Chronic Illness

Potential Silent Reflux

The last several weeks, I’ve been absolutely miserable with allergy symptoms: crazy amounts of phlegm in my nose/sinuses, crazy amounts of post-nasal drip, even more intense nausea than normal (probably from swallowing all the phlegm), extremely itchy skin, itchy eyes, itchy ears, itchy nose, etc. It’s been extremely painful actually.

So why all the symptoms? I just assumed it’s because EVERYTHING is blooming. There is so much cotton blowing around (from cottonwood trees) that it looks like there was a giant pillow fight somewhere; the cars have been yellow for weeks thanks to the amount of pollen in the air.

Pollen Death

However, I have been doing allergy shots at the correct amounts for a long time now.

I went to link the text “the correct amounts” and realized I forgot to post about that in the craziness that was my April. My allergy testing showed that I am twice as allergic to grass than my original allergy testing showed, which means I am in the highest allergy class for grass allergies. Because of that, and because I am on allergy shots, I now have to carry Epi-Pens. The odds of anything happening are very low, but better safe than sorry. Some of the other numbers were a little off, but not nearly as bad as the grass. That’s why I kept having horrible reactions to my shots before.

So I’ve been on the correct dosage of my allergy shots since the beginning of May (and I get them weekly). Theoretically, I suppose, that means I should not be having such bad allergy symptoms. Dr R thinks that my symptoms may be caused by something other than allergies. Apparently there have been studies done that show that silent reflux can cause symptoms very similar to mine: incessant post-nasal drip, feeling of sinus fullness, nausea, etc. I don’t think, however, that it would make me feel itchy and irritated. But I guess it would make my sinuses burn occasionally.

When I went and saw Dr S (my GI), I did mention it to him for his take on it. I did have an upper endoscopy a few years back, which is how I got diagnosed with my EoE, so they’ve definitely checked out my throat rather thoroughly. Granted, it was about two years ago. However, I have had these symptoms for most of my life. Because of the upper endoscopy, Dr S really doesn’t think I have silent reflux because my throat really doesn’t show any signs of reflux. Dr R said that EoE was a reflux thing, which it isn’t, but I was having really bad brain fog so I didn’t click on that until I was back at home after my appointment.

restech-ph-probeAnyway, the test is pretty simple for it. It’s going to suck, but it’s easy. They’re going to do a nasal probe.  They thread a probe through my nostril and into my sinuses. There is a portion that comes out of my nostril and out behind my ear (not sure how that will work with my glasses) then comes down and clips to my shirt. It will send readings to an exterior unit every three seconds for 24 hours and then it will be removed. It’ll measure the pepsin (stomach acid) levels in my sinuses for the 24 hours. Hopefully, it’ll show no pepsin at all.

Dr S did want to see what the results show, but he really doesn’t think they’ll show anything. I hope he’s right. Dr R also prescribed a new nasal spray to add to my medications, which I haven’t started yet, to decrease the amount of mucus that my nose produces. Since it reduces the amount of mucus, it risks drying out my nose too much and increasing nose bleeds or other complications of drying out my nose. We shall see.

I’m not doing the probe until the 11th-12th of July. The follow-up to go over results is the 18th, and I will try to get the results posted ASAP after that.

(I am trying to get caught up, I promise, I’m sorry!)

 

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