I'm sorry about the number of similar posts I've been making here lately. Reflux has really played havoc with my daily life; it's constantly on my mind as soon as I wake up, and I've been struggling to get a handle on it as my thoughts have become progressively darker. I'm posting on forums like these more often, (no offense!) and cry every week. How am I expected to face 60+ more years of life like this? People keep saying it's all in my head, and because of getting 5 negative (and 1 positive) spit test samples, I keep trying to think it is. It really hurts to be told it's "all in my head" and that I'm "faking it for attention." Today however I figured out some reasons why my reflux flares up sometimes. I think so anyway, but I need some help about it. Hang in there, I've got a lot to say...
First, I considered my diet. What's weird is that sometimes I can eat things you can easily say are bad for reflux. Angel Cake and Swiss Roll are notable examples. I ate some before Chrimbo and experienced no burning, and only a little more burping probably because of their airy texture/filling. That felt good, and it seemed like I was improving at last. A few days later, all I ate was a bread salt-pretzel, lettuce a banana and a glass of water and my throat was aflame. At the time I was sat enjoying myself with my best friend and for once reflux wasn't on my mind so much. One day in the same week, I felt so bad I only ate bread and chicken soup (with as little "cream of" as possible) and washed it down with skimmed milk (0.5% fat). It was like a wildfire in my esophagus, and every belch made it worse. I kept wondering why the whole time, until I looked back and considered what I was doing.
In the 2nd and 3rd examples, I was sitting down. I was switching between sitting back or leaning slightly forwards, but never enough to be too far hunched over or too far back like reclining or lying down. I still had both feet on the floor, so there wasn't much pressure on my ribcage/stomach, but I still think it's significant. If I sit like that anywhere at all - in a car, at a computer, at work - I sometimes get the burning, forced burping or at least the feeling of what I last ate/drank in my throat. Even if I didn't eat or drink anything, or if I follow the Kouffman reflux diet, it still happens. Standing up at work all day doesn't cause me symptoms very often, even if I bend over to pick something up, or feel anxious thinking about my reflux ordeals.
But it's far from consistent. Today, I experimented to see if I could force the burning sensation by hunching over on purpose and occasionally pressing my knees up to my ribcage. At one point, I couldn't get anything to happen until I stood up, THEN the burning occurred. My throat felt sore too, so I took a mini-jar of honey. The burning only occurred when I was standing, and disappeared when I sat down. Weird. On the other hand, yesterday I was offered a small slice of birthday cake at a party. Depressed by how I'd missed out on all my favourite foods anyway, I tried it thinking the Mirtazapine would stop the burning. Incorrect..! Sitting down, or a while after standing up made me burn. Once I got rid of the burning by simply tilting my head down (without moving the rest of my body) to look at a book. Confused yet? XP
Furthermore I've been monitoring my fluid intake to see if that affects anything. If I drink less than 1.5L of water or milk a day (the expected amount in the average lad of 22) I experience more burning burps and sore throats. If I drink more than 1.5L, I get more burping, but less burning unless it's been a while since I last had a swig of water.
Sorry this has been a lot to consider. Here's one more thing. Last year, I was suffering from anxiety related to my heart. You see heart conditions tend to run in my family, and when my arm felt sharp pains and my chest felt tight, I thought for sure I was next. These symptoms tended to be posture-related too. I could be lying in bed and getting the pains, but as soon as I sat up in bed they would mostly vanish. I've proved beyond a shadow of a doubt my pains last year were stress related, and I'd like to think my symptoms this year are too.
So to summarise, here's a question. Is it possible for my reflux symptoms to still be caused by stress and anxiety, even if things like posture and some foods make them worse? Also, can something as simple as worrying about if I'll get symptoms or not cause hidden stress in any way? If at all possible, I'd like to avoid medications and surgery, but even if anxiety is causing my problems, does the posture-making-it-worse thing mean I'll have to get surgery anyway to keep it away?
Thank you for any help you can offer, and once again I apologise for either being bloody confusing or persistent! I really really REALLY hope anxiety is responsible, then I can cure it. I just can't face 60+ years of suffering like this, and watching everything I do and eat if it is real.