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Hiatus Hernia - Help

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Greedyfly | 19:13 Mon 06th Jan 2014 | Body & Soul
23 Answers
This is long, please forgive me.

For about a year I was treated for what we thought was an ulcer. Symptoms never improved so I had a Gastroscopy which proved I had a Hiatus Hernia, the doctor who did the test advised surgery to be the best course of action if medication wasn't helping.

My GP changed my meds and for around a year has been struggling to get my symptoms under control, I'm currently taking 120mgs Omeprazole and 40mgs Rinitidine. My GP refered me to see a Gastro and I saw her about 3 months ago. She advised that surgery would likely never happen and referred me to have a PH Manometry test. I went for test and was advised by the nurse that due to my high dosage of Omeprazole that the test would likely be waste of time regardless of stopping the meds 7 days before as instructed.

Recently I have developed an increase in symptoms and a dry thickly very irritating cough. Went back to GP who prescribed anti-biotics despite saying I had lovely clear breath sounds. My results have come back from the PH test and they were negative (low acid) as expected. My GP is at her wits end trying to treat me and us very sympathetic of the problems I'm having. I am currently awaiting another appointment with the Gastro.

Current symptoms:

Cough, mostly on an evening
Constant throat clearing
Chest pain (sometimes so severe I consider A&E)
Shortness of breath
Heart palpitations
Stomach pain after eating
Sore throat (from continuous cough and clearing)
Hoarse voice which feels and sounds wrecked as time as gone by
I feel that my stomach and chest is often acidic despite my lack of avid production

I cannot convey just how bad my symptoms are recently and they are driving me insane, the clearing and coughing alone is so frustrating. It affects my work (speaking to colleagues, using the phone etc) and I worry my voice will be ruined forever if it continues. I'm really struggling at the moment and don't know what to do. The Gastro seems unwilling to help, seems to want to keep referring me elsewhere - ENT, IBS nurses etc which I will attend but I feel that every symptom I have is related to my hernia.

Can anyone suggest alternatives fir when I get my appointment to suggest we investigate or look into? I feel two years of misery with this is just too long and I can't cope with it much longer. Id rather go in and be able to suggest what else it could be (regardless of whether the Gastro likes it). Surely if I have tried every drug and are now in the highest does and still having symptoms then there either had to be another diagnosis or surgery is the answer??

I loom forward to your answers and again apologise for the length.


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I loom forward to your answers lol - auto correct gone mad!
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I forgot to add that my diet has changed dramatically due to certain foods making it worse also. I avoid as many things as I can that irritate me.
In a nutshell, ALL the symptoms that you have described can be traced to your hiatus hernia.
Operative intervention is starring you in the face.
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And if the Gastro continues to refuse? She told me that unless the PH test came back high it would not be considered. I can only assume Sqad that the result came back low because I was having a good week (which I was). Also regarding surgery, do you know if they always stomach wrap? It's sounds awful. But obviously necessary if allowed.
ask for a second opinion at gastro. you can see an alternative colleague of the muppet who thinks it is ok for you to go through life with such disabling symptoms. i had a similar situation when i went to my local pain clinic.....they fobbed me off (again!) one day and i completely lost it. i said that i would refuse to move from the office unless they did something, was crying hysterically and threatened to kill myself as i could no longer go on feeling the way that i did. that worked a treat.....but i still have to see the narky consultant every time i go to the pain clinic and i just don't like her. stand your ground and let yourself go the next time you attend gastro - maybe that it the only way you can get your message across to them. when you get your appointment letter, ring them up and ask if there is another doctor you can see as yours sounds positively medieval in their approach to patient care and satisfaction. good luck greedyfly x
Not sure what you mean by "stomach wrap", but the operation as known as Nissen Fundoplication and is usually done laparoscopically, but if technical difficulties arise, then the chest is opened (only by a small incision) and the stomach is pulled back into the abdomen (where it should have been in the first place).

If done laparoscopically it is no big deal as you may well only be in hospital one or 2 nights at most.
if the chest is opened, you may well be in for five days.
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Thanks guys for your answers. It's nice to know I'm not mad and making myself believe that it's all related. I will go see this Gastro again and if I get know here I will refer to another.
believe it or not i took lanzasparol for ages and when I stopped the symptons cleared up. i read the romans used honey to treat this problem and at the time \i was having honey on my porridge so dont know if this did it.
Sounds like you might need surgery but I had all the same symptoms as you- I have a hiatus hernia and have managed to control it by losing weight, halving my portion sizes and doing an elimination diet for several months before gradually reintroducing foods to see what reaction they give me. I am on 40mg Omeprazole a day, have a wedge under my mattress, don't eat late in the evening, avoid alcohol, don't smoke. Carbs seem to make it worse, especially bread and potatoes. Protein and veg are okay. Avoid stress. Little things I know, but I wanted to try everything before the surgical route.
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Well I have recently been back to the Gastro and they are still fixated on it not being caused my reflux and is still suggesting IBS. Which au have no faith in as I have no issues with my bowel and after much googling I cannot attribute all or many of my symptoms to IBS. I gave been really I'll recently with reflux (I truly believe it is). I ended up in A&E recently with extreme pain and after many tests if was suggested it was due to my hernia.

The Gastro has suggested that they will write to a general surgeon to see if they would see me for a consultation but insists that it's unlikely the surgeon will even see me let alone operate on me.

I am so frustrated at feeling so ill all the time and it feels as though no one wants to help. A second opinion is the next option.

Any suggestions I'm at the end of my tether.

only this, if you can go private do so, if you can't afford it, perhaps borrow the money, if that's not possible, how about seeing a completely different doctor, doctors, surely there must be someone who can help.
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I've recently consulted my local private hospital, every surgeon there are from my local NHS hospital. I was informed that again it would be unlikely they would operate. I understand that if that is not the best way forward then that is fine. But there has to be a solution.
suggest you look on line, for a different practice, doctors, hospital, there is no way you should be left like this.
the doctor who did the test and advised surgery, can she/he not be of help?
So sorry to hear this Greedy...My old man had an Hiatus Hernia, he went private and was done and dusted in a few weeks. He's never been better. I don't understand why they wont repair the Hernia ?
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I agree Emmie. Just need someone other than my GP to fight my corner. I'm currently waiting too see an IBS specialist and to go to ENT. It would seem the Gastro believes that all if my upper GI problems are not related to my stomach/chest pain.

I await ENT mostly to see what damage has been caused so far. I will jump through the hoops put in front of me but this all takes time which I feel I just don't have anymore.
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Maizie - every medical professional I have seen before the Gastro has suggested my symptoms are Hernia related and due to my age surgery would be best. But the Gastro seems hellbent on it being IBS and the throat issues are separate.
isn't there some medical governing body you could contact to say how dissatisfied you are and that your doctors are not treating you in the proper manner, that the pain you are suffering is beyond endurance.
i would go private and not at the hospitals where you know the doctors.
You are entitled to seek a second opinion Greedy and I certainly would...Ask your GP to refer you to another specialist. Don't take any nonsense from them, you know you own body.
Personally I have no faith in the medical profession, as far as I am concerned they were responsible for my Mum's death and the maiming of my old man.

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