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Thread: Reflux?

  1. #1
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    Reflux?

    Over the past week or so mum has started being slightly sick after she eats or drinks anything. Without being too graphic, she seems to burp and bring up a mouthful of sick and sometimes is retching. She is on anti-sickness medication but still this keeps happening. It is a bit like reflux in a baby.
    The nurse I saw last night mentioned it and said they are keeping an eye on it

    Just wondered whether anyone has experienced anything similar?

    She had been refusing food but has started eating again but this reflux/sickness thing is upsetting her and I wonder if it was part of the reason she was avoiding eating.

    Could it be the start of swallowing difficulty?
    Obviously a big concern is that she may aspirate some vomit which could cause major problems.

    Just as we overcome one hurdle we are faced with another
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  2. #2
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    I wonder if she hasn't been eating properly for a while whether it is one of two things perhaps. 1. That her stomach has shrunk a lot and so when she does eat the food is going down on to a vacuum of air because the stomach is empty. This can have the result of reflux happening as the food moves the air around in the stomach and it has to have somewhere to go. 2. Could it also be partly to do with some of the food that she is now eating being too rich for her and it is causing acid reflux?

    Is your mum lying down a lot? Could it be that she needs to sit more upright until the food has had a chance to be digested better?

    I seem to remember years ago, my grandfather's doctor recommending a pinch of bicarb in cold drinks to help with his problems and even better - pinch of andrews liver salts. This has the effect of dealing with both 1 and 2 above.

    Fiona
     

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    Hi fiona thanks for the reply
    The problem seems to be whenever she has anything, even water comes back up almost instantly.
    She will only lie down to sleep, the rest of the time she is upright in a chair or until the past few days she was wandering around whenever possible.
    They have tried giving her antacid type meds but they don't make much difference.

    Will see how it is tomorrow when I visit.

    Karen x
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  4. #4
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    Kazza, I don’t normally make any stab at trying to help with anything remotely medical!!!! But with a hubby who has reflux problems (thanks to major surgery for upper GI cancer, nothing to do with dementia) and my mother previously for other reasons, I don’t know where either would have been without Omeprazole being prescribed.

    Of course, I don’t which type of antacid meds mum is being tried with (I know hubby now can’t have over the counter Gaviscon type products combined with Omeprazole – but his doc does occasionally prescribe upping the 'Ome' dose temporarily until things settle again).

    I know it’s wonderful your mum has managed to eat, but as only an example in my hubby’s case – it’s strictly ‘no’ to anything fatty/fried, highly spiced, fruit juices, wine () to keep reflux problems under control. (But with the meds can get away with a few treats and cheats! ) It isn’t necessarily the rich food at the time which triggers the problem – my understanding is drugs like Omeprazole prescribed and taken regularly work deeper down the digestive tract than the ‘average’ antacid/indigestion remedies. I’m probably totally wrong on that, but thought I’d throw in my experiences anyway.

    I’d be asking the GP to review things straightaway, personally. There could be so many reasons – some perhaps easily remedied. How horrid mum has just got some appetite back to be set back by this? Hope it's soon sorted,

    Love, Karen, x
     

  5. #5
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    Karen

    I am on Omeprazole too and just wanted to point out that it isn't an antacid like gaviscon is. With gaviscon it works by neutralising the acid and giving relief from the heartburn sensation that people get.

    Omeprazole works in a different way. It is what is called a Proton Pump inhibitor or and Acid-inhibitor. So it works on the basis that it stops acid being produced in the stomach and intestines, rather than just neutralising it. I am on mine because I have ankylosing spondylitis and there is high risk of stomach problems due to the high doses of anti-inflamatories that i have to take. So, it stops acid being produced for me and therefore protects the lining of the stomach from bleeding or developing ulcers etc. Like your husband, sometimes they just don't work (didn't help that one time I got a batch where the capsules were empty LOLOL) and I have to up the dose for a couple of days until it settles down again.

    It could be if the hospital are only providing conventional antacids to the other Karen's mum that Omeprazole might be something to suggest/consider.

    Fiona
     

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    Thanks ladies! Wil ask this evening what meds mum is getting. When I was pregnant I suffered terribly with heartburn and was eventually prescribed Ranitidine which made a huge difference, my sister had the same problem and she was given Omeprazole which helped a lot. I'll see what mum is being given and ask if they can change it. I know how miserable I felt with heartburn so I'd hate to think mum was feeling like that and unable to tell anyone.

    Karen x
    Life is an ocean and love is a boat
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  7. #7
    Omezaprazole, - can never spell or even say it lol, i imagine would do the job, but you need to give a few doses before you will see any reaction or change. Mother here has been on them for many years. She was put on Lanzaprazole, which her body rejected causing her major illness, and even the doctors thought her body was closing down !!!!

    Mother has another tablet which helps apparently digestion of food and is called Domperidon, not the champagne lol. You should ask about that as well. That is given before she eats about 10 minutes to activate - this may also be alternative, but she has this along with the Omezaprazole.

    Take care.

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  8. #8
    My mum burps a lot too and sometimes feels nauseous after eating tiny amounts. I've put it down to general weakness of digestive systems to cope with food any more... but this thread has made me think again. The only difference is that my mum is prone in bed 24/7.

    Good luck - hope you find something that helps xx
    piedwarbler


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  9. #9
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    It could be caused wither by excess acid being there in the first place, in which case something like Lanzoprazole or Omeprazole should work - as has been said, these work by inhibiting the production of stomach acid, so there is simply less of it there. over the counter antacids chemically neutralise excess acid. The former are usually much more effective for chronic problems, the latter are simply for occasional use with indigestion. Normally first onset of excess acid symptoms is investigated, in persons over 40 before Ome/Lanzo is started because these drugs can mask the symptoms of serious illnesses, notably cancer (although this is almost always accompanied by other warning signs as well, for example, weight loss)

    Alternatively, there could simply be a mechanical problem. Many people get acid reflux because the esophageal sphincter becomes weakened - this is a sort of muscular 'valve' that sits between the food-pipe and stomach, and it is normally only one way. It essentially keeps food in the stomach, preventing contents (inlcuding acid) from flowing back up the food pipe. Occasionally wind will force contents past it (that awful 'acid belch') and, of course, it is forced open during vomitting. In some people the muscles become weak, leading to reflux - this is called GERD and it is surprisingly common.
     

  10. #10
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    Thanks for all the information!
    Mum has lost a lot of weight - steadily over the last couple of years but significantly over recent months. I'm not sure what her current weight is but I know the nurses are monitoring it closely as it is a concern.

    Tonight there are likely to be a few unfamiliar staff as one of the unit nurses has her 50th birthday this weekend and a group of the regular staff are all taking her to Blackpool for a weekend celebration - fancy dress has been mentioned so I've said I want to see the photographs! They are such amazing people, I really don't know how they can do their job but many of them have been doing it for more than 30 years!! In my eyes they are saints! And they all seem to love the job, always smiling and joking but showing amazing care and compassion
    Life is an ocean and love is a boat
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  11. #11
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    Having reread your post, another possibility is that your mum is having trouble swallowing, which is setting off the gag/choke reflex.

    If you gag severely enough, you can regurgitate as it sets off muscular spasms all the way down the food-pipe.

    I have a terribly sensitive gag reflex, thankfuly getting less over the years, sometimes just brushing my teeth was enough to make me gag so hard I;d get a mouthful of acid. It made going to the dentist impossible.

    It's good that this is being kept watch on though. A combination of indigestion/acid symptoms combined with weightloss is troubling.

    Particularly if it's unexplained weightloss. However, from what you say, mum is losing weight because she is simply eating less due to this problem.
     

  12. #12
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    Spoke to the nurses last night.
    They are going to adjust the anti-sickness medication timings to see if that helps. They are keeping a careful eye in case it is a swallowing issue in which case they will contact SALT for an assessment.
    Mum's weight is now 7st 5lb (for most of her adult life she was about 11st+ although I think she was about 9 stone before going into hospital). Her BMI is under 18
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    Hi
    This problem rings bells with me, Dad has suffered another set back with his Alzheimers possibly starting three weeks ago with a UTI. He had the same in January and was hospitalized then after a fall. But after each episode was left with this 'reflux' problem and burping. He has been prescribed Gaviscon each time which helped but did take a couple of weeks. He also suffered both times with mouth thrush which he was unaware of. It was only the doc that discovered it, bright red inside mouth and white patches, not nice and made food unpalatable I should think. Some of this was caused by him not taking out his false teeth at night so therefore they did not get cleaned for some time!
    Hope things improve soon, some things take a while to clear.
     

  14. #14
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    Sorry, don't want to give you another problem but I have just read your thread and you have just described exactly how my Mum was 2 years ago, I took her straight down to the doctors who made an appointment at the hospital straight away, my Mum and I sat in A&E for 5 hours, she had an endoscopy no sedation, where a prawn was removed from very deep down inside her,she had breathed in and swallowed it the wrong way,she didn't realise due to the Alz's, she had been like this for 4 days, reflux, drinking small amounts of water, not eating, she was living on her own at this time, I didn't know until I saw her sip some water.Maybe this is worth checking out with your doctor. Don't mean to worry you but you never know! My best wishes Rose.
     

  15. #15
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    I would suspect that if the condition doesn't improve then an endoscopy will be performed.

    It is normal practise for this to be done under sedation - the patient is not asleep, but given powerful tranquilising drugs so that they are very relaxed but able to follow instructions. The drugs also make time seem to pass very quickly, and there is usually no memory of the procedure once they wear off. Sedation may not be given in an emergency, or where the patient has other conditions render it inappropriate for example, breathing difficulties. It is sometimes necessary to request sedation. In the case of dementia, it would be wise to ensure that the hospital is aware of this and the necessity of sedation well in advance.

    I have found that specialist referrals are often not aware of the more general medical background, particularly where conditions are not "physically relevant" (eg a neurologist happily sent my mum off for CT scans without knowing she was claustrophobic!)
     

 

 

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