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Heidelberg Gastrogram
Posted by: Karen
Date: February 13, 2004 5:45 PM

Do you know of a doctor in Southern California who does the Heidleburg Gastrogram? My brother thinks he has hypochlorhydria. (He is in prison.) Would this test confirm this? His symptoms began after years of heartburn. Doctors said he had an ulcer and hiatal hernia, prescribed Tagament, Zantac and finally Prilosec. Acid reflux occurred while burping. Doctors then prescribed 30 days of antibiotics; they thought esophagus infection. So 25 days into treatment on antibiotics with 3 doses of Prilosec his heartburn stopped and symptoms of both diarrhea and constipation began. Bowels moved a lot slower. Now proteins and oily foods such as peanut butter and cheese back up the bowels for a week or more. Flatus episodes last 5-10 seconds. Burping is constantly. Coffee and sugar aggravate these symptoms. Could you recommend a treatment plan and doctor in the Southern California area so his prison doctors can treat his? This has been going on for over 5 years!

RE: Heidelberg Gastrogram
Posted by: Ron Kennedy, M.D.
Date: February 13, 2004 5:58 PM

It would seem the diagnosis is between hyperacidity and hypoacidity (hypochlorhydria). It is also probable that your brother may have a lot more dysfunction with his GI tract than a simple acidity problem. Without a thorough evaluation, I cannot recommend a treatment plan and as your brother is in prison it is not likely that he will be showing up in my office soon. I don't know what good it will be for me to recommend an outside (of prison) doctor in So. Cal., but just in case there is some logic to it, here is the person I recommend: Murray Susser, M.D. in Los Angeles at (310) 966-9194. By the way, a Heidelberg test would confirm hypochlorhydria, but there is an easier way to make that diagnosis. Just give him a 10 grain capsule of Betaine HCL. If he develops heartburn in 15 minutes, he does not have hypochlorhydria and conversely if he does not, he does.

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