seems that sugar in the evening is another trigger.  Not so much during the day but if I eat a serving at night- it seems to add to the usual and make it worse.  Of course- spicy foods are not good and I seem to be getting more sensitive to spice.  I am actually writing this in the evening and will schedule it for the morning in hopes that it reaches you.  Tonight we had tacos for dinner.  Basic, one each Old El Paso taco kit which we have used forever.  I had shells, meat with the seasoning packet in it and tomatoes and 3 hours later I can't bend over to take the dogs off their leads without feeling the acid in my throat.  It looks like I will bunk on the couch tonight so I can half sit-up.

I would love to hear if you have had this issue too and how you solved it.  Thanks so much in advance!

On a happier note~  This blog has been voted one of Healthline's Top 10 Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs again this year.  I am in great company (Shout out to WREN for making the list again!) and am so very honored since I have written so much less this year.  It's inspired me to get going again once I get through the madness.  Stop over on Healthline (link below) and see the other great blogs that they have chosen. 
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Dogandduck said...

They tell me my lung problems are from acid reflux, severe GERD. I have scarring and nodules in my lungs. Chronic bronchitis and sinusitis. Plus RA and a few other things thrown in for the fun of it.
I have been on Nexium for years and they finally put me on dexilant and that seem to have worked. My coughing and breathing have gotten better.
Yes, weight gain does not help but I had problems from the time I was 12 and a healthy weight. I know my triggers are spicy, fried, too much at one time,tomato, alcohol (some) peanut butter and jelly! grilled cheese and much more. I have mild gastropariris (slow digestion) Salads bother me.
I try to behave but I am stubborn and do not want to give up so many foods. Some of my friends have such strict diets and have given up tons of food. I know bread bothers me so I limit it. But, I continue to take the meds. I have tried to get off them but every time I do I get sick again.
I do have a recliner for those times I need to sit up.
Sinus drainage can also make you cough at night.
Don't wear tight jeans and I cannot do high waist jeans.
My GI doc said that my middle of night bowl of cheerios was my body's way of trying to cool down my stomach. ( I dont do that when it is under control)

Small meals, chew your food, and I am sure there are more things the doc told me but I have forgotten.

And I am writing this in the morning, hoping my stomach settle down. I made a fried egg sandwich for my son and it looked good so I made one for myself. Very stupid.

I hope you feel better soon.

Julie Faulds said...

Thank you so very much DogandDuck! We are looking at recliners for the next big purchase here. I know that when I go to my folks- they are a life saver. You have some great tips here. I am going to make notes and really start paying attention to the foods and such.

Thank you again both for your comment and for reading my blog!

Wren said...

Congratulations for being chosen as one of Healthline's Best Rheumatoid Arthritis blogs, Jules! Even when you don't post often, your posts are always down-to-earth, well-written, and spirit-lifting. Your attitude shines through.

I'm so sorry you're fighting acid reflux/GERD. I've had it off and on over the years, but never as bad as you describe. One thing I can say with confidence, though, is that it has always eased off to near-nothing when I got my weight down and under control. Also, eating meals made fresh and w/o prepackaged mixes helps, too, because I can control the spices and seasonings better. I realize that's not exactly what you'd like to hear. Losing weight is SO hard, and I'm having to do it again, myself. It seems like I can hardly eat anything, but the truth is, if I control my portions, cut out all the sugary stuff, severely limit my carbs, and drink lots of water, I do lose weight. It's just hard to maintain that forever--and if I don't, I regain the weight, plus more.

I wish you the best of luck as you fight this miserable stuff. Last thing you need along with RA, fibro, and the rest. Feel free to email me anytime--I'll be happy to offer moral support. We can drop those extra pounds together!

Take care, m'friend. Thinking of you.

Patricia Young said...

I had a severe acid reflex problem.My Physician prescribed Prilosec though you can purchase OTC. Read up on it. Take as prescribed for a few months by Doc' orders and calm things down. Elevate your head for sleeping. Have some meatless Mondays. Stop eating and drinking after 6 pm.You know your triggers. Mine are same. Adopt new lifestyle. I am healed. Seek physian's help. Do not let problem linger!follow others advice. More H2O & veggies.

Patricia Young said...

I had to change my life forever. I take metamucil twice a day. It comes in e-z capsulsules. More love and laughter. Anger was a trigger for me. Get and give some hugs. Deep breathing and Meditation. Put yourself in the time out corner for R&R. read and relax. Are you lactose-intolerant?
Weight Watchers helped lose weight-manage meals.It's TOPS! Give up some foods. There are plenty more! Congrats!You can do it.Netti Pot- Ayr nasal gel.