Reflux with Alzheimer's

JulieP

Registered User
Apr 25, 2015
17
Tamworth
Mum is 88 and has had Alzheimer's for about 5 years. She moved in with us at Christmas 2013 when my step father died. Recently she has started to bring back food about twice a month. This is not vomiting. There is no retching and the food is still recognisable 4 or 5 hours after she swallowed it - no digestion has taken place. I have tried to explain to the doctor who thinks a water infection may have caused the vomiting!:mad: I have also searched the internet and found lots about acid reflux, which is not the same thing.
Please, does anyone else have experience of this and is there anything I can do about it. Mum gets so upset every time it happens, apologising about making a mess, etc.
 

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
8,035
Hi JulieP

Sorry to read of your Mum's retching and vomiting which must be very distressing for her and you.

I have had early onset symptoms for 6 years now and I closely observe my symptoms reflux and severe heartburn included but only at particular times in the cycle of symptoms. When it is bad I try to eat little and often and more easily digestible foods like mashed banana, thick soups or raw veg or fruit smoothie, I don't always remember as I get very :confused: too but am learning that it helps. I often find I need to eat something in the night to help and because I don't want to continually eat chewing gum eases the reflux.

It sounds like your Mum's digestion isn't working at these times if she is bring up whole food, my theory is when my brain goes on a go slow everything else does too so by giving my system something less 'challenging' to deal with helps.

Don't know if any of above helps but hope you find something that does.
Best wishes
Sue:)
 
Last edited:

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,962
Brixham Devon
Hi Julie-welcome to TP.

If I was in your position I would put the food your Mum has bought up, put it in a tissue and take it to the GP's surgery:eek: That way either a Doctor or Nurse will see exactly what is happening to your dear Mum. Perhaps you may then get an explanation.

Take care

Lyn T
 

Sue J

Registered User
Dec 9, 2009
8,035
"There is no retching and the food is still recognisable 4 or 5 hours after she swallowed it - no digestion has taken place."

Have a read through:-
http://patients.gi.org/topics/gastroparesis/#tabs2
Very interesting which is why chewing gum helps as digestion begins in the mouth when the salivary glands are stimulated and aids the process of peristalsi I.e. movement of food through the GI tract. Massaging the stomach and or a heat pad also helps gut motility. Water intake is important too.
 

JulieP

Registered User
Apr 25, 2015
17
Tamworth
Hi JulieP

Sorry to read of your Mum's retching and vomiting which must be very distressing for her and you.

I have had early onset symptoms for 6 years now and I closely observe my symptoms reflux and severe heartburn included but only at particular times in the cycle of symptoms. When it is bad I try to eat little and often and more easily digestible foods like mashed banana, thick soups or raw veg or fruit smoothie, I don't always remember as I get very :confused: too but am learning that it helps. I often find I need to eat something in the night to help and because I don't want to continually eat chewing gum eases the reflux.

It sounds like your Mum's digestion isn't working at these times if she is bring up whole food, my theory is when my brain goes on a go slow everything else does too so by giving my system something less 'challenging' to deal with helps.

Don't know if any of above helps but hope you find something that does.
Best wishes
Sue:)
Hi Sue, Many thanks for all your observations. I am sorry that you are also suffering similar symptoms as I know Mum finds it so distressing, embarrassing and unpleasant, though not, thank goodness, painful. The type of food does not seem to make a difference. As I said the partly chewed pieces of food are often still recognisable hours after eating but last time it was homemade vegetable soup and yogurt, which should have been easy to digest. Sometimes it happens in the car but she has never been car sick and still most journeys are uneventful. I wish I knew what was causing it as I might be able to avoid the trigger.
I wish you all the very best in coping with your own illness while still having the compassion to sympathise with others.
 

JulieP

Registered User
Apr 25, 2015
17
Tamworth
Hi Julie-welcome to TP.

If I was in your position I would put the food your Mum has bought up, put it in a tissue and take it to the GP's surgery:eek: That way either a Doctor or Nurse will see exactly what is happening to your dear Mum. Perhaps you may then get an explanation.

Take care

Lyn T
That's a good idea, Lyn, especially if I can get it to the doctor quickly and don't have to wait a week for an appointment. I will give it a try. Thank you for your sympathetic response.
 

LYN T

Registered User
Aug 30, 2012
6,962
Brixham Devon
That's a good idea, Lyn, especially if I can get it to the doctor quickly and don't have to wait a week for an appointment. I will give it a try. Thank you for your sympathetic response.
Perhaps you could phone the surgery tomorrow and give them notice of what you plan to do. You could drop the sample off at the surgery-after all it won't take a minute for someone to look at it. Then you could make an appointment for a follow up consultation. I really don't think the GP is taking this seriously enough.

Good luck

Lyn T X
 

JulieP

Registered User
Apr 25, 2015
17
Tamworth
"There is no retching and the food is still recognisable 4 or 5 hours after she swallowed it - no digestion has taken place."



Thank you Nitram. This was an interesting article even though there were bits I couldn't understand. This is the first time I have found a reference to regurgitating undigested food but as far as I know Mum does not have any pain or heartburn. The early feeling of fullness may explain why she sometimes eats so little. I am printing the article to show the doctor. Your help is much appreciated.
 

JulieP

Registered User
Apr 25, 2015
17
Tamworth
Perhaps you could phone the surgery tomorrow and give them notice of what you plan to do. You could drop the sample off at the surgery-after all it won't take a minute for someone to look at it. Then you could make an appointment for a follow up consultation. I really don't think the GP is taking this seriously enough.

Good luck

Lyn T X
I have an appointment with the doctor myself next week. I don't usually hope Mum will be sick but it would be useful if she could just be a little sick a day or so before I go.