Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Case of Acid Reflux Producing Saliva but No Pain

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Case of Acid Reflux Producing Saliva but No Pain

Article excerpt

Dear Dr. Donohue: Two or three times a month, I have a sensation (not pain) in my stomach just below the breastbone. It triggers my salivary glands to produce mouthfuls of saliva.

My doctor said it's a new one on him. Can you give me a clue, please.

Regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus can trigger a reflex that floods the mouth with saliva. I can see a look of doubt on your face. If stomach acid is splashing upward into your esophagus, why don't you have heartburn? Some people have acid reflux without any pain. Can you link your fountain of saliva to any foods known to promote acid regurgitation? Alcohol, coffee - even decaffeinated - mints, chocolate, onions, tomatoes, citrus fruits and fatty foods are prominent on lists of possible troublemakers. Pop an antacid in your mouth as soon as you feel the reaction coming on. And please let me know if that helps. Dear Dr. Donohue: Seven years ago I was diagnosed with polymyalgia rheumatica. Since that time, I have been taking prednisone and am currently taking 10 milligrams. I have tried other anti-inflammatory medicines but cannot tolerate them. Is there any other treatment for this disease? I am concerned about taking steroids a long time. Polymyalgia is a mystery illness whose first signs are achiness and stiffness of shoulder and hip muscles, especially in the morning after a night's sleep. As time passes, muscles of the upper arms, back and chest might develop the same symptoms. Simple tasks, such as combing the hair or climbing a flight of stairs, become monumental challenges. The illness is seen after age 50, with a female to male ratio of 2-to-1. A high blood sedimentation test, an in-office blood test, can indicate polymyalgia rheumatica. You've been taking prednisone, a cortisone drug, for a long time. Indeed, prednisone has deleterious effects, such as bone thinning, a tendency to promote fat deposition in the abdomen and on the face and an upset to blood sugar control. …

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