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I've had stomach problems for about 13 years. It's one of those things that come with the territory of chronic anxiety.

Protonix didn't work for you? I remember it worked like a charm for me, but my insurance stopped covering it because it's sooooo goddamn expensive. Have you tried any of the other prescription stomach meds like Prevacid and Zantac and whatnot? One of them might work.

My script coverage is all fucked up right now, so basically i manage through ODing on OTC stomach meds, Drinking baking soda mixed with water, and trying to avoid stomach-irritating foods.

Oh hey, did you take the Protonix for at least two weeks? I found it takes about that long to kinda permeate your system satisfactorily.

I feel your pain, totally. I've been in the can't-eat, vomiting-blood kinda stomach pain so I know how bad it can be.

-Missy

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I have actually had many stomache problems and the meds work, but also different foods have a huge effect.

I put I put a link to pdrhealth.com at the bottom that was pretty helpful. A few of the things that are mentioned:

-Cut down on caffeine and citrus.

-Eating large meals can be more difficult for the stomache to handle than eating snacks throughout the day. 

-Don't eat late at nite, before bedtime.

-Don't overcompensate with a lot of dairy. If you are feeling over full or naseaus at all, large amounts of dairy could make it worse. [not mentioned on the site]

When I have had an ulcer, it has been hard on my entire body.  I always need to get more sleep in general, be sure I am drinking plenty of water, and keeping my schedule as consistent as possible.

Personally I found some of the following to be irritating to my stomache: yogurt with fruit in it; tomato soup and sauce;  Ramen soups; cheddar; olives... a few other things.    Pretty much anything with a strong flavor.  The good news is that after giving my stomache a rest it did start to get better if it was just from stomache acid.  If not, I did need to get meds also.

It seems like you are in a great deal of pain. Obviously, this won't alleviate your symptoms, alone.  But I do know that changing the things I ate has helped my stomache in the past. Even if you need to take antibiotics at some point  I think you can benefit, given all the problems you describe.  I hope the Carafate provides some relief and gives the antacids a chance to work.

Good luck.

~navy~

From heartburnalliance.org-  foods that are 'easier' on the stomache

http://www.heartburnalliance.org/section4/7110.jsp

Lots of info on general heartburn and stomache pain- includes more info on care of a sensitive stomache

http://www.pdrhealth.com/content/lifelong_...rs/fgac20.shtml

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How long have you been on the Carafate? It may help once you have been on it for a while longer. I was Rx'd Carafate at one time due to ulcer like problems. It is very exspensive which I learned when my insurance limit for meds was up, my co-pay of $10 was stopped, and I could not afford the $300+ a month for the Carafate. It did stop my burning stomach and the GERD but because I could no longer afford it my stomach problems returned. In my situation my stomach problems always come during or after times of extreme stress.

Have you ever tried Librium? I was Rx'd at the Uni health center and it took away the worse of the pain and relaxed/calmed me down enough so that I could make it to my specialist in another town to have an endoscopy done.  After each episode I had to start back on food very slowly. First a liquid diet and then a very bland diet. Eventually I recovered but I do know how bad the pain and the pain-depression cycle can get.

I have been hospitalized 3 times for severe stomach problems for which I never got an explanation, all tests were negative. But being in the hospital for a week without being able to have anything by mouth not even water did not help with my depression. After the first two hospitalizations I was Rx'd Prilosec, before it became an OTC med. After nine weeks my symptoms were gone. Prior to the third hospitalization an endoscopy showed my stomach lining to be so red and inflamed that the the doctor took three biopsies. The tests were all negative but I still ended up in the hospital a month later. I was so sick before this hospitalization that I could not even take my meds without throwing up. I received IV fluids at the Uni health center for five days before they said there was nothing else I could do and needed to go to the hosptial.

At the time my pdoc had me on 12 medications and the doctors thought that might have been a factor along with a current depressive episode. I went off all my psychmeds during the last hospital stay and nearly went stark raving mad. I was afraid they were going to transfer me to the psych ward before I was allowed to take my medication again. One of the meds I was on at the time was Geodon. When I started back on the Geodon months later I began to get severe vertigo and once again my stomach problems returned. I told my pdoc I was never taking the Geodon again. Whether the Geodon was causing the problem or if it was just another high stress time, well, I can't sort that out.

Sorry to be long winded but I wanted to share my story. It might not help much but at least I can relate.

Erika

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I'm sorry that you're going through all this. when I had an ulcer they made eat five small bland meals a day. no spicy anything. i had a chinese and indian herbalist so they gave me herbs to help heal it but you could probably work with the otc and prescription meds for ulcers and be okay. I'm so sorry you're feeling poorly I hope you get better soon.

Lilie

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Thank you all so much for your info.  First I will tell you that generic carafate is now available and is very reasonable.  I have no insurance at this time and I think the 40 tabs I got at a Kroger were under $30. 

I took the protonix for a month and continued to get worse, that was 20mg twice a day.  I switch to Zantac, cheap with no insurance, and am taking between 300 and 450 mg per day and still having pain. within 1 to 2 hrs after taking it.  At least I am not vomiting yet.  I have no desire to eat, but I do eat small amounts.  The carafate is beginning to help. 

I appreciate hearing what you all have gone through, it is so much worse that what I am going through right now that I feel I can tough it out.  I am 50 years old and the geodon is the first light at the end of the tunnel I have seen in so long a time I had come to believe there wasn't going to be any more light.  I won't give it up.  Maybe I can learn to live on rice and chicken broth.  Its not like I have ever been that married to food anyway, thank god.  I think its the cigarettes and coffee that have always done me in, maybe enough rice..... oh hell

As soon as my mind and stomach quiet down enough I will get on the web sites.  The geoden has actually given me the impetus to get back into the kitchen. I am sure I will find lots of stuff there to help me get this under some kind of control, at least I can hope so.  I have been so literally out of my mind the last 4 or 6 or 7 months its not surprising this has happened, I am just sort of amazed it didn't come sooner.  I won't even consider the possibility that they might take me off my meds.

thanks again so very very much

Hide and seek

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I recently was diagnosed with acid reflux (nothing compared to what you are struggling with, but it aggravates my asthma, so I am motivated to get it fixed).

I know that giving up smoking (I went through it) is really hard, but it would help your stomach tremendously, if you didn't smoke.

Unfortunately, that goes for the caffeine too (she says as she ruefully drinks her morning half-caf).

I hope you can feel better soon. There's nothing like chronic pain to drag you into major depression (I've been there too, pain + unrelenting = despair). You are too young to feel this unhealthy.

Wishing you well,

Elaine

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I appreciate hearing what you all have gone through, it is so much worse that what I am going through right now that I feel I can tough it out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I dn't think anyone's health problems should be considered to be worse than anyone else's. Pain, illness is devasting to everyone in its own way.

Hope the Carafate helps. And thanks for letting me know it does come in generic now. I hope I don't need it again, ever.

Erika

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Hi Hide and Seek,

I've had digestion issues for 20 years. Doctor's kept telling me it was IBS and that it was all in my head. After seeing 3 or 4 gastro's I resolved to just live with it. About 3 years ago, I thought I had pulled a muscle because the pain was so bad.  My GP sent me in for a CT scan which found scaring in my colon. Turned out I have crohn's disease on top of everything else.  I eventually settled on antibiotic therapy which seem to keep me in remission. I think in a few years the doc's will decide crohn's is caused by bacteria. Took 20 years for gastro's to acknowledge 90% of ulcers are caused by bacteria. But I guess the best and brightest students in med school wind up doing something besides peering up colon scopes.

If it's an ulcer might as well get on some antibiotics and get rid of it. Some of the antibiotics are a little nasty (flagyl, Cipro) but the treatment only lasts for a week or so. They usually give you a couple antibiotics with pepto bismol and it clears right up.

Grumpy

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--and if you do end up taking flagyl, take it from me, they are not kidding about the alcohol warning. One, repeat, one small glass of champagne at my sister's wedding had me up vomiting all night long. Seriously nasty interaction.

Greeny

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Thanks for the advice grumpy and greenyflower.  My last scoping they took a biopsy, both that and a bloodtest showed negative for the bacteria that causes ulcers and stomach irritation.  My non MI doc started me on Prevacid to go with the Carafate and it has really helped.  I have a friend with lupus and she said that the prevacid was the only thing that works with all the meds that she has to take.  Right now I am at 30 mg twice a day, hoping to drop down to once a day.  I have an appt with the GI specialist in about 3 wks unless it gets critical again.  I have been able to drop the Carafate to 3 times a day as the rule to take other meds two hours before it just couldn't be worked out with my 'please help me go to sleep' meds.  Anything taken 4 times a day that cant be taken with other meds causes real havoc with a MI cocktail and I already have my cocktail spread out to 4 times a day as the Geodon works so much better taken at 7 hr intervals rather than 12.  (what wouldn't with a 7 hr half life)

I appreciate all the good advice.  Like so many of the of us the pain makes the depression so much worse, the depression makes the fear and anxiety worse.  This makes me fear every doctor except my p/tdoc.  Yes I need to quit smoking and drinking coffee, I am not an idiot, but in my present precarious state of finally climbing out of the depression, even considering this change is overwhelming.  Maybe after I build some confidence and coping skills back.  If I can get strong enough in a non depressed but non hypomanic mood, something I have not often experiences for very long, then I may begin to feel change is possible.  Right now I am not sure I am even in a real place and am sort of waiting for something to trigger me back to some mood I am more familiar with.

Thanks again

Hideandseek

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I have something like IBS and GERD and some other un-diagnoses stomach ill. Random bouts of severe nausea and vomiting. I end up most of the time taking Phenargan to stop the barfing and nausea. I haven't tried the carafate, good luck with that. Tum problems are the devil to live with.

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