Author Topic: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal  (Read 2713 times)

[Buddie]

Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« on: February 17, 2009, 01:34:13 am »
Hello, my wife is having a terrible time coming off Valium (Benzo).  Her doctor gave her no instructions on tappering, so not knowing she went cold turkey and had some pretty dramatic withdrawal symptoms, including acid reflux.  This Gerd will not go away. She went back on Valium and tappered off from July thru Sept, had a good Oct but then it all came back.  Just the Gerd.  She's got the constant burning and feeling of something in her throat.  The only time it seems to subside is when she takes her Ambian to sleep.  Sometimes we think it's all stress/anxiety related, for she's off the charts worrying about long term damage to her esophogus.
 
Her gastro doctor gave her the esoscopy and found nothing to worry about, a little acid was coming up but nothing else noticable or no damaged or signs of trouble.  He put her on Nexium, but it didn't work and when she came back to see him he recommended an SSRI, noting it was stress related.
 
All I can tell you is she's very uncomfortable and can barely function. She's in bed all day stressful and crying.  We are thinking about going to another GI but maybe she needs to see a phychopharmacist or phychiatrist.  She seems to need something to calm her down during the day.  She's been taking Lexipro for the last week, hoping it may help her depression and anxiety, but so far, nothing is working.
 
We read the Ashton manual on benzo withdrawal, and all it says is gastro problems may take a long time to go away.  All she can think about is that it won't go away and she'll eventually succumb to something horrible.
 
A distressful husband....Anybody out there with any hope to share?
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2009, 01:50:06 am »
Hello, my wife is having a terrible time coming off Valium (Benzo).  Her doctor gave her no instructions on tappering, so not knowing she went cold turkey and had some pretty dramatic withdrawal symptoms, including acid reflux.  This Gerd will not go away. She went back on Valium and tappered off from July thru Sept, had a good Oct but then it all came back.  Just the Gerd.  She's got the constant burning and feeling of something in her throat.  The only time it seems to subside is when she takes her Ambian to sleep.  Sometimes we think it's all stress/anxiety related, for she's off the charts worrying about long term damage to her esophogus.
 
Her gastro doctor gave her the esoscopy and found nothing to worry about, a little acid was coming up but nothing else noticable or no damaged or signs of trouble.  He put her on Nexium, but it didn't work and when she came back to see him he recommended an SSRI, noting it was stress related.
 
All I can tell you is she's very uncomfortable and can barely function. She's in bed all day stressful and crying.  We are thinking about going to another GI but maybe she needs to see a phychopharmacist or phychiatrist.  She seems to need something to calm her down during the day.  She's been taking Lexipro for the last week, hoping it may help her depression and anxiety, but so far, nothing is working.
 
We read the Ashton manual on benzo withdrawal, and all it says is gastro problems may take a long time to go away.  All she can think about is that it won't go away and she'll eventually succumb to something horrible.
 
A distressful husband....Anybody out there with any hope to share?

Hi [...],

Welcome to BenzoBuddies!! Many here experience several different GI issues including acid reflux. I experience many GI issues while tapering and have not had the problems since being off benzos. Please know that Ambien is know as one of the Z drugs (sleeping pills). The Ashton Manual discusses Z drugs by saying this....These drugs are chemically different from benzodiazepines but have the same effects on the body and act by the same mechanisms. All these drugs are recommended for short-term use only (2-4 weeks maximum).

It is very possible that she may be experiencing w/d symptoms from the Ambien during the day if she has been taking it for a while??

T2 :smitten:

Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2009, 01:55:39 am »
Thanks T2....The Ambien is something she just started after giving up on Nexium and having sleeping issues.  She's had this Gerd since November.....[...]
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 02:06:32 am »
Thanks T2....The Ambien is something she just started after giving up on Nexium and having sleeping issues.  She's had this Gerd since November.....[...]

It would be beneficial for you to do a forum search on the Lexapro. Just click "forum" at the top of the page, then type Lexapro in the search box. She is still healing from the Valium taper and that can take months. You may also want to do a search on your wife's other symptoms. I did not have the Gerd symptoms as bad as your wife and only used Tums when needed. Others that have suffered to the extent of your wife should be by to give you their experiences and their advice of what helped them. Hang in there!!
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 02:10:25 am »
Hi [...],

I'd like to throw in my 2 cents about Ambien, it is very similar to the benzo's as T2 told you.  I took it after my cold turkey from the benzo's and it is addictive just like the benzo's.  It's also possible to develop a tolerance to it which means the amounts the body needs increases.  If the Ambien is making her feel better when she takes it, that means she's developed the tolerance to it and her body is craving more of the drug.  Your wife needs to know that Ambien is contributing to her stomach probems, just as the benzo's can contribute to them as well.  

If her gastric issues are due to the withdrawal from the benzo's she needs to understand that she'll heal from this.  The problems she's experiencing will go away as the withdrawal symptoms subside.  

I took Lexapro during my withdrawal too, she needs to give it some time to work, a week isn't long enough for it to build up in her system.  

These symptoms can all be benzo related which means they will go away completely when she's healed, there's hope for a complete recovery.  It can take a long time for the body to completely heal, sometimes long after we've taken our last pill.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help.

Oh, I see you posted to T2 that the Ambien is fairly new, that's good, there's still time to get her away from it.  It's not a good drug for someone trying to be free from benzo's.

















[...]
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 02:18:14 am »
Hi [...],

Here is a thread I found regarding Nexium and anxiety. Maybe something in there will help...http://www.benzobuddies.org/forum/index.php?topic=11577.0
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 03:33:52 am »
Hello, my wife is having a terrible time coming off Valium (Benzo).  Her doctor gave her no instructions on tappering, so not knowing she went cold turkey and had some pretty dramatic withdrawal symptoms, including acid reflux.  This Gerd will not go away. She went back on Valium and tappered off from July thru Sept, had a good Oct but then it all came back.  Just the Gerd.  She's got the constant burning and feeling of something in her throat.  The only time it seems to subside is when she takes her Ambian to sleep.  Sometimes we think it's all stress/anxiety related, for she's off the charts worrying about long term damage to her esophogus.
 
Her gastro doctor gave her the esoscopy and found nothing to worry about, a little acid was coming up but nothing else noticable or no damaged or signs of trouble.  He put her on Nexium, but it didn't work and when she came back to see him he recommended an SSRI, noting it was stress related.
 
All I can tell you is she's very uncomfortable and can barely function. She's in bed all day stressful and crying.  We are thinking about going to another GI but maybe she needs to see a phychopharmacist or phychiatrist.  She seems to need something to calm her down during the day.  She's been taking Lexipro for the last week, hoping it may help her depression and anxiety, but so far, nothing is working.
 
We read the Ashton manual on benzo withdrawal, and all it says is gastro problems may take a long time to go away.  All she can think about is that it won't go away and she'll eventually succumb to something horrible.
 
A distressful husband....Anybody out there with any hope to share?

Hi, [...], glad to meet you but sorry you need to be here.  ;)

I developed GERD long before I tapered off my benzo and have had very good results on Prevacid. Nexium didn't do anything for me.  It does sound like your wife ialso needs to learn how to lessen her anxiety without a drug.  Would she consider some talk therapy?  I was in an awful state when I started to taper last year and saw a couselor every week for many months; the talking and getting rid of the benzos (and ambien), really helped.  I also read "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" by Claire Weekes and listened to some of her lectures that are on iTunes. It helped me understand how something small could turn into a full-blown anxiety frenzy just because of how I thought about it.  And, btw, alternating tylenol pm and melatonin helped me get off the ambien.  I seldom take either of them nowadays so even sleep will improve, but it does take time.

Bless your heart for helping your wife. Good luck to you both.  :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 02:12:10 pm »
Hello, my wife is having a terrible time coming off Valium (Benzo).  Her doctor gave her no instructions on tappering, so not knowing she went cold turkey and had some pretty dramatic withdrawal symptoms, including acid reflux.  This Gerd will not go away. She went back on Valium and tappered off from July thru Sept, had a good Oct but then it all came back.  Just the Gerd.   She's got the constant burning and feeling of something in her throat.  The only time it seems to subside is when she takes her Ambian to sleep.  Sometimes we think it's all stress/anxiety related, for she's off the charts worrying about long term damage to her esophogus.
 
Her gastro doctor gave her the esoscopy and found nothing to worry about, a little acid was coming up but nothing else noticable or no damaged or signs of trouble.  He put her on Nexium, but it didn't work and when she came back to see him he recommended an SSRI, noting it was stress related.
 
All I can tell you is she's very uncomfortable and can barely function. She's in bed all day stressful and crying.  We are thinking about going to another GI but maybe she needs to see a phychopharmacist or phychiatrist.  She seems to need something to calm her down during the day.  She's been taking Lexipro for the last week, hoping it may help her depression and anxiety, but so far, nothing is working.
 
We read the Ashton manual on benzo withdrawal, and all it says is gastro problems may take a long time to go away.  All she can think about is that it won't go away and she'll eventually succumb to something horrible.
 
A distressful husband....Anybody out there with any hope to share?

Hey [...],
Welcome to BenzoBuddies! It's wonderful that you are seeking answers to help your wife. I can identify with your wife's worrying/stressing about having something major wrong with her. Even after I have had medical tests done, my mind can still imagine that there is something bad wrong because I still have a symptoms(s). Maybe this will help to ease her mind. To know if it's totally benzo related, present it this way to your wife. You said she did a cold turkey and had the bad GERD symptoms appear. Then, she went back on the valium and tapered from July-September. During this time period, did she have any GERD symptoms?? You said it all came back in October, so it shows that this IS a benzo withdrawal for her (plus having the GI dr. do the test to show nothing major was wrong). Stress can rev up withdrawal symptoms, so if this is an area that is going to take longer to go away for your wife, worrying about it will only make it worse. I know what it's like for the mind to get "stuck" on one issue and play over and over again like a broken record. What did we use to do when a record got stuck.....we would nudge it to make it get going again. Something has to nudge your wife, so to speak, to get her to stop the thoughts that are focusing on the GERD and having something really bad wrong with her. It could be by seeing another GI dr., having another medical test done, or going to some talk therapy. Maybe, just pointing out to her what I said above could do it. I know, being a hypocondriac myself, that when I was going thru bad withdrawals a few days after my last pill, my husband would say to me, "It's all withdrawals because if you went and took one of your pills, the symptoms would get better." That's all I needed to hear to know that I wasn't dying and that I didn't need to go to a medical dr. and get a series of tests done to prove it. My heart goes out to you and your wife, because I know how scary and difficult things like this can be. Just know, somehow, this too shall pass and you will make it through.

I was curious how much valium your wife was on and how long she was on it?? Please keep us posted.....

Lori :smitten:
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 03:11:20 am »
Everything you say makes total sense.  When I convince her she's going to be alright, for a long as she believes in me, she feels the sympton subside.  She was on them when the symptoms disappeared, taking up to 5mg a day....she's very small and petite as well.

thanks for your support, this has been very imformative.

bob
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.

[Buddie]

Re: Gerd and Benzo withdrawal
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 03:59:41 am »
Hi Bob,
I'm sorry you and your wife are going through this. You are wonderful for standing by her and giving your support. These symptoms DO go away. It does take time. But they do go away. I know it's hard but she needs to believe that. Don't let her talk herself into thinking she has some horrible problem. Her body is healing. It's too bad she wasn't able to taper longer, but this will get better. I'm praying for you both. Be strong. Kel
Suggestions, opinions and/or advice provided by the author of this post should not be regarded as medical advice; nor should it substitute for professional medical care. Consult your doctor before making any changes to your medication. Please read our Community Policy Documents board for further information.