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Thread: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

  1. #1

    Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Ok, this is my first post and may end up being a lengthy cathartic exercise in the end but I suppose that's no bad thing. Hope you guys don't mind!

    I'll preface everything by saying I suffer from anxiety and always have done really. This is the health history which I feel is all linked:

    Going back about 6 years, after a heavy night out and too many Red Bulls I woke up with extreme GERD - at the time I did not know but doctors explained it to me. I suffered from it after that for about 6 months and it was horrible. Prilosec didn't really work for me but actually I found some good relief after adjusting diet and trying apple cider vinegar. I regret this night profoundly!

    In the years since I have had the odd flare up but generally know what to expect when I see the symptoms coming on. However, in the back of my mind I also remember the doctors words relating to keeping an eye on it and Barretts Esophagus/cancer risk.

    Last year after having a terrible 24 hour stomach bug my GERD flared up in a MAJOR way for a few days. Really agonising. It went away but since then this attack and illness seems to have just been compounded by further issues - some related, others perhaps not.

    For example, at the end of last year I noticed a difficulty swallowing. The usual symptoms: lump feeling in throat, increasing anxiety as I try to swallow more, feeling uncomfortable swallowing (not pain really). I also felt I needed to clear my throat a lot and my wife mentioned sometimes hoarseness. Of course, Google was not my friend and I started off ticking off esophageal cancer symptoms (again). Perhaps not coincidentally, stress at work has been higher at all times alongside these flare ups...

    The blocked throat feeling subsided after a month or two and during a more relaxed period of time so my health worries passed a bit. It seemed to be LPR which I know people with GERD can sometimes have also - I certainly didn't have GERD symptoms at the same time which apparently is again normal. Apple cider vinegar again helped.

    Then around 2 months ago I had what I now know was a trapped nerve on the left side of my neck (the list of ailments continues I know). It was agonising and my worst case brain started to worry it was further, more serious symptoms of developing esophageal issues. It went away after a week or so about 90% but then around a month ago came back with a vengeance. I had tingling in my left and arm and had an xray on the neck which showed no spinal issues.

    I eventually saw a physio and he has been a tremendous help in relieving the trapped nerve pain. With the trapped nerve at its worst I was suffering from nausea and dizziness too, it was that bad. As the pain has subsided I have had some very good days along with some off days. But overall better.

    However, in the last few days I have noticed a pain and soreness in my neck area on both sides (no lumps) along with a return of the LPR symptoms (trouble swallowing etc). I would say that my anxiety is again perhaps raised a bit but not terrible. I will be asking my physio later this week about these symptoms. He has said that my neck, shoulder, chest, arm and back muscles are incredibly tight and can cause all sorts of feelings (headaches, soreness, burning/tingling). I have just noticed that the soreness doesn't feel like normal muscular soreness, more like the skin is a bit sensitive. I have today noticed my armpits are sore too. There are no lumps but the skin or just under is a bit sore.

    Through all of this I have thoughts of the worst. In essence you could say that I have been thinking that in 6 years I have gone from having GERD initially to LPR/cancer symptoms with neck pain, trouble swallowing and soreness in areas associated with lymph nodes...you can see where I am thinking this is going for me. This is how my worries brought me to this forum.

    If I'm being sensible I imagine this is all 90% anxiety related - stress causing GERD/LPR flare ups with bad posture and tense muscles (from anxiety) causing neck pain and other pains which compound the other issues etc. Certainly seems a reasonable diagnosis.

    The positives are that the pain from the neck area has improved with physio. Also the GERD and LPR are flare up illnesses and I have had them for about 6 years (i.e. if anything more serious was going on it would have developed in that time). But the negative is that always in the back of my mind is this constant niggle regarding something more serious.

    Unfortunately I live in a country where the public health system is not great and the private health system is geared towards money making over care. I no longer have health insurance either so I know that getting a diagnosis which would probably point to overall anxiety as the cause will cost a small fortune and probably involve a load of unnecessary tests. I therefore wanted to write down my concerns after all this time and see whether other users can relate to my experiences at all.

    I've started to feel a burden as there always seems to be something up with me and writing it down here doesn't help that impression I know! I'm probably just a hypochondriac but I'm definitely having issues - I'm maybe making them worse psychologically but it's hard not to. Therefore any comments, thoughts, advice - anything, would be gratefully received!

    Thanks for reading too - a long post I know.

    Jim

  2. #2

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Jim- Maybe in offering my GERD experience you can get some ideas/relief.

    I had acid reflux and GERD for many years in my 20's and early 30's. Im what they call a Southern boy in the US. I grew up eating fried food, smoking, and chugging Mountain Dew for breakfast.

    Some very bad lifestyle choices to say the least.

    Eating Nexium, Prilosec, and drinking liquid antacids were a way of life. I would pretty much drink straight from the antacid bottle disregarding dosage. I would even chase my Prilosec pill with swigs of liquid antacid. I had to get endoscopy every few years to check for the scary stuff. Been through all the natural remedy's like Apple Cider Vinegar, Baking Soda, you name it- ive tried it...

    Im trying to drive home that I was a pretty extreme case here.

    Well, through a series of events I found out I was Pre Diabetic (whatever that means) Lets just say Diabetic for clarity.. Not going to go too deep into this except to say I changed my eating and drinking habits OVERNIGHT.

    I was not overweight but I did lose weight fast going low carb. It was inevitable. I dropped 20 pounds in 2 months.

    I went low carb, cut caffeine, no smokes, and for the first time in my life the acid reflux disappeared completely. I found that some ingredients in food and most all carb loaded foods, juices, caffeine, fake food (food loaded with chemicals) were the problem.

    I actually kept a diary for two years on what set me off and what did not. Armed with my diary I began to get a clearer picture of what I could eat. Jim, I have not had GERD or acid reflux in a few years now.

    Granted I now literally eat the same thing every day for breakfast and lunch, but with a not so extreme set of controls I think you can rid yourself of this curse forever. It just depends on how determined you are.

    Also, please be careful with the Apple Cider Vinegar. I know its "all natural" and stuff but it can eat the lining of your esophagus away.

    I hope this helps you, Jim.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    786

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Well where do I start with mine.......

    I started with a cough in January of this year.....

    I have had a chest x-ray, full bloods & scope down my throat which thankfully all normal, however my sore throat, discomfort, lump in throat, throat sticking together is STILL with me. I have got to the stage now where I think I have stomach or esophagus cancer!

    My Dr has finally referred me to Gastroenterology for them to do a scope into my stomach which freaks me out massively as to what they might find.

    Quite literally I was woken up last night with acid travelling up my throat straight into my voicebox, needless to say I shot up like a mad person & thought I was going to die together with warm burning in my chest.....We all know this is reflux however I have been put on PPI's for 2 months with no change, I have tried almost everything for this throat, I have anxiety too which does not make things any better!

    My question is for ANYONE reading this

    IF PPI'S DO NOT WORK & THE REFLUX IS GETTING WORSE SURELY THERE MUST BE SOMETHING SINISTER GOING ON EITHER IN MY GULLET OR STOMACH!

    I get diaphragm pain too every now and then where it feels like something is crushing into my chest (not a good feeling) which lasts only about 5-10 minutes & usually quite alot of belching occurs with it, BUT I have convinced myself this this too can be cancer as it has been going since I had my gallbladder & stones removed 15 years ago.

    I am a 35yr old female & smoke, drinks weekends only (if that), I am extremely worried to the point where I think of nothing else but this darn nit throat and stomach!!!!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    20,400

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    My wife suffers from GERD as do I. I take a PPI (Pantoprazole) as does she. She still was having issues. She had an endoscopy and colonoscopy and all was normal. It's come down to diet. We've been on the FODMAP diet and things are improving.

    Bottom line? Don't smoke, avoid alcohol, watch your diet. Keep a food diary and eliminate foods that cause issues. Treat your anxiety as anxiety exasperates GERD.

    Positive thoughts
    __________________
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself! http://cbt4panic.org/

  5. #5

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Quote Originally Posted by Kay8010 View Post
    Well where do I start with mine.......

    I started with a cough in January of this year.....

    I have had a chest x-ray, full bloods & scope down my throat which thankfully all normal, however my sore throat, discomfort, lump in throat, throat sticking together is STILL with me. I have got to the stage now where I think I have stomach or esophagus cancer!

    My Dr has finally referred me to Gastroenterology for them to do a scope into my stomach which freaks me out massively as to what they might find.

    Quite literally I was woken up last night with acid travelling up my throat straight into my voicebox, needless to say I shot up like a mad person & thought I was going to die together with warm burning in my chest.....We all know this is reflux however I have been put on PPI's for 2 months with no change, I have tried almost everything for this throat, I have anxiety too which does not make things any better!

    My question is for ANYONE reading this

    IF PPI'S DO NOT WORK & THE REFLUX IS GETTING WORSE SURELY THERE MUST BE SOMETHING SINISTER GOING ON EITHER IN MY GULLET OR STOMACH!

    I get diaphragm pain too every now and then where it feels like something is crushing into my chest (not a good feeling) which lasts only about 5-10 minutes & usually quite alot of belching occurs with it, BUT I have convinced myself this this too can be cancer as it has been going since I had my gallbladder & stones removed 15 years ago.

    I am a 35yr old female & smoke, drinks weekends only (if that), I am extremely worried to the point where I think of nothing else but this darn nit throat and stomach!!!!!

    In short.. Its not your body, its what your putting into your body. Stop it!

    You know what Albert Einstein said about doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result. Its true.

    Sometimes drastic problems call for drastic measures. Completely strip your diet down to veggies and bland food. Rebuild your eating habits from there.

    STOP SMOKING! Even one every now and then will set you off. It could take weeks to get back to normal from one cigarette if your body dosent like it.

    On top of all of this.. We are now learning that PPI's are not as safe as once thought. Now we are seeing the court cases and attorney commercials looking for long term PPI users. Imagine that!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Posts
    786

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Thanks for your reply

    Why would GERD flair up now after all these years.......

  7. #7

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Our bodies are in a constant state of decay as we age. Your bodies ability to handle anything you throw at it is not without end or limits.

    I used to be able to drink a glass of OJ with a smile. Now with blood sugar problems it could kill me.

    There are also so many chemicals in our food nowadays. We really have no clue what they do to us. All we can do is listen to the signals our bodies send us when we do something to it, and adjust accordingly.

    Unfortunately Father Time makes no exceptions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    658

    Exclamation Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Hi guys
    I have lpr and evey time I cough i get a servere sore throat for weeks just put my omerprazle up to x2 20mg but bloody throat is killing me at the moment
    __________________
    mevin

  9. #9

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Hi guys, thanks for the responses. I would say that my lifestyle is pretty healthy. I don't drink much at all, eat healthily, don't smoke and exercise.

    You may be interested to know that I just had a recent 10 day holiday (first one in a long while) and every single symptom pretty much disappeared. The whole neck and GERD paranoia is definitely brought on by stress and anxiety so my target is to tackle that head on first whilst maintaining the healthy lifestyle around that to minimise the other symptoms. I'll keep you posted on how I'm getting on. I have found mindfulness exercises to be pretty helpful as a starting point as an example.

    Thanks again everyone

  10. #10

    Re: Neck, throat and GERD paranoia

    Give up caffeine smoking don't eat this don't eat that. Your not addressing the real issue. Whether it's the meds your taking (PPIS long term can actually cause reflux by altering the gut flora or causing things like sibo or candida). Even mental health meds can weaken the LES long term. Sedatory lifestyle or spending too much time focusing on your symptoms. Food intolerances. There are so many reasons for Gerd. And most recent research has shown lifestyle has very little impact chronic GERD.

    Not saying those things can't effect gerd, but it's not the root issue. If you have have health anxiety you can tend to focus on every symptom. The more you focus on them the more likely they are to happen. I've got that myself. How I get out of it is another thing. Read that some people have had good results with hypnotherapy and others have found chiropractors can be of benefit.

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