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Thread: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Iíve suffered from health anxiety for the last 20 years off and on. Iím 45. Any symptom or pain that I get can set me off and I automatically think worst case scenario. I have had some horrendous episodes in the past where I have absolutely convinced myself that I have had esophageal, ovarian and throat cancer despite doctors telling me there is nothing wrong with me. Cbt seems to have helped me a little over the last 3 years and I have managed to stay calm and talk myself out of a few things which have just gone away of their own accord which has been great.

    These last 2 weeks have been terrible and I am unable to talk myself out of this one as I just canít ignore the symptoms. Out of nowhere 3 weeks ago I started getting acid reflux/indigestion after almost every meal. The only time Iíve ever suffered from this is when I was pregnant or the odd time here and there probably a couple of times a year. Most of the time either ignored it or taken Zantac and itís gone away. But the last 2 weeks itís been almost constant. Evenings have been the worst where it starts about 2 hours after I eat and goes on for hours. It is a really weird feeling like my esophagus feels full and I always want to force a burp to relieve it. Sometimes when I do this acid stuff comes up a bit like when youíre sick (sorry tmi). I can feel it all the time in my esophagus just below my collar bone literally the whole time. Even in the mornings when I wake it still feels like thereís something there itís horrible.

    I spoke to the doctor Wednesday and she was a little vague, mentioned gastroscopy but said due to covid it would be ages to get one, had full blood count yesterday and she also wants chest X-ray. Also gave me 4 weeks of lansoprazole which I started this morning.

    Anyhows donít really know why Iím posting but Iím just at my wits end really, I can feel another horrendous anxiety episode brewing and Iím really scared. I am cross because Thursday Eve and all yesterday I felt almost normal again but then I had chips last night and it started all over. And today has been the worst so far. Woke this morning still feeling like there was food/acid just stuck there, then I ate porridge at 12 and literally within 1 hour it felt like it was all just sitting there again and Iíve burped loads of it up this afternoon. 7 hours later it has calmed but still feel like somethingís just sitting there in my chest. Itís awful. Now Iím worrying about esophageal/stomach cancer and am on that downward spiral again. I now dread meal times. I honestly thought yesterday that I was getting better and now this setback today. Could it be the lansoprazole making it worse? My husband says knowing me I am making the symptoms 10 times worse than what they are. Can stress/anxiety make reflux worse? Does anyone else suffer all the time from this? Sorry for the long post Iím sitting here in tears at my wits end.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2016
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Yes, to everything.

    I ended up in the ER several years ago thinking that I was having a heart attack, and it was acid reflux/GERD due to high anxiety. I'd never even had problems with heart burn before that. And now that I've gotten my anxiety under control, I don't have GERD any more.

    If you want to solve this, here's what you have to so:
    1) Get your anxiety under control (therapy, medication, self help books, journaling, meditation, etc)
    2) Take the acid reducers. The lansoprazole is not making your anxiety worse.
    3) Change your diet to eliminate high-acid foods (like orange juice or marinara sauce). You can phase these back in later as you get more healthy.
    4) No alcohol, fast food or enormous amounts of caffeine for awhile
    5) Regular exercise

    Good luck to you!
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  3. #3
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    Jul 2010
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Thank you so much AntsyVee for the reply and the advice. I will carry on taking the lansoprazole and hope it starts working. The CBT I had 3 years ago has helped me a few times since where I have had aches and pains and I’ve managed to use some of the techniques I learnt to talk myself out of it and they have just gone away. This one I managed to do for the first week but since then it’s been so much harder. I think if it’s an ache or pain it is easier to accept that it may be psychosomatic as I know from good experience that the mind can literally create a pain or feeling that doesn’t exist. But if it’s something physical like acid coming up it’s hard for me to deny that it’s there? It’s kind of more real if that makes sense. I suppose I just worry that it’s come from nowhere and at Christmas I was eating loads with no problems. Then one day it just started. My husband thinks I’m mental and he’s had indigestion all the time for years and years and never once worries about cancer or anything nasty. It’s so much harder for us health anxiety sufferers though not to go to the worst case scenario. Thanks again I will try to take your advice.

  4. #4
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    It will be much easier to take the advice if you have someone to hold you accountable. I would share your new plan with your husband, and have him help you stick to the diet and taking the meds. It's much easier to back out if you don't tell anyone what you need to do.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Hi there I know exactly how you feel ive had constant reflux since last May . Im on nexiem and honestly it dosent help much. The whole thing has caused me severe anxiety. My gastro doc is calling me on Friday but up till now they have been useless. I need a endoscopy to see whats going on but with covid goodness knows when that will be. I hope you feeling a little better.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2010
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Hi, I've had something similar going on since Christmas. Mine is a pain on my left side every time I swallow, along with loads of burping which also trigger the pain. I've absolutely convinced myself that it can only be due to a tumour of some kind. I have an abdominal ultrasound tomorrow which actually came through really quickly. I was on omeprazole for three weeks but it didn't help at all so my Dr told me to stop taking it. Like you I've had anxiety for over 20 years but never really had anything like this before. The older I get the more worried I get as well. I definitely think that focusing on the issue all the time never gives it a chance to resolve itself, but then I don't know how to stop focusing on it when it's always there!

  7. #7
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    Jul 2010
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Thank you so much Molly and Cattia for your replies.

    Molly, I’ve followed your story on here. Poor you, you’ve been suffering a long time now. I know what you mean about the endoscopy, my doctor told me that they ‘weren’t really doing them because of Covid’ and when they start doing them it’ll probably be ages before I got one. It’s a joke. The one positive I think you can draw is that the chances of yours being caused by anything sinister are quite remote because of how long you’ve had it for. 9 months is a long time and I was told by a doctor once that gastro things tend to progress and get worse quite quickly. But it’s horrible though isn’t it and when the medication doesn’t work you do think sometimes am I going to have to live like this permanently. For me the lansoprazole I’m sure is doing nothing atall, if it is the only thing might be that it is neutralising the acid and not making it burn so much. But it doesn’t stop the actual reflux which is the most uncomfortable thing for me, feeling the food just ‘sitting’ in my chest and having to force burps just to try and ‘clear’ it which never works anyway. It’s horrible. I really hope you get it resolved soon, keep us posted on any news. What does the gastro doctor think is causing it? Probably the anxiety is making it a lot worse.

    Cattia, I totally relate with the getting older thing and worrying even more. The mind is hugely powerful thing as I’ve found out in a few of my really bad episodes when I’ve absolutely convinced myself I had a cancer. 12 years ago I was absolutely convinced I had an esophageal tumour and I was dying and wouldn’t listen to 3 doctors who kept telling me there was nothing wrong. I convinced myself I had a lump in my chest when I swallowed and was burping up food a lot and even got a stinging sensation when I swallowed. The more I read about it the more ‘symptoms’ I got. Excruciating shoulder, back pains. It took me almost having a breakdown at the doctors for her to give me diazepam and miraculously within 3 days all my ‘symptoms’ were gone completely. My mind had created them all. This happened twice again when constant abdominal pains and fullness when I ate convinced me I had ovarian cancer. After given the all clear with a scan the symptoms completely disappeared. My mum has suffered the same, I lose count how many times over the years she’s had some pain or other and had countless tests and scans and when given the all clear they’d just disappear. Funnily enough she had something similar to what you describe that went on for weeks, a pain in her side when she swallowed food and she had to burp every time. She had a scan and tests which showed nothing and then it just disappeared. The problem is when the anxiety starts to take over it’s really hard not to focus constantly on every sensation and I’m convinced this multiplies it ten times over. You’re probably like me at the moment and so focused on every swallow, every mouthful of food you take etc. Normally it’s something we never think of. A lot of the time I think do I really have something in my esophagus or does it always feel like this and I just never thought about it? But because I do burp actual acid up then it’s got to be real I suppose? Then I try to reassure myself that if it was a tumour then it would not go away for a whole day, it would be constant and getting a lot worse. Which it isn’t fingers crossed. It’s just so worrying when it’s something completely new to me out of the blue and happening for days on end at a time. My bloods came back ok and I have a chest X-ray Monday. Then I will speak to the doctor about where to go from there. And talking to doctors on telephones is so infuriating it’s just not the same as seeing them in person. Good luck with your scan tomorrow I am sure everything will be ok. Let me know how you get on.

  8. #8
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    In addition to the PPI (which can take a couple weeks to really kick in), look at the FODMAP diet. Keep a food journal (downloadable on the site) and you'll be able to find foods that trigger your reflux.

    Positive thoughts
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  9. #9
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    Jul 2010
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    Thank you Fishmanpa for your wise words. I have heard a lot about the FODMAP diet on here and really do need to have a look at it, thank you. And I will give the PPI a little longer too.

  10. #10
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    Re: Almost constant acid reflux/lump in esophagus feeling

    I often find that "trial by diazepam" works really well when you get so focused on these symptoms and if the med helps then it's a good indication as to what is making the sensations worse.

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