For the past month, I have been getting extremely sick at least once or twice a week on my stomach – but I’m not throwing up. I feel like I have to vomit, but I can’t get anything to come out. I started having severe pains in my stomach, sides, lower back, and up into my chest and I would have varying bouts of diarrhea and constipation. The constipation was weird though because I would feel like I was going to have diarrhea and I would race to the bathroom to go and nothing would come out. I keep geting this terrible nausea also that would not go away. When these episodes hit, they usually start late at night and will last for the next day or two. Then all of a sudden I feel better but it still takes another day for my appetite to come back. Then about a week later, the symptoms reoccur.
My family and husband kept telling me it was my gallbladder and I was also convinced that was the problem. When I went to see the doctor yesterday I was surprised to find out that she thinks I have GERD – gastroesophageal reflux disease. Great – just what I needed – something else to add to my medical resume. GERD is a condition where the stomach contents leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. I’ve had trouble with acid reflux for a long time and I also have IBS, but these latest issues have been nothing like what I normally experience. If her diagnosis is right, and if the Prilosec helps, I should stop having these severe episodes. If I still continue to get sick after I’ve been on the Prilosec for two weeks, then I have to have some stomach tests done.
After my doctor told me about GERD, I remembered writing about an article by Dr. Sarah Myhill on the Lack of Stomach Acid Problem in CFS & Fibromyalgia Patients. According to Dr. Myhill, a lack of stomach acid is common in CFS & Fibromyalgia patients and it can cause a host of problems, including GERD. This is known as Hypochlorhydria – when the stomach is unable to produce hydrochloric acid, or stomach acid.
The symptoms of Hypochlorhydria include:
Short-term treatments for Hypochlorhydria include taking acid supplements, ascorbic acid at mealtimes and Betaine Hydrochloride. To read more about Hypochlorhydria, click the link I included above.