Living with Fibro

How Fibromyalgia and GERD can be Related

The diagnosis of fibromyalgia carries with it a heavy weight of many different pains and discomforts to which your physicians probably look at you with perplexed expressions, offering little in the way of solutions.

This is already a tremendous conundrum and difficult enough to deal with and then you have to deal with heartburn?

The calcium pills, the chewable tablets in the tropical and fruit flavors, aren’t cutting it anymore and you are suffering from what is likely to be diagnosed as Gastro-Intestinal Reflux Disease or GERD, as it has been so affectionately termed by a convenient acronym in order to dumb the populace down and make light of things like fibromyalgia and GERD.

On top of dealing with chronic muscle pain and possibly migraines and TMJ pain symptoms, patients suffering with fibromyalgia have to deal with gastrointestinal disorders as well.

The good news about the symptoms of GERD is that there are many different treatment options which happen to be quite effective, so you can at least cross those bits of suffering off your list finally.

It could be you are experiencing these symptoms as a secondary effect of the fibromyalgia or it could be completely independent of these symptoms.

Regardless, this is a highly treatable condition, when properly diagnosed and treated with the proper medications and sometimes even just dietary modifications.

What is GERD?

Acid reflux is one thing. It is terribly uncomfortable. When you have never experienced this before, you have no idea how uncomfortable it is, but when you first do, you might think you are having a heart attack or you are going to vomit.

Usually, people vomit and swear they will never put down anybody who complains of heartburn again.So, you see, it is real and quite uncomfortable. GERD is the most extreme form of this disorder.

When fibromyalgia and GERD occur together, this is not uncommon, but the pain is exponential since someone with fibromyalgia is already dealing with seriously pronounced muscle pains throughout the body which accentuate the chest pain, throat pain and heartburn associated with GERD. This results in a complex, living nightmare nobody wishes to live through.

On the other hand, unlike heartburn, the symptoms of GERD actually occur several times in a week and very often, individuals with this condition will suffer with symptoms every day.

If it isn’t treated, this condition can have some serious effects on your overall health, leading to some very severe complications.

While basic heartburn only occurs only occasionally and is easily treated with chewable antacids, GERD occurs frequently to daily and requires more intensive treatments.

This is because the cause is different and relates to muscles, much like fibromyalgia relates to muscles. There is a symptom tree to fibromyalgia.

Something as simple as a gluten intolerance can lead to increased symptoms of fibromyalgia, up to and including GERD!

It is vital to determine if such an issue is causing fibromyalgia and GERD to occur together. In fact, if they are, this would be the prime time to point out and name the two together in the target line.

Gluten intolerance and even Celiac disease can lead to serious inflammatory syndromes throughout the body and even inflammatory syndromes which can cause extensive neuromuscular pain. It is vital to get to the root of this problem immediately.

Fibromyalgia and GERD

Why Does GERD Occur?

Sometimes there is an acute increase in stomach acid when certain stresses occur and this will cause pain in ulcerations in the stomach and intestinal lining, though this is largely due to pre-existing conditions which have not been treated, largely related to the ulcers and not so much to the acid fluctuations which are normal.

Spicy foods can set it off at certain times. Avoiding spicy foods may be the solution. It can be difficult to tell. When it is related to fibromyalgia and GERD, it can be pain alone that sets the whole cascade into a roll off event!

There is a muscle called a sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus which controls the flow of acids from the stomach into the intestines and sometimes it will lose control.

This is the LES, or Lower Esophageal Sphincter, and its job is to keep food which is in the stomach from coming into the throat again.

When it weakens, reflux and pain will occur and this is what we call GERD. When people have fibromyalgia, this is common.

Watching Out for Symptoms of GERD

It is important to be aware of the symptoms of GERD. Since you are already dealing with fibromyalgia and GERD, you need to know that the reflux of the acid into your esophagus is potentially causing chronic damage and could lead to cancer or other sever damage of your throat. This is just a simple fact.

Though there may be side effects to the medications, your life may be worth more than the side effects! You already have enough pain to deal with, so at least get relief until you can get to the bottom of the problem through more holistic dynamic interventions.

There are various medications which can be used in the interim. You will need to check with your physicians regarding which medications you can use, as many of them can react inappropriately with medications approved for fibromyalgia treatment.

Simple things like over the counter antacids and Zantac are usually not a problem, but more advanced treatments such as Prilosec or Protonix, or Cimetidine, can change the way other medications are metabolized in the liver and potentially cause complications. This is why you will need to contact a medical professional about your options.

Sometimes even simple solutions such as peppermint tea or papaya enzymes will even do the trick and then you have nothing to worry about.

This way, no additional medications are involved and you can find relief in a natural manner, as is best. Even some dietary changes can make a profound difference.

Consult with doctors and dieticians and find the appropriate solutions for you and your fibromyalgia and GERD condition. You will feel better soon.

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Living with Fibro

4 Comments

  • Yes I have terrible acid reflux and it is quite difficult to control. I hadn’t thought about it being a side effect to my meds though, something to bring up with the GP. Thanks

  • Hi all. Ive discovered that having thrush causes bad reflux. Sorted most of the diet and am on nystatin….symptoms much eased?

  • I have suffered over 15 years with acid reflux and have taken medication for years i do not touch any spicy foods i am wheat free and dairy free for about 10 years .i find it really hard to cope at times.i also have carpel tunnel and rumatoid arthritis. I suffer with bile acid too as i had my gall bladder out twenty years ago .went to doctors 2 weeks ago she now thinks its fibromialga .still got to get on with it very tired all time and asmha. 😥

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