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Post surgery late acid reflux

bmw71
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2019

Hello to all,

 

This board helped a lot early on in my husband's esophageal cancer journey. He is 6 years out from chemo, radiation and Ivor Lewis surgery at Mayo Clinic and has "graduated" out of the cancer department.  The past year, he has started to get bad acid reflux in the middle of the night, even almost wake up time....long after eating. He has done all the things they told him to do such as eating small meals, not eating or drinking for at least a few hours prior to going to bed, sleeps on a wedge pillow with head propped up.  Why is he getting this issue long after his food should be out of his stomach?  He also has nasal issues at the same time and has to blow his nose a lot.  Since he has graduated, I am thinking he now heeds to go see a gastroenterologist versus his cancer doctor.  Any thoughts?

Beth

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1346
Joined: Apr 2010

Hi Beth,

Unfortunately the 2 or 3 AM "acid attack" is fairly common for those of us who have had an esophagectomy. It is probably bile rather than acid. When the stomaphagus is empty bile has an opportunity to work it's way up and cause burning and nasal issues. I used to have this issue often, then at the suggestion of another survivor I started chewing a Gaviscon every night before going to bed. Since then; no more middle of the night "acid" events. Since I also take a PPI (omeprozole) I checked with my gastroenterologst and he is fine with the Gaviscon.  

Gaviscon is a bit different than many antacids as it creates a layer over the top of the stomaphagus contents and holds them from moving up into the reminant of the esophagus.

Best Regards,

Paul

bmw71
Posts: 2
Joined: Mar 2019

Thanks Paul! We will try this. He does not take a PPI. So opposed to prescription meds, unfortunately.

Deathorglory's picture
Deathorglory
Posts: 309
Joined: Jul 2013

Hello Beth,

I had my esophajectomy in 2008 and still have reflux problems.  I take reglan, which is supposed to help push the stomach contents on to their next stop.  I take protonix 2x a day (Geastroenterologist had to get into a fight with insurance to get them to pay for more than 1x a day).  I sleep on a wedge pillow.  I try not to eat/drink anything for a couple of hours before bed.  Still, I woke up and threw up last night.  It's about 50% of the time that I vomit.  It sucks, but I just view it as part of the price I have to pay for being alive.  My nose has been running since 2012, when I stopped folfox.  And when I say running, I mean just dripping/pouring out.  No doctor has had a suggestion for that.  Oh well, I'm still here to complain about it all, so that means I'm winning.

Best Wishes,

Ed

Lee Christensen's picture
Lee Christensen
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2010

I too take reglan and a protonix, may I  ask what time of day you take your reglan. I too have the nausea problem early in the morning, and it is vile. Paul says it from a empty stomach, but I take reglan before bedtime to help move things along, I wonder if that helps in the reflux problem, I have my last meal between 4pm-5pm.

Deathorglory's picture
Deathorglory
Posts: 309
Joined: Jul 2013

Hello Lee,

I take two pills of Reglan twice a day.  The 1st dose is about an hour before dinner, to hopefully make some room for it.  The 2nd dose is about an hour before bed, to hopefully clear things out of my stomach so I can sleep without reflux/vomiting.  I also eat dinner as early as I can, usually between 4:00 and 5:00.  I also take the protonix twice a day to try to help with reflux.  The combined results of everything are mixed.  I still wake up to vomit about 50% of the time.  But the good news is that throwing up usually relieves the reflux and I can then go back to sleep.  

I don't know if any of this is useful information for you, but it's what I can offer.  I hope your results are better than mine.

Best Wishes,

Ed

Lee Christensen's picture
Lee Christensen
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2010

Ed, Thank You, sounds pretty much like my regiment that I do. But my vomiting is speratic, usually between 4-6 am. And usually is quite hard, and takes alot out of me. The burning sensation in my throat usually lasts a few hours, so going back to sleep is out of the question. Again, Thanks

Lee Christensen's picture
Lee Christensen
Posts: 47
Joined: Nov 2010

Thanks for the info Paul, I also have the bile problem. Will try the Gaviscon, Thanks

paul61's picture
paul61
Posts: 1346
Joined: Apr 2010

Lee,

If you do end up having bile reflux one of the things that is hard to get rid of is the burning and bitter taste afterward. Many people find that drinking some pickle juice after the reflux helps get rid of the burning and vile taste. I know it sounds a bit strange but it does work.

Paul

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