Can't keep ANY food down

mkshumate Community Member January 17, 2008
  • My husband was diagnosed with acid reflux by his primary physician about 4 months ago. He does not have pain or symptoms except when he eats. Then he is simply usable to keep food down. He has good days and bad days, but currently he has been unable to keep anything down for four days. The only exceptions are Ensured and ice cream! He has tried Aciflex, Nexium and Reglan plus all of the over the counter drugs. Nexium worked great for 2-3 weeks then stopped working. It does not seem to matter what he eats. I read "Heartburn for Dummies" and they say that bread should be easy to eat and ice cream should cause problems....but it is just the opposit. We do not have insurance and cannot afford to see a specialist. Does anyone have any suggestions?
16 Comments
  • Vicki M
    Health Guide
    Jan. 20, 2008

    Hi there,


    I know that having GERD can be a challenging time in your and your husband's life, but having been diagnosed, at least you know what you are dealing with.

     

    I am going to give you some links to help you get the information you need to ask the right questions when you do see the doctor. It would be great to see a specialist, but if you can't,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi there,


    I know that having GERD can be a challenging time in your and your husband's life, but having been diagnosed, at least you know what you are dealing with.

     

    I am going to give you some links to help you get the information you need to ask the right questions when you do see the doctor. It would be great to see a specialist, but if you can't, then your regular doctor should be able to help, but you have to do your homework to know what to ask.


    First off, there are great resources right here at health central. You have already met one of the best assets of this site and that is the other users who are dealing with acid reflux just like you are! There are acid reflux patients and caregivers and medical professionals online here who give lots of advice. You can read the shareposts by Dr Todd Eisner here. 

     

    Next, you can familiarize yourselves with GERD, the condition, symptoms and treatments available here.

     

    You can read the answers of Harvard Medical Professionals here.

    You can also search shareposts for users who have similar situations here.

     

    Lastly, we're here as a community for you. If you are having a problem, if your husband is having a bad day, or if you have some good news to share, just post and let us know. We'd all like to know how you are doing and help if we can.


    Take care and stay in touch!

     Vicki M

  • Anonymous
    Kristy S.
    Aug. 05, 2010

    There are many remedies, but the best thing is to change your diet (what & when you eat) and if you are overweight, even a little, to lose weight.  I tried milk, nope-made me get sicker and vomit.  I tried bread & crackers, that helped a bit, but not a lot.  I tried Apple Cider Vinegar, and this DID NOT work for me and made me hurt worse....

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    There are many remedies, but the best thing is to change your diet (what & when you eat) and if you are overweight, even a little, to lose weight.  I tried milk, nope-made me get sicker and vomit.  I tried bread & crackers, that helped a bit, but not a lot.  I tried Apple Cider Vinegar, and this DID NOT work for me and made me hurt worse.  Ice cold water helps me some.  But ultimately, I'm forced to make myself vomit and I sit in a full tub of HOT water and then get a heating pad out to lay on my tummy.  Getting rid of it and the heat are the only things that have ever helped me, so honestly you can try every remedy under the sun, but if you have it severe enough, not even prescription meds will help, no matter what the doctor tells you.  I have changed my diet and such, and luckily, the only time I'm ever affected is 1-2 weeks before my period (which doesn't affect your husband, obviously  :)  )  And this won't affect him either but others might benefit... if there are any large breasted women out there that have it (I'm one of you!) the extra weight on your chest does contribute to the acid reflux complications.  Get a good supporting bra that will lift your breasts.  Also, if you are considering a breast reduction, ladies, I would include the complications of the reflux in the application to get the insurance to pay for it.  Just my 2 cents on the subject!

    • Dee Haynes
      Aug. 22, 2010

      I am having a breast reduction on Sept 1st...

       

      I have severe acid reflux and your comment has really helped me....I do believe that the extra weight on my chest is making it worse...and I have back, shoulder and neck pain also....

       

      Has anyone else had a breast reduction and has helped with reflux...please post if you have.....

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Aug. 21, 2009

    First, let me recommend this website to you:  BartonPublishing.com 

     

    Here are a few of the things I done (with good success) in order to help myself: 

     

    Whenever my acid reflux flairs up I eat, at least, half of a RED DELICIOUS APPLE - no other apple variety seems to work; so only use the Delicious apple.  (Don't laugh...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    First, let me recommend this website to you:  BartonPublishing.com 

     

    Here are a few of the things I done (with good success) in order to help myself: 

     

    Whenever my acid reflux flairs up I eat, at least, half of a RED DELICIOUS APPLE - no other apple variety seems to work; so only use the Delicious apple.  (Don't laugh - This really does soothe the throat and relieve the pain!) 

     

    Just before bed I do the following:  (1) Gargle with an 8 ounce glass of water mixed with a teaspoon of regular baking soda.  (2) I, also, take a small teaspoon of, 'cold processed' (non:pasteurized) raw honey just before I lie down.  (You'll probably have to get this type of honey at a health food store.)  One other thing:  Try not to lie down or go to bed within 2 hours after eating a meal - OK. 

     

    After finishing a meal I will often eat a DILL PICKLE; it's the dill weed, seeds, and mild acid in the pickle's juice that is so soothing to a raw throat. 

     

    Perhaps you already know that there are actually two different types of acid reflux.  One type is caused by a LACK OF ACID in the stomach; the other type is caused by TOO MUCH ACID.  In each case a hernia of the esophagus is involved. 

     

    If your husband's problem is caused by too little acid (Which I suspect from comments you've made.) then he needs to regularly ingest small amounts of diluted COLD PRESSED apple cider vinegar before each meal.  Bragg's Vinegar is the most common brand; and, you usually have to purchase it from a health food store.  (Check with Bartons Publishing for the proper dosage and frequency-of-use.) 

     

    In any event you'll need to self-experiment in order to find out what's right for your husband's body.  No two people are the same - OK!  If the diluted vinegar doesn't work for him, then, stop using it and try the other approach.   

     

    Everyone who suffers from an esophageal hernia should elevate the front of his bed by two or three inches.  You can use wooden blocks or buy commercial, 'bed risers' for placement under the bed's front legs.  (You quickly get used to this; and, after awhile, you won't even realize that the front of the bed has been raised; but, your husband's sore throat will be able to tell the difference!) 

     

    Bartons Publishing has a whole list of food recipes and meals for people with GERD to eat.  If I have a flare up, I'll rest my throat and stomach by eating only these recipes for several days until I start to feel better again. 

     

    I am NOT a doctor; so you might want to discuss these suggestions with your physician before proceeding.  (Hopefully, your doctors will be less ignorant and less influenced by the usual drug company commercial propaganda than the poorly informed (Prilosec) crew that I was using!) 

     

    By the way, I've talked to several people who were cured of acid reflux disease by slowly and steadily reducing their body weight.  Apparently, the chief culprit in this disease is an enlarged stomach wall that begins to push backwards through the esophageal valve.  Because the human stomach shrinks more slowly than human muscle tissue you have to SLOWLY REDUCE your body weight over an extended period-of-time (Say, a year.) in order for this approach to be truly efficacious. 

     

    I have, also, received significant help from my chiropractor - Yes, my chiropractor - who knows how to physically manipulate the esophageal stomach valve.  (Which is located right in the center of the body and immediately beneath the heart.)  Apparently it is possible to mechanically push this valve shut!  (Don't try this on yourself; it takes special training and experience in order to do it properly.) 

     

    Good luck to you.  Acid reflux is a nasty disease; and, I hope your husband is able to achieve some genuine relief for himself.  

  • Anonymous
    elletwentyfive
    Nov. 26, 2008

    After reading your story, I think it is possible your husband has been misdiagnosed. I'm not positive, but I read an ABC news story that talks about a lot of the symptoms your husband has, and how sometimes there will be good days, sometimes bad-often stress related. I'll give you the link to the story, & I would recommend you read the comments too. Many...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    After reading your story, I think it is possible your husband has been misdiagnosed. I'm not positive, but I read an ABC news story that talks about a lot of the symptoms your husband has, and how sometimes there will be good days, sometimes bad-often stress related. I'll give you the link to the story, & I would recommend you read the comments too. Many people share their stories on this health problem, known as CVS-which is somewhat rare, many Doctors do not know of it, and therefore is often misdiagnosed. Check it out... http://abcnews.go.com/Health/PainManagement/Story?id=6273939&page=1 . Let me know if that is helpful.

    • Anonymous
      Anonymous
      Mar. 19, 2009

      My father has had the same issue for almost a year now. He has been to several doctors who keep asking him to do test after test which all turn up negative for what they were looking for. This morning out of pure frustration i was doing some research about his condition and found this Gastroparesis more information can be found about it here http://gicare.com/Diseases/Gastroparesis.aspx...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      My father has had the same issue for almost a year now. He has been to several doctors who keep asking him to do test after test which all turn up negative for what they were looking for. This morning out of pure frustration i was doing some research about his condition and found this Gastroparesis more information can be found about it here http://gicare.com/Diseases/Gastroparesis.aspx . I sent my family an email and will be calling them later today to have a talk with the doctor. Let me know if this helps you in anyway. 

       

      If it works I think someone should tell these doctors about the internet, it better not be this simle

       

       

  • Anonymous
    Vera Konold
    Jan. 19, 2008
    I encourage you to see a doctor - or a doctor/nurse friend ....... my husband has a hiatal hernia - and vomits horribly when he eats a large meal -- he eats several little meals a day and keeps well -- how much does your husband eat at a time ?  Watch the oils that he eats - olive oil is best - some oils are rancid even tho we don't think they are...that...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I encourage you to see a doctor - or a doctor/nurse friend ....... my husband has a hiatal hernia - and vomits horribly when he eats a large meal -- he eats several little meals a day and keeps well -- how much does your husband eat at a time ?  Watch the oils that he eats - olive oil is best - some oils are rancid even tho we don't think they are...that is an enemy. 
    • mkshumate
      Jan. 19, 2008
      He is definitely not over eating. Even on his "good days" he eats less than half of a normal serving. He gets sick when he begins to eat...frequently within the first few bites. If he can keep the first few bites down, he has a chance of keeping down what he eats. Often he eats a few bites and stops because he is about to get sick, but it passes and...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      He is definitely not over eating. Even on his "good days" he eats less than half of a normal serving. He gets sick when he begins to eat...frequently within the first few bites. If he can keep the first few bites down, he has a chance of keeping down what he eats. Often he eats a few bites and stops because he is about to get sick, but it passes and he is able to continue eating. Quantity is not the issue. Also, I almost always use olive oil and in very limited amounts. I usually follow a low fat diet, even before his problem developed.
    • PAULINE
      Jan. 20, 2008

      MKSHUMATE:

         I'm glad you are going to proceed with the tests. He'll probably need an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, perhaps a barium swallow.

         Whatever needs to be done, have it done.

         I'm not a medical person and I can only go by what tests I have had done.

         As for cost, I don't have a clue. I'm...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      MKSHUMATE:

         I'm glad you are going to proceed with the tests. He'll probably need an endoscopy, a colonoscopy, perhaps a barium swallow.

         Whatever needs to be done, have it done.

         I'm not a medical person and I can only go by what tests I have had done.

         As for cost, I don't have a clue. I'm covered by Medicare,  then my own supplementry.

        People in different categories are charged different rates.

        Please keep us updated.

                         Lots of luck and try not to get discouraged.

  • Anonymous
    Lynn Cockerham
    Jan. 19, 2008

     When first diagnosed a number of years ago, I was placed on a bland diet.  Basically, nothing fried, and just soft, soothing food.  You might want to see if you can find something like that on the web.  I remember eating grits, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, etc.  All meat was broiled or baked.

    Things that really upset me were chocolate,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

     When first diagnosed a number of years ago, I was placed on a bland diet.  Basically, nothing fried, and just soft, soothing food.  You might want to see if you can find something like that on the web.  I remember eating grits, oatmeal, mashed potatoes, etc.  All meat was broiled or baked.

    Things that really upset me were chocolate, spicy food, grilled food, and carbonated water in soft drinks.

    An adjustments that I made to my routine:  antiacid taken before meals, about 30 minutes.  Also, I elevated the head of my bed (using a brick).

    I hope this is helpful.

    lc

    • mkshumate
      Jan. 19, 2008

      Thanks Lynn and Pauline!

      I have tried all of the above and have been trying to cook "Gerd friendly" style for months now. We try grits or oatmeal for breakfast just about every day and sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. I haven't served a solid piece of meat for months and only occasionally put some small amount of shredded chicken...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thanks Lynn and Pauline!

      I have tried all of the above and have been trying to cook "Gerd friendly" style for months now. We try grits or oatmeal for breakfast just about every day and sometimes it works, other times it doesn't. I haven't served a solid piece of meat for months and only occasionally put some small amount of shredded chicken in soups. Even on his "good days" we still always eat soft foods. Oddly, one of the things that he can eat on a good day is a very spicy cheese dip made from pepper jack cheese....which makes no sense at all. He really has a hard time with bread and even crackers. On the other hand, he can occasionally eat nuts, which are notorious for being hard to digest. He has tried taking every over the counter antacid I can find and even phenergran (sp?) but they don't seem to help. We have not tried elevating the bed because he never has problems when he is sleeping, only when he is eating.

       

      We do not have insurance and I recently lost my job, so finances have kept us from seeing a specialist. Our income barely covers the bills but we are still in a bracket high enough to disqualify us from assistance. We are getting to the point that I am going to borrow money from family so that he can get further testing. Does anyone know what tests they are likely to do and roughly how much they cost?

       

      I hope I don't come across as being ungrateful. I appreciate any and all suggestions. It just seems that his condition is not typical and we just can't seem to find the right combination of things for him. It makes me wonder if he has been misdiagnosed and there is some other problem.

       

      Thanks again for all the support!

  • PAULINE
    Jan. 18, 2008

      I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. I also have a Hiatal Hernia and Divertuli and it's no easy task to always do what one needs to do to have relief.

      Is there a possibility he has a blockage in his intestine? Has he had a Endoscopy or Colonoscopy done?

       Sometimes when there is a blockage, some foods will go down and be...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

      I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help. I also have a Hiatal Hernia and Divertuli and it's no easy task to always do what one needs to do to have relief.

      Is there a possibility he has a blockage in his intestine? Has he had a Endoscopy or Colonoscopy done?

       Sometimes when there is a blockage, some foods will go down and be able to get past the blockage and at other times the food will get stuck and have no place to go but back up.

       I should think your Primary would want to look further into your husband's situation.

      I don't know if it was you that said you hadn't any insurance, but your Primary, I'm sure, would know a way to get around that.

      I have a friend who is in financial difficulty and can neither pay for Dr. visits, medications, let alone insurance.

       She got into a medical program through the county and receives her meds with only a $7 co-pay, has the best specialists, and hospital care.

    All her tests are paid for. 

       If this is something you would benefit by, look thru your county and see if they have such a program.

       She lives in FL

       There shouldn't be any reason why your husaband  should have to be in such distress.

        Lots of luck to you both.   

  • PAULINE
    Jan. 18, 2008

        I have had Acid Reflux for years. This is what I was told to do and it helps.

        Eat small meals, but often, avoid spicy and over seasoned foods. Avoid caffiene,

      green and red peppers, anything fried. Bacon, sausage, breakfast or otherwise, will just keep reprating on you all day.

       Ice cream is soothing,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

        I have had Acid Reflux for years. This is what I was told to do and it helps.

        Eat small meals, but often, avoid spicy and over seasoned foods. Avoid caffiene,

      green and red peppers, anything fried. Bacon, sausage, breakfast or otherwise, will just keep reprating on you all day.

       Ice cream is soothing, but it puts a lot of fat into your stomach, not good for acid reflux. Chocolate can cause you to get very nauseous if you overindulge.

        Eat and chew slowly, minimize talking when eating.

        Carbonated beverages are best left to stand before drinking to get rid of the bubbles. 

        Do not lie down after eating, instead, if necessary to rest, prop your head with at least two pillows and be more in a sitting position.

       Absolutely do not bend over from the waist, this will cause the acid to come up into your throat.

        Try not to strain when using the bathroom.

        Avoid stress, rushing about,  confrontation. 

       These are some of the methods I practice and they all help.

    • mkshumate
      Jan. 18, 2008

      Pauline - thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I'm really glad you are having good luck with your condition...it gives me hope to think that this situation can be dealt with.

       

      I've done a lot of research and your suggestions are consistent with what I have read. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't seem to be helped much by most of the...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Pauline - thanks so much for taking the time to respond. I'm really glad you are having good luck with your condition...it gives me hope to think that this situation can be dealt with.

       

      I've done a lot of research and your suggestions are consistent with what I have read. Unfortunately, my husband doesn't seem to be helped much by most of the recommendations. He gets sick within a few bites of starting to eat, so it is definitely not a matter of needing smaller portions. He tries to eat 4-6 times a day, small portions. He is always sitting up, not reclining or bending over when he gets sick. It also doesn't seem to matter what he eats. I have tried recipes I got off of a GERD website that are supposed to be reflux friendly, but he still gets sick. On a bad day, nothing stays down....on a good day, bacon or spicy foods are not a problem. He doesn't drink carbonated drinks and only has one cup of coffee in the morning. We do think that it may be stress related and he is dealing with some very stressful situations that we cannot get resolved immediately. However, he is as likely to get sick during a laid back weekend as he is when the stressful occupational issues are at their peak. He never feels nauseous, doesn't have a bad taste in his mouth, doesn't have pain except for an occasional tightness in his chest right before he gets sick. The food simply comes back up. If he gets sick and then waits about 30-60 minutes, he can eat ice cream....nothing else. Everything I have read says ice cream is bad...too much fat, but it never makes him sick. There have been several episodes when he has kept down only ice cream and Ensured for 4-5 days. Eventually, for reasons we cannot identify, he will be able to keep something else down and then he will often go days without getting sick, then it comes back. We are baffled!

       

      I'm sorry to go on and on but I am hoping that someone who has had similar symptoms will be able to shed some light on what is going on. Thanks for your help!

    • Anonymous
      wacey2002
      May. 19, 2010

      beleive it or not i go through the same thing he does and you know what just like me, it was in my head. dont get me wrong, it is still acid reflux but he has to occupy his eating with another thing like talking to you for a while and taking 1 or 2 bites and talking some more, and if that works, right after dinner go on a walk.  I suffer from anxiety and...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      beleive it or not i go through the same thing he does and you know what just like me, it was in my head. dont get me wrong, it is still acid reflux but he has to occupy his eating with another thing like talking to you for a while and taking 1 or 2 bites and talking some more, and if that works, right after dinner go on a walk.  I suffer from anxiety and trust me if it can work for me, it can work for him. i know personally what it is like for him. tell him to be headstrong, he can do this.

       

    • prettyjuls
      Jul. 27, 2010

      I drink boost. It always goes down and I have no problem with it.  I think coffee may be very bad for him.. caffeine is bad. I have chest problems sometimes but it is from me not burping. I have developed that problem with this. There is a way to make me burp (will explain if you need me to) and it releases the pressure. I have started taking cayenne...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I drink boost. It always goes down and I have no problem with it.  I think coffee may be very bad for him.. caffeine is bad. I have chest problems sometimes but it is from me not burping. I have developed that problem with this. There is a way to make me burp (will explain if you need me to) and it releases the pressure. I have started taking cayenne pepper pills. It is suppose to help so I am trying...  Does he use the bathroom regularly? I am thinking this has something to do with all our condition. I am keeping a journal and I want to figure this out....  I just started taking lexapro.. It is stated that this condition has alot to do with stress, as well...

      I hope I have helped in some way....

      Let me know... I feel your pain...