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Severe heartburn, and gallstones!

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I started having severe heartburn for 2 weeks. It got so bad, I ended up in the E.R where they did an ultrasound and found I have lots of gallstones. I also had an endoscopy done, and they found the lining of my stomach was inflamed and red. They said they don't know why my stomach is inflamed? I am now under the care of a doctor who will be taking the gallbladder out. But...they won't take the gallbladder out until my stomach is better. I am on carafate and prilosec and pain meds. The first few days of carafate seemed to help, but now my heartburn is still bad. I eat a very mild diet, staying away from anything acidic or high in fat. Does anyone else suffer from this kind of severe heartburn? What can I do for it?
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replied April 21st, 2012
Welcome to e health forum. ‎

Gastritis pain occurs in the left upper portion of the abdomen and in the back. The pain seems to travel ‎‎‎‎‎from the belly to the back. Other symptoms of gastritis include - Belching, Nausea and vomiting, ‎‎‎‎‎Bloating, Feeling of fullness or burning in the upper part of the belly. ‎

When the pain increases with food, and causes difficulty to eat and is not helped by regular ‎medications, then possibility of ulceration of the gastric or duodenal mucosa and / or chronic H Pylori ‎infection needs to be suspected. ‎

You should consult with a gastroenterologist, who if needed can order barium swallow and / or ‎‎endoscopy which may help to make the proper diagnosis and provide specific treatment. ‎

For the time being, you may need to avoid foods that are spicy and with high fat content. Avoid foods ‎‎like - puddings, breads, bagels and pretzels are usually made with white flour and refined sugar ‎; ‎‎‎vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, all kinds of beans and legumes, full fat milk, onions and green ‎‎‎peas should be avoided. ‎Cured meats and high fat meat products such as sausages, salami, ham, ‎‎bacon, and Red meats like beef and lamb‎ should be reduced in consumption or avoided totally. ‎

Juicy fruits such as pears, oranges, sweet limes, watermelons, cantaloupes etc help a lot to control the ‎‎‎symptoms. ‎

Eat at regular times each day. Divide your food into six small meals unless you have trouble ‎getting ‎enough to eat. Eating too often can increase the acid in your stomach. ‎
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Choose low fat or fat-free dairy foods whenever possible. This will also help control stomach acid ‎‎production. ‎
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I hope this helps.‎


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replied May 16th, 2012
Well...I had my gallbladder removed 11 days ago. Still have heartburn like crazy. I have stayed away from caffeine, fat foods, etc. Eating barely anything, and when I do it's bland like brown rice. I feel horrible Sad My doctor put my on prevacid and pepcid, and is referring me to a gastrologist. Hopefully I can be seen soon!
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replied May 17th, 2012
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This is why they wanted to get rid of the heartburn and gastritis before they removed the gallbladder. Many people have gallstones without symptoms and many people have heartburn and gastritis without having gallstones. When they said they didn't know why the stomach was inflamed, most likely they just didn't find H. pylori which is a command and easily treatable cause. Sometimes the heartburn and gastritis may be the result of gallbladder problems such as bile reflux or just general inability to eat a sensible diet with gallstones.

So you may have had surgery for no good reason and you're still sick. Keep with the pills and tests and see if you can cure it or narrow down to a particular cause. PPIs are typically taken for a minimum of a month and sometimes for several months to "cure" gastritis. For that time you are quite likely to have indigestion as a side-effect and might not feel much better until you stop with the pills.
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