Monday, January 24, 2011

More on GERD

I've been trying to figure out why my prescription medications for GERD (reflux) stop working after a week or two. Could it be the herbal teas I drink o some food? I'm allergic to regular tea (both black and green) and coffee contributes to heartburn, so I drink mild herb teas. Only a few kinds actually, because many herb teas give me heartburn too.

I read that St. John's Wort might interact with Nexium, so that could have been why the Nexium stopped working for me. But even the experts don't seem sure about whether it really does or not!

What's definite is that St. John's Wort is a strong herb and can cause problems with some medicines. Read about interactions with both herbs and foods here. (The food list contains some surprises, so everyone on prescriptions should be familiar with it.)

I really like the taste of St. Johns Wort tea but I've given it up for now. The only herbal tea I've been able to drink lately has been Burdock Root tea. It's very mild and unfortunately has very little taste. But at least it doesn't seem to contribute to heartburn or nausea.

Meanwhile I've got a new prescription to pick up. This is the fourth one I've tried for GERD. They all make me feel worse than I did before I was diagnosed with GERD! I'm only getting one week's supply this time because wasted prescriptions are costing me a fortune!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

PPI Blues

Two months ago I was diagnosed with GERD. It was a surprise to me but it showed up as irritation to the esophagus when I had an endoscopy.

The doctor gave me samples of Nexium. For about three weeks it worked well. I was able to eat a small amount of spicy food without a problem. (Okay, I had a problem with spicy food for a long time, but I didn't think of it as reflux disorder; I just figured I was sensitive to certain spices.)

Then the Nexium stopped working. I started getting nauseous after almost every meal, even non-spicy low-fat meals. So the doctor prescribed Omeprazole, another proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

It worked for a while but then I started getting nauseous again. Funny thing is I felt worse than before I even had the endoscopy! I called the doctor and he said to increase the dose.

That gave me side-effects: constipation and a sore throat. So they changed my prescription to Prevacid. Again, it worked at first. But it stopped and now I'm suffering with nausea and chest pain. Old-fashioned antacids like baking soda help some. But I wish I had never started on the PPI's!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

You Can't See Chronic Pain

I came across a couple of websites of interest to people with "invisible" disabilities. One is the Invisible Disabilities Association. The other is But You Don't Look Sick. Thanks to this blog for the links.

Dogs Can Smell Gluten

USA Today spotlights a hardworking gluten-detection service dog.

I don't suppose my dog could do that... it would be useful. But my problem with hidden wheat is in restaurant food, and I can't imagine taking my dog into restaurants.

Obviously gluten has a distinct odor that dogs can detect. Why can't someone develop an instrument that detects it? Of course, if this were practical, the customs service would have instruments to detect all kinds of contraband. Dogs are awesome!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Are You Consuming Too Much Fluoride?

You probably saw the news: the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is proposing a lowered limit on the amount of fluoride in drinking water because excessive fluoride is causing spots on the teeth of many children. Did you also see the story about fluoride in tea?

A study presented at the 2010 International Association of Dental Research Conference in Spain reported that people who drink too much tea risk their bone health. You can safely drink two to four cups of tea a day, but keep in mind that fluoride can also me found in water and toothpaste so it adds up.

Read the article here.