I have an acid problem

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Hi, my name is John and I have an acid problem.  Well, a stomach acid problem, that is.  This, partnered by the fact that I don’t really seem to get heartburn, the acid has caused damage to my esophagus.

So, I’ve been researching the topic and have found a few causes of stomach acid:

  1. Smoking – I always knew it would get back to me.  I took a long drag on a cigar when I was in the 2nd grade.  We were using it to light fire crackers.
  2. Drinking – I know this is hard to believe, especially since I live in New Orleans, but I’ve only had one drink of alcohol in my life (and it was in church).  I was on a mission trip in Indonesia and didn’t suspect that the team would be serving real wine for communion.
  3. Caffeine and Carbonated Beverages – I never drink soda.  Just kidding.  That’s a big part of my problem.
  4. Consumption of too much spicy food – or in other words, eating any type of food that tastes good.  I don’t understand the problem.  I don’t always eat New Orleans style food.  Sometimes I eat Mexican, Spicy Chinese, or Italian.  Even when I don’t, there’s always Tony Chachere’s, Tabasco and Louisiana Hot Sauce, but I just use a little.
  5. Lack of drinking water – Water consumption has gone up and down in my life, but it’s certainly going up now.
  6. Stress – I’m in ministry.  Go figure.

Ok, so I’m doing better.  My diet’s changed for the past 3 ½ weeks or so and I’ve already lost about 10 lbs.  I’m eating Oatmeal every morning and drinking 7 gallons of water each day (Well, maybe it’s only 6 gallons).

More updates to come…

Results Of My Upper GI Endoscopy

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Ok, so I was trying to be somewhat creative with this post, but I’m still kind of loopy from the anesthesia, so I’ll just cut to the chase:

I had my upper GI Endoscopy today and got the results immediately after.  The procedure itself went fine.  (I’ll write more on it in a later post).  Before I knew it, everything was over and my wife and I were talking to my doctor about his findings.

Basically, my duodenum was fine.  My stomach was fine.  However, I was diagnosed with esophagitis.  Basically, my esophagus is irritated and inflamed from acid reflux.  People with this condition often have serious heartburn, but to this point, this has not been one of my symptoms.

So, here’s what I have to do:

  1. Commit to a healthy (non-acid producing) diet.
  2. Use a protein pump inhibitor PO daily (at least for the next 3 months)
  3. Repeat the upper endoscopy in 3 months to check the healing of my esophagus.

Thanks so much, everyone, for your prayers and encouragement.  I’ll continue to update you with my progress.

Results of My Physical

I had my annual physical this past Friday.  (insert groans here from every guy over 40)  I stood on the medical scale that always seems to add 5-10 lbs, looked away as I was stuck with a syringe for blood work, and listened to the dreaded snap of the latex glove.  Finally, after hearing from my doctor that I appear to be in excellent health, he asked me if there was anything that had been bothering me.

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Most of the time, when I hear that question, I always say, “No, I’m feeling pretty good.”

However, this time I had a different answer.  I sighed heavily and said, “Well, ok, in the last few months, I’ve had a few times when I’ve felt like my food wasn’t going all the way down to my stomach.”

This caught his attention.  I could tell because he stopped writing on his clipboard.

So I continued.

“At first I thought I was just in a hurry and had taken too big of a bite, but there have been times when I was sure that I had chewed my food sufficiently.  Whenever it happened, I usually stood, raised my hands over my head, and the food normally continued to my stomach.”

“Anything else?” he asked.

“Yes,” I replied.  “I cough a lot after I eat.”

After a few more questions, my doctor said, “I think we need to examine your esophagus.”

“Okay,” I replied.  “How do we do that?”

“Well, you can either drink barium and we can x-ray you or we can perform an esophagogastroduodenoscopy.”

“Did you just make that up?”

“No,” he laughed.  “It’s an endoscopic procedure where we scope the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract.  Sometimes there’s a narrowing of the esophagus, but this will let us know for sure.”

“Why would I do that other than drink the cyanide?”

“You mean barium?” he asked.

“Yes, sorry.  Hopefully there’s a difference.”

“If you drink the barium and have the x-ray and there’s a problem, then we still have to do the esophagogastroduodenoscopy.”

“Is it dangerous?” I asked.

“No,” he replied.  “I’ve had it myself.”

“Ok,” I said.  “Let’s do it.”

So, I’m scheduled to have an esophagogastroduodenoscopy.  I’ll let you know what happens.  If you’ve had one, let me know.  I’d like to hear your story.