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Hi! I just joined the site. I am having problems with waking up in the middle of the night gasping for breathe. I have been told that I have GERD, so I am sleeping on a wedge pillow. However, none of my doctors have been able to figure out why I am doing this at night. This has been happening for over 1 year and I have been to many doctors, so today, I decided to look on the web and found someone else on this site has the same problem. Please respond and let me know if this is a lupus problem and what do we do about it? I have not been tested for Lupus, but I am now thinking about it, since my regular GERD doctor, ear, nose, and throat doctor are all confused on why each night I wake up choking and gasping. I have also seen a sleep doctor that told me I was fine. However, of course this didn't happen that night. I would love to hear back from someone that shares this problem. I feel very isolated since the doctors are clueless.

Thanks a bunch!
 

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Hi Kcooke,

Have you had an endoscopy to check for any problems? Is the pillow helping at all?

Gerd has caused this problem for me in the past. The doctor prescribed Pantoprazole and that took care of it.

When the dysarthria is real bad I wake up choking on my own saliva. The nerves and muscles don't function properly and I end up choking. Getting the Lupus more in check helps with that.

I hope you find an answer soon. I know how awful it can be waking up out of a sound sleep like that.

Take care,
Lazylegs
 

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Waking choking

Hi kcooke

Yes I have similar problems, and have done for a while. Back in 1992 I woke with choking first, with terrible pain round my heart. Dr checked, then noticed a lump on left neck and thought was thyroid, and sent me to specialist who needled it, scanned it, excised it, but I had no symptoms, so he said to watch.

I worked in PNG in 1993-94, had many colds, and woke again with the choking, woke thinking was dying and my throat next day always strained.
I'd had a stroke, back 15 years before, so had another in 94, with same choking, and no speech, flew back to aussie, another stroke. Speech therapy, and teaching self to speak. Back teaching again. Local doctor heard story, checked thyroid, and eventually in 95 had thyroid nuclear radium, now on thyroxine,

In 2001, told another GP about the choking- still happening, sleep apnea test- nothing, so she ordered barium meal-showing Gerd, gross motility, so she sent me to local hospital- Gasroenterologist said wedge for bed, and no endoscopy. In 2003-now so many symptoms, leading to terrible problems, leading to rheumy d/x lupuslike symptoms on Plaquenil. Last choking was last year.
Waiting since start 2007 for colonoscopy, finally after talking to them re delay last week, letter from hospital saying I'm on the list for endoscopy, but at least 6 months.

So hopefully you will get some answers. Sorry if this is longwinded, but we do look for answers :wink2:
 

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GERD can definitely cause people to wake up gasping - what treatment are you on for the gerd ? Sounds like it may need increasing to see if that helps.

Has your doctor offered you any extra treatment ?

hth

raglet
 

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GERD seems to be a very popular diagnosis any more. Not that it isn't correct, but we just live in a very fast world. You asked why this happens at night, Well, when you eat the food of course goes down your esophagus and into your stomach and is starting the digestion process. When you lay down, somtimes your stomach acid will flow back up your throat, thus cause a burning sensation in your throat and chest. There are a variety of meds out there on the market some prescription, some over the counter that will take care of the problem. It won't cure it persay, but it will ease the pain and keep the stomach acid where it is supposed to.

Now many people might try pillow or head of bed elevation with the meds. Some drink milk, don't eat after a certain time at night and so on. You need to find what works best for you and keep any and all appointments with your docs so that they can monitor your GERD and tweek medications as needed.

While GERD is not"curable", it is something that you can live with. As for GERD being a Lupus illness only, there are many people that have GERD and do not have Lupus. I am not sure what is going on with you health wise, then by all means speak to your doctor and and voice your concerns and get checked out. It is always better to be cautious and have things checked than to ignore health problems.

Nancy
 
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