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Thread: Scoliosis and heartbutn/indigestion

  1. #1
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    Hi there,

    I just really bad heartburn quite alot and can't each much before I feel really full and get indigestion if I move. My friends always whinge at me for not eating enohg but I seiously feel really full and sick if I eat too much in one go. As a conseuene, I have to eat little and often.

    I've read that there's a connection beacuse of the stomac and organs being squashed by the spine. Does anyone else experience this? It's really annoying and unpleasant.

    Any advice greatfully received!

    Born 1981 with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. Surgery to close lesion at birth. Anterior fusion T11-L5 aged 12. Laminectomy June 06. Posterior fusion with instrumenation T8-T11. Degenerative Disc C4/C5

    Under the care of Jeremy Fairbank.

  2. #2
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    That's exactly what I was suffering with badly before my surgery as my intestines were all scrunched up :P In fact it was whilst I was having my digestive problems investigated that my GP decided it might all be due to my collapsed posture. Thankfully, she was right and I haven't had any problems at all since my surgery. Unfortunately, in your case the fact that you're seated all the time probably means the surgery wasn't quite as effective in that regard Do you take anything to control acid reflux? I was taking Lansoprazole before my op and it worked pretty well.
    Me, a Mod? Nah ... I'll always be a rocker

  3. #3
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    I'd be the same, if I eat too much ill just swell up and feel as if Im about to vomit the whole meal back up again. Also, I would have a bit of problem with indigestion aswell. Its not so bad these days, I still get it after a big meal, but it was something I really had to watch out for when I wore the brace. Everything was squished up that bit more then.

    Gaviscon seems to do the trick OK for me anytime I have it. I also have some other things to take, cant remember the name of them but they are half blue/half white and they work really well too for me.

  4. #4
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    Now I have very mild occasional heartburn, no more than anyone else, but it was a lot worse before my scoliosis surgery.

    Immediately following my surgery, I had extremely severe heartburn for a few days, and I have no doubt that this was caused by diclofenac (Voltarol) which is a powerful anti-inflammatory painkiller, known for giving the digestive tract a hard time. Lying on my back made it worse, of course - and this was when I was bedridden.

    My mum, along with moderate (operable) scoliosis, has a hiatus hernia, so suffers from gastrooesophageal reflux and has Barrett's oesophagus as a result. This is where the acid reflux is so severe that the lining of the lower oesophagus changes to become the same tissue as stomach lining, to protect it. She had regular biopsies of the tissue to check for neoplasia (cell changes), because it is a precursor to oesophageal cancer, but has now been discharged, because taking omeprazole regularly has almost cured the reflux and the tissue is recovering.

    My (otherwise healthy) flatmate has also just had surgery to reduce his reflux - I assume he's had fundoplication, where they add a bit of a kink at the top of the stomach, making it easier for the oesophageal sphincter to keep the acid in the stomach.

    Omeprazole and lanzoprazole are 'proton pump inhibitors', a kind of drug that reduces gastric acid production.

    In terms of reducing it, I've heard that sleeping on your left side helps, because it gives the acid a harder path upwards *searches* http://www.fitsugar.com/1097836

    Perhaps more simply, a reduction in eating strongly acidic and strongly alkaline foods helps. Oranges, for instance, are bad because they're acidic. Alkaline foods neutralise some of the acid, except they can sometimes trigger a rebound surge of stomach acid to compensate and bring the pH back down. making matters worse.

    Some pH-neutral (neither strongly acidic nor strongly alkaline) foods seem to aggravate heartburn, like coffee.

    There are many lists of acidic and alkaline foods on the internet. Have a look and see how each food affects you

    hope all that helps!

  5. #5
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    I have had digestive trouble for probably 20 years. During that time I had my gall bladder removed and still had way too much pain occurring in my esophgus. So I have been scoped a couple times and take mega doses of ranitadine on a daily basis. I am also very conscious of eating small amounts and doing it slowly. (I have never been a big eater.) I also am careful to drink a whole glass full of water with any medications and not to lie down right after eating or taking meds. I'm convinced it all relates to scoliosis. When I asked the gastrointestinal specialist his reply was , "Yeah, that sounds possible" Definitive as hell right!
    I am 61 years old and the resident SSO fossil. I live in Oklahoma,USA with my husband Allen. We have one daughter Jae and she has three kids.Our grandkids are: Aidan is8. He's the one pictured in my current avatar. Jenna Jean is 7 and Ryan Allen is just 4 It's full time chaos here! I was diagnosed in 1965 at 14 years with Kyphoscoliosis and 2 curves measuring 68 and 63 degrees. My last measurements were in 2004 at 155, 88 and 55+ degrees. I have never had surgery or bracing so I now am on full time oxygen and use a Non Invasive Ventilator at night. at night.

  6. #6
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    I don't have heartburn (after reading this thread I'm beginning to feel quite fortunate about that), but I do have the same pressure on my stomach and other organs, so I eat several smaller meals rather than the three large ones... well, at least in theory. In practice, I end up just eating a couple of small meals, as I'm too lazy to obtain the several small meals, so I end up just not eating enough. I'm better when I have my own kitchen to work in.
    congenital scoliosis, thoracic fusion without instrumentation in 1974 (age 11mos), re-operated in 1975 (age 17mo.s) ~ lung volume 25-30%

  7. #7
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    I have been having heartburn since my recent back 'moment'. I only ever had it before when I was pregnant. Gaviscon on your person at all times is quite useful!! I do think it's because I have collapsed more than usual and am squished even more. The little and often food intake advice is brilliant. My (late) mum was a nurse during the war and always insisted I ate small amounts at regular intervals. She said that not only would this help my digestion, but maintained it also helped maintain energy levels. I think she was right (she also insisted that we shouldn't sit on hospital beds, and I noticed this is being reinstated as a rule in hospitals now). The old ideas are quite often the best in this instance. Bread or a digestive biscuit might help the reflux (don't know how, but I find they help).

  8. #8
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    I used to have heart burn quite a bit before my ravicth repair (to fix my sternum) but seeing as my heart isn't being squished so badly anymore - even the palpitations have stopped =D

  9. #9
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    I don't get heart burn, but I get indegestion pretty bad. It was really horrible when I was in the brace ex: I was sick after almost everything I atre so Ihad to stop wearing it when I ate. I have indegestion sometimes, but it's never quite as bad as when I had a brace.



  10. #10
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    Originally posted by Jonny@May 8 2008, 01:37 AM

    Some pH-neutral (neither strongly acidic nor strongly alkaline) foods seem to aggravate heartburn, like coffee.

    Oooops Im a bit of a caffeine addict so there might lie part of my problem!

    Indigestion/heartburn seems to be quite a common problem amongst us wonkies though.

    I know which foods used to make it particularly bad but it's been happening more regularly lately. I will have a look at alkaline foods to see what I can do to help.

    Unfortunately I can't lie on my side...but thanks for the idea. That's interesting Jonny!

    If it gets any worse and I can't control it I'll go to the dr. I really don't want any more endoscopy though. I'm such a whimp!

    Thanks for the help guys and gals xx
    Born 1981 with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele. Surgery to close lesion at birth. Anterior fusion T11-L5 aged 12. Laminectomy June 06. Posterior fusion with instrumenation T8-T11. Degenerative Disc C4/C5

    Under the care of Jeremy Fairbank.

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