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Constant acid reflux - confusing list of symptoms

A little background information:

(Before anyone says things about posting in the wrong section, read the whole thing please!)

20 year old male, no alcohol intake, about 150lbs. and 5' 11"

About one week ago today, I was on a vacation trip with my family. I woke up and felt unusually thirsty, and thought I was just dehydrated. So I drank plenty of water and other liquids - I thought this was normal and just because my routine was out of whack. Lunch time came around, and I was still thirsty. Thought this was a little weird, but I wasn't too concerned. The next day, I realized that I STILL felt thirsty (dry mouth, etc) and began to worry a little bit. When we returned, I went to the acute care clinic, where they did blood work, as they had suspected things like diabetes. The blood results came back, and everything looked "excellent" according to the doctor. I did receive a copy of my blood work - everything indeed is within the normal ranges.

I went home, and just put up with it thinking that it would pass soon. The next few days, my dry mouth started to slowly improve, but I started noticing that my eyes were a little dry. This continued for about a day. The next few days consisted of a combination of these two symptoms, dry eye and mouth.

About the second or third day after I had returned from my trip (must have been Tuesday or Wednesday) I began to have acid constantly in my throat. It didn't burn a whole lot, although it does sometimes. It just feels like there's stuff in my esophagus. Sometimes I'll get a lump just below my adam's apple that will come and go. Drinking liquids doesn't seem to help much. I decided to go to my allergist as a place to start. I explained all of my symptoms, including the acid reflux. He prescribed me Prilosec 40mg per day, and Allegra-D for my seasonal allergies. I've been on the Prilosec for about three or four days now, and it does not seem to have an effect at all. I also stopped taking the Allegra-D for now, because I thought it might have been contributing to some of my symptoms.

Basically, I feel the same - regardless of what medications I take or do not take. The acid reflux is by far the most bothersome symptom right now. The past couple days, I've woken up around 4 or 5am with a severely dried up mouth and throat, acid all the way up my esophagus, and some nausea. I'm also a little bit warm when this happens. By drinking some water and sitting up, I can get the nausea to go away. Basically, I can make myself feel the same as I do during the day. This takes about 45 min before I feel okay again. My voice is a little hoarse, and my throat is a little irritated - lymph nodes on the side of my neck are swelling a little bit... randomly, of course. I assume this is due to the irritation caused by the acid.

I'm very confused as to what could be causing all of these symptoms. I felt fine before the trip, and now it's just like everything is going haywire. My allergiest suggested that I may have contracted some kind of virus, and that it should go away on its own. However, I'm skeptical. Everything I search for on the internet points me to a disease called Sjogren's Syndrome - an autoimmune disease that can be triggered by a variety of things, and attacks the moisture-producing glands such as the tear ducts and the salivary glands. Maybe this is it? The doctor I first saw that ran blood work mentioned this, but didn't seem to think it was likely.

I did notice that I do feel a little plugged up in my intestines, but I don't think I'm constipated. I'm still having a BM every day or twice a day. My stool is harder than usual though, and it seems to sink to the bottom really fast (sorry for the detail) Could I be constipated and still have a BM? Could this cause acid reflux?

Are these symptoms all connected? I want to think that they are, but maybe I need to treat each one symptomatically - I really don't know what to do. My throat feels very dry at this moment, and my mouth and eyes are a little dry too.

Any advice is really appreciated, as I am starting to feel crazy freaking myself out over all of these things...

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replied July 2nd, 2012
Experienced User

I am interested in possible connection between Acid reflux and Sjogren's but haven't been able to find any research that's been done on a link. If you hear of anything, let me know.

In the last couple of years I've started to get very dry eyes and nasal passages. My mouth is constantly dry but years of acid reflux have meant I have become accustomed to not drinking much - and I kind of got used to it.

Doctor did a blood test for Sjogren's though it came back normal. (It's not a reliable test - that's better done with a lip biopsy). He said it probably wasn't (though I'm not sure) because it's rare for men to have it.

In your case it would be consistent with the bowel movement you describe where most of the nutrient has been removed from the excretia.

However, acid reflux is something I've become a bit of an expert on.
The feeling of a lump in the throat is a common symptom (globus pharyngeus) as is hoarseness as acid can attack the voice box.

To reduce night time reflux, don't eat for at least three hours before retiring and try raisng the head of your bed 6 to 8 inches on blocks.

I had a fundoplication operation three years ago to cure the reflux I had had for at least 20 years - but I remember well having to sit up for a couple of hours in the middle of the night.

All the best

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replied August 15th, 2012
hi just read your post, i had the nissens operation the first one was in 2007 wich was not a success, the second one was 2011 at a different hospital, although the operation stopped the violent sickness i still get stomach acid it does not come up the oesophagus but it is still very uncomfortable, i take lansoprazole every day but the symptons still persist, my gp says i will always have a acidy stomach if you can recomend anything i would be grateful, thanks.
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