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Waking up choking on acid

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My acid reflux (& possible bile reflux) is getting worse and worse. I have been taking various types of acid blocker meds, which seemed to help for a while but not so much any more. I have changed my diet and eating habits extremely. I eat dinner no later than 5 PM and have nothing else to eat before bed. I eat much more veggies and much less meats and fats. Sometimes I only have a cup of green tea between dinner and bedtime but I still wake up soon after falling asleep with severe burning in my throat and the need to burp. Sometimes the acid burns my throat so bad and it tastes so bad in my mouth. There are times I think it even gets in my wind pipe because I cough and choke and can't catch my breath. It's really starting to interfere with my quality of sleep and it's extremly frustrating. Can anyone give me any advice that may help?
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First Helper Hypochlorhydria
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replied September 17th, 2010
Hi, and thanks for your medical question on eHealth forum!

First of all do not remain empty stomach after 5 pm. Take a late night snack. Munch something in between.

Treatment is a combination of drugs to reduce the acid and lifestyle changes. You will need to take a combination of medications (under medical supervision) like a proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole, lansoprazole or pantoprazole empty stomach in the morning and an antacid gel after meals for complete relief.

Possibility of H pylori infection too should be looked into by a carbon urea breath test and a combination antibiotic tried. Many a times a persisting H pylori infection can be the cause behind acidity not responding to treatment.

Life style changes that will help include: Avoid heavy meals and eat frequent small meals. Avoid too much of caffeine, tea, smoking, fried food and drinks both alcoholic and non alcoholic fuzzy ones. Avoid heavy exercises within 4 hours of a heavy meal. Raise the head end of the bed by pillows to 30 degrees. Avoid lying down for least 2 hours after food. Maybe these tips will help you.

You should consult a gastroenterologist (a specialist who looks after the diseases of our digestive system) or a physician for this if these tips reduce your symptoms. You may need upper GI endoscopy for confirmation and to know the degree of damage. Hope this helps. Take care!
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replied September 23rd, 2010
hi blondelenoer. One of the most misdiagnosed conditions in this country is reflux. Many doctors assume that a person with reflux is over producing hydrochloric acid, when in fact; many people are not producing enough HCL. The symptoms associated with esophageal reflux are virtually identical in patients that are over producing acid or under producing acid. The over production of acid by the parietal cells is called Hyperchlorhydria, the under production acid is called Hypochlorhydria. Both conditions will cause belching, bloating, reflux, gas, abdominal pain, irregular stools, diarrhea, and constipation. Many people assume they are over producing acid because the gastric fluids from the stomach are extremely bitter. Unfortunately many doctors are prescribing acid reducing medications or PPIs without the benefit of a pH Diagnostic test. When a person that is not producing enough acid, starts taking acid reducing medication, they will become Achlorhydric, and set the stage for bacterial, fungal, parasitic infections, and many other serious ailments. Achlorhydria is also one of the most prominent disorders that AIDS patients have in the final stages of the disease. Hydrochloric acid is essential in the sterilization, and conversion process in the stomach. The hydrochloric acid breaks down the nutrients consumed into a thick liquidly mass called chyme. The conversion process is accomplished by the peptic enzymes. The peptic enzymes are most active in the conversion process when the stomach pH is at 1.0 to 2.0 pH. As the strength of the acid starts to decline the peptic enzymes become less active. When the pH of the stomach is at 5.0 pH the peptic enzymes are completely inactive in converting proteins. Pepsin converts proteins into proteoses and peptones which are the building blocks for the amino acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of life. Acid reducing medications should only be taken on a short term basis to allow healing of damaged tissue, long term use can cause serious problems. I would highly recommend that you get a pH diagnostic test or gastro-gram. Search the net under Heidelberg pH capsule, or pH capsule, there is a lot of good information that will help you resolve your problem.
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replied June 16th, 2011
Very interesting, so do people have reflux or not, are there individuals that produce to much acid or not?
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replied August 29th, 2013
What an in depth and very interesting reply. I found this extremely helpful.
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replied June 16th, 2011
2netta, dental appliances, I stopped giving them to patients. I have noticed, sleep Apnea is the result of a very long soft palate which needs to be shortened by a skilled Surgeon, or its caused by blocked nostrils due to constant congestion from tne non allergic type. Then there are those, who's Jaws gets so relaxed, that it will open up while sleeping amd air will go through the mouth too causing unwanted noise. So clear nostrils, short soft palate, closed mouth, including other things. Diviated septum, that one I don't know, I had it done, didn't do much.
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replied October 11th, 2011
wake up choking
I have encountered being woken up in a panic with my throat blocked and unable to breathe. IT take three or four times of hard forced coughs to begin breathing. It is very scary as if I don't clear the airway, I will end up choking to death. Does anyone have any experience and/or knowledge about my condition?
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replied March 6th, 2012
Jms980 I have the exact same thing happen to me. Your right, it is very scary. I notice it mostly after real spicy foods or orange juice and it only happens at night after I fall to sleep.
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replied May 5th, 2013
The chocking at night happens to me I wake up gasping for hair with a metal taste in my mouth, anything I eat feels to hard to swallow and my stomach hurts and I get loose stools. Obviously, this is not normal but all the dr does is give me anti acids. I had a sleep apnea test it was negative. So I'm trying to figure out what I have???
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replied May 5th, 2013
Experienced User
What you are describing is reflux. The antacids your doctor prescribed will ensure what refluxes is less likely to corrode and damage your esophagus.

To manage the reflux, lifestyle changes may need to be made as follows:

- Lose weight if applicable
- Stop smoking if applicable
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Avoid tight clothing
- Avoid bending or any exercise that will compress the stomach after eating
- Eat smaller portions - more frequently
- Leave at least three hours before your last meal and going to bed
- Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches on blocks

Hope that helps

Chris
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replied May 5th, 2013
I've done all that and nothing helps now I have blisters on the roof of my mouth and every time I eat my stomach hurts and I get diarreah
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replied February 23rd, 2014
I have same symtoms. Have you had diagnosis? I have not been tested for sleep apnea, yet.
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replied May 7th, 2013
I have been getting this reflux more and more often now. I tried diet change and elevating the head of the bed but it is not working.
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replied January 3rd, 2014
Waking up choking again
Good night, I just woke up in a panic because I could not breathe since my airway was block. This is the second time. I also have difficulty digesting white flour (breads). Could this be an acid reflux issue? If so should I see a specialist?
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replied March 4th, 2014
I have had acid reflux problem for few years now and every time I used to get it I would eat a bunch of pills just to get rid of it for the time. But I have realized I was not curing it for good, untill I had a severe throat infection and fatigue due to the acid reflux. After lot of research online I realized that acid reflux is really a problem due to the way we live our life, what we eat etc. Our daily activities impact a lot on our stomach and our neural system, which are the two main components for a healthy body and taking care of them is very important. I have ran into this author online who precisely teachs how to do this. Please try yourself and see the change, believe me it works.



BL
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replied April 21st, 2014
waking up choking on stomah acid
I wake up choking and coughing up bad burning stuff and its scary I take protonix twicen a day already what more can I do? Please help and I just had disc fusion on my neck thru the front its been like 6 weeks ago
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replied April 21st, 2014
Experienced User
Nighttime reflux is when stomach contents reflux when you are in the prone position. Typically it aspirates into your lungs producing excess mucus.

Even if you neutralize the acid, Non-Erosive Reflux can still provide these unpleasant symptoms.

Try these pointers to reduce night time reflux:

- Lose weight if applicable
- Stop smoking if applicable
- Reduce alcohol consumption
- Avoid tight clothing
- Avoid bending or any exercise that will compress the stomach after eating
- Eat smaller portions - more frequently
- Leave at least three hours before your last meal and going to bed
- Raise the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches on blocks

If you are unable to master the reflux, the alternative option is a fundoplication.
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replied April 22nd, 2014
All these people have been following the doctor orders and are they cured no. They are on drugs for the rest of their lives. Stop doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Acid reflux should be call not enough acid reflux.
Hypochlorhydria thread explained it very well.
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replied April 23rd, 2014
Experienced User
If there is burning it's from acid not lack of it.
Acid suppressant drugs produce a state of hypochlorhydria intentionally so it is important to prescribe just sufficient to manage.

Acid in the stomach will start to dissolve out the essential elements from the food to be absorbed in the duodenum and intestinal tract. Some material does not break up with acid requiring the bile that is normally released into the duodenum by the gall bladder.
In some cases, bile is permitted to reflux from the duodenum into the stomach back through the pyloric sphincter to assist in the breaking down of that material (e.g. meat) before it reaches the duodenum.

If that acid and bile refluxes into the esophagus, firstly the acid will scour the mucus away and burn the lining of the esophagus inflaming it - heartburn and esophagitis. Then the bile can start to work breaking down the flesh of the esophagus itself.
To defend itself the cells that line the esophagus will change: columnar cells which present a smaller face to the bile. This is what we call Barrett's Esophagus. It is a permanent change which may progress to cancer of the esophagus.

But to produce Barrett's Esophagus, both bile and acid are needed. If it's not possible to stop the reflux, we must stop the acid and/or bile. Acid suppressant medication stops the acid. Q.E.D.
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replied April 23rd, 2014
The valve at the top of the stomach closes when the acid reaches the right strength and if it is weak the valve at the top of the stomach stays open and you get reflux.
It is funny that the naturophath doctors know this but orthodox doctors don't that's why the naturophath are successful and orthodox not
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replied April 23rd, 2014
Experienced User
So "orthodox doctors" (who have trained for a minimum of 9 years) don't understand the workings of the human body but anyone who decides to self style themselves as a naturopath does? I know who I'd prefer to trust if I were likely to develop cancer!

So what are the statistsics for naturopaths curing esophageal cancer?

And what is your theory as to how Barrett's develops?
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