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GERD and FMS Symptoms
14 Replies
JJ1 - December 19

I have asked about this in the past, but since there are always new folks, thought I would try again. I have had Gastric Esophogeal Reflux Disease (GERD) for about 15 years now. I have only had Fibromyalgia for about 6 or 7 years. My GERD is due to a hiatal hernia which means the valve between my stomach and throat is faulty and allows stomach acid to backflow into my esophagus causing heartburn. In the early stages, I just used over the counter meds like Maalox and Tums. Eventually I saw a gastroenterologist who did the endoscopy that found the hiatal hernia and prescribed Prevacid for the heartburn. This worked well for many years but I started having significant break-through heartburn, and had to supplement the Prevacid with Tums. Around the same time I started getting Fibromyalgia symptoms (this could be a coincidence), my doctor switched me to Nexium because of the breakthrough heartburn. One of the rare side effects of Nexium use is anemia. It seems that we need the acidic environment of our stomache to absorb Iron and by neutralizing stomache acid, you can reduce the ability to absorb iron. It seems that this must be the cause of my recent problems with anemia. There have been discussions of a lack of other essential nutrients can result in Fibromyalgia symptoms (Larry/Kathy has written in this forum about lack of iodine being a problem and affecting thyroid function. My FMS symptoms are not classic. I do not have the 18 tender points although I do have pain that moves to different parts of my body. I mostly have fatigue and fibrofog. So I frequently question whether I really have Fibromyalgia. I am wondering if my symptoms could be related to nutrient deficiency as a result of my GERD medications. If so, is Nexium somehow worse for this than other heartburn meds? Any of you out there have GERD and take Nexium or other meds? Have you ever been diagnosed with anemia? I am not sure how to follow through with this line of thinking. I probably should go back to the gastroenterologist first. My hematologist has suggested this already due to the anemia. I cannot live without treating my GERD. The burning is constant and unbearable when I don't take medication. There is a surgery that can be performed to fix the hiatal hernia, but it is usually only done in situations where the meds don't do their job.


dream69 - December 19

Try a very low carb diet. A low carb diet will reduce your symptoms and also heal your stomach and esophageous.


dream69 - December 19

also red meat will help you with your anemia since it has lots of iron


BrandyO - December 19

I must admit that when I follow a low carb diet it does seem to help. I'm going to try Ginger Root tea that was suggested on another post. Take care, Brandy


JJ1 - December 19

Thanks for your advice. Gosh, I live for carbs. For a while everyone around me was on the Atkins diet and I always thought, no way could I ever handle that diet! I will try to cut back -- after Christmas, lol. I due eat a diet high in iron to help my anemia and take slow iron pills, but the problem is that my neutralized stomach won't allow me to absorb it when taken orally. I have to go for IV iron injections at least once per year.


Anne Hillebrand - December 24

When you know that we have a Saliva acid problem, not a Stomach acid problem, you will know why Nexium, etc are not the answer for our GERD. tells how to test, diagnose and treat Fibro.

Not a joke, and the site is still all FREE.

Nothing for sale. And help is free, too.



JJ1 - December 27

Todays paper had the results of a study of bone density on people who take proton-pump inhibitors like Nexium. Guess what -- they found bone problems and more fractures in the group on the proton pump inhibitors and said it is likely due to a lack of absorption of calcium due to neutralized stomach. Great. The only solution to my GERD other than medicating is to have surgery to close up my hiatal hernia that is allowing the stomach acid to back up into my esophagus. I hate to go for surgery, but long term use of Nexium and other antacids seem to be causing enough problems that it may be worth it for me to look into...........................The study also found correlation to lower bone density, but to a lesser degree, for H2 inhibitors like Prilosec.


cherokee - December 27

It's so crazy how you try to fix one problem and what your doing to fix it causes so much more. I hope all goes well for you in the decision you decide to make.


kerrythecarebear - December 31

First of all, good luck whatever happens!! I have been an FMS sufferer for 18 years, although only officially diagnosed 6 years ago. I have developed GERD this year, the dr was really good at getting tests done, however, at no time did he relate it to the FMS, i have only just done that by looking on this website. I am now concerned though, as i am on a PPI and wasn't aware that the medication could cause so many problems!! At least now i am aware!! Am i the only one having problems with the dr's where the FMS is concerned?? Would love to know how everyone has been 'dealt' with by their dr's


BRENDA - December 31

This may sound a little weird, but when I was pregnant with my youngest ( 21 yrs ago the 29th), I would get HORRIBLE heartburn that woundn't go away!! My mother-in-law told me to drink diluted baking soda!!! It really works if you can choke it down!!!


JJ1 - December 31

My GERD also started with pregnancies. With my first child, toward's the end of pregnancy, I was having to keep a bottle of maalox by my bed at night. The GERD stopped immediately after delivery. Child no. 2, the GERD started again, but this time earlier in the pregnancy. It again ceased after delivery. With kid no. 3 it started earlier again, but this time it did not go away after my daughter was born and has been with me ever since. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and after some reading on this, found that all the stretching from pregancy can cause this hernia. I think it probably started with my first child, then got stretched and pulled a little more with the subsequent two....................As an update, I have taken myself off of nexium and am trying to control my symptoms with just Tums right now. I have to get up during the night to take more Tums, but it seems to working OK so far. I am interested in seeing if this will help with my FMS symptoms --if they are due to nutrient deficiencies, then it could help. I think it could take quite some time before I would see any improvement. When I get IV iron for my anemia, I only see a mild improvement (I don't get exhausted so easily). Will keep you guys posted.


Jeannie3 - December 31

Hi JJ1, I don't know how safe Tums are taken too often. I've had Gerd and awful heartburns and was put on Losec now its changed to Pariette. I take two a day and have had no problems at all. Its awful going through constant heartburn I hope you find a solution that works for you.


JJ1 - December 31

Thanks for the info, Jeannie3. I was able to do a web search for Losec and looks like it is a proton pump inhibitor like the Nexium I was taking. I can find nothing on Pariette, though -- are you sure it is spelled right and do you have any other info? You are right, I guess I should research Tums more so that I don't just add to my problems. Calcium is the active ingredient and since the proton pump inhibitors limit absorption of calcium, it is probably good for me to get some in my system. So far I am not having to take too many per day. Maybe 3 or 4. Before I saw a doctor for my GERD 10 or more years ago, I was eating TUMs regularly, day and night.


Jeannie3 - December 31

So sorry JJ1 it's spelt PARIET by Janssen-Ortho, I take 20mg now. I tossed the leaflet that comes with it so don't know if its just a canadian thing.


kerrythecarebear - December 31

the PPi i am on is called lansoprazole, take one in the morning, lasts thru the rest of the day, dont know if u can get that where u r



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