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Old 09-25-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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abuck75 HB User
34yo with Barrett (questions)

I'm a 34 yo male whose had heartburn/reflux for about 4 years and has put off a scope for various reasons (busy at work/having kids/scared) for a couple years and ultimately had one today. I've been taking prilosec at it's pretty much taken care of any symptoms.

Basically, after the scope, my Dr. told my wife initially 'He'll be fine' ... after my wife indicated 'so there is nothing to worry about' she (my doc.) essentially said it looks like I have BE, but they need to do a biopsy to confirm. Soon after, the Dr. basically summarized (somewhat coldly), if he follows normal treatment, he'll be fine, if not he'll have cancer in 10 years. Well this prompted a question of what needs to be done, which was answered basically 'avoid citrus, tomato based sauces and alcohol.'

Basically this was escalating quickly, and my wife and I do enjoy a couple drinks/glasses of wine most weekend nights (and I do on occasion in a work social setting), so my wife asked 'no alcohol' to which the Dr replied 'none, maybe a glass of champaign on New Years Eve'.

Well, after taking this all in, I have so many questions and the discharge sheet said I should schedule a follow up in 3 months. Obviously I will follow up next week as I can't wait 3 months to discuss, but I was hoping to get insight from anyone who would share.

Obviously I'm scared to dealth, I've always assumed I was pretty healthy and a few diet/exercise modifications (many I've made in the past 6 months, losing 20 lbs to healthy weight, cutting out caffiene, curbing alcohol and other fatty foods) would enable me to live a fairly normal life. Now, having BE at 34 I'm overwhelmed that the odds of living for 40 - 50 years w/o complications is unlikely.

Second, I guess I never felt like my reflux was there if I had a few drinks(although it may have been prior to prilosec when I also drank more). I also certainly can identify foods that trigger a reflux feeling, so I try to limit them, but I've never had a problem with say, 2 slices of pizza while 5 slices would start to trigger reflux. Now my world is turned upside down as I feel like even the occasional glass of wine or slice of Pizza is ensuring cancer, and no doctor had ever suggested completely eliminating those until today.

I'm certainly a moderation type person, and I've been successful dieting and exercising, by allowing myself small amounts of things I like. Don't get me wrong, I plan to manage this disease and live to my little boy's children ... and I'll do whatever necessary to do that, however, the though of never having another social drink or bite of Pizza is really overwhelming on top the realization that I'm much more likely to gain cancer than I thought I was yesterday.

I will likely try to find another specialist, as I did not find this Doctor's bedside manner easy to converse with in my one consulation , but I'd love to hear other's experiences and thoughts on this. Have others found the same to be true in regards to complete avoidance of foods/drinks, obviously it's not something to mess around with.

 
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Old 09-30-2009, 05:18 PM   #2
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karate_mom HB User
Re: 34yo with Barrett (questions)

[QUOTE=abuck75;4086540]I'm a 34 yo male whose had heartburn/reflux for about 4 years and has put off a scope for various reasons (busy at work/having kids/scared) for a couple years and ultimately had one today. I've been taking prilosec at it's pretty much taken care of any symptoms.

Basically, after the scope, my Dr. told my wife initially 'He'll be fine' ... after my wife indicated 'so there is nothing to worry about' she (my doc.) essentially said it looks like I have BE, but they need to do a biopsy to confirm. Soon after, the Dr. basically summarized (somewhat coldly), if he follows normal treatment, he'll be fine, if not he'll have cancer in 10 years. Well this prompted a question of what needs to be done, which was answered basically 'avoid citrus, tomato based sauces and alcohol.'


First of all, I have read that Barrett's is only dangerous if gone untreated. And that out of people with BE, only 1% end up getting Cancer. That's a small number, and I also heard it is more prevalent in your later years.
I feel like as long as you take your meds, and limit your intake of acid based foods, you'll be fine. I am a 44 year old female, and have been scared to pieces reading the info on the internet about EC, and how GERD is a precursor to cancer. But if you look at life, doesn't EVERYTHING cause cancer. I am so sick of reading things, and getting scared. For all I know, I can get hit by a car tomorrow, all the while worrying myself sick about getting cancer. Enjoy your sons, and live like there is no tomorrow. I would confirm the diagnoses and make sure to get it checked periodically. That's the key. I will pray that you mind is calm, and that you get some answers that help you know what to do, and how to manage your situation. Just remember the odds. 1% !!

Take care, and god bless!

 
Old 10-01-2009, 01:12 PM   #3
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Prosp HB User
Re: 34yo with Barrett (questions)

Quote:
Originally Posted by abuck75 View Post
I'm a 34 yo male whose had heartburn/reflux for about 4 years and has put off a scope for various reasons (busy at work/having kids/scared) for a couple years and ultimately had one today. I've been taking prilosec at it's pretty much taken care of any symptoms.

Basically, after the scope, my Dr. told my wife initially 'He'll be fine' ... after my wife indicated 'so there is nothing to worry about' she (my doc.) essentially said it looks like I have BE, but they need to do a biopsy to confirm. Soon after, the Dr. basically summarized (somewhat coldly), if he follows normal treatment, he'll be fine, if not he'll have cancer in 10 years. Well this prompted a question of what needs to be done, which was answered basically 'avoid citrus, tomato based sauces and alcohol.'

Basically this was escalating quickly, and my wife and I do enjoy a couple drinks/glasses of wine most weekend nights (and I do on occasion in a work social setting), so my wife asked 'no alcohol' to which the Dr replied 'none, maybe a glass of champaign on New Years Eve'.

Well, after taking this all in, I have so many questions and the discharge sheet said I should schedule a follow up in 3 months. Obviously I will follow up next week as I can't wait 3 months to discuss, but I was hoping to get insight from anyone who would share.

Obviously I'm scared to dealth, I've always assumed I was pretty healthy and a few diet/exercise modifications (many I've made in the past 6 months, losing 20 lbs to healthy weight, cutting out caffiene, curbing alcohol and other fatty foods) would enable me to live a fairly normal life. Now, having BE at 34 I'm overwhelmed that the odds of living for 40 - 50 years w/o complications is unlikely.

Second, I guess I never felt like my reflux was there if I had a few drinks(although it may have been prior to prilosec when I also drank more). I also certainly can identify foods that trigger a reflux feeling, so I try to limit them, but I've never had a problem with say, 2 slices of pizza while 5 slices would start to trigger reflux. Now my world is turned upside down as I feel like even the occasional glass of wine or slice of Pizza is ensuring cancer, and no doctor had ever suggested completely eliminating those until today.

I'm certainly a moderation type person, and I've been successful dieting and exercising, by allowing myself small amounts of things I like. Don't get me wrong, I plan to manage this disease and live to my little boy's children ... and I'll do whatever necessary to do that, however, the though of never having another social drink or bite of Pizza is really overwhelming on top the realization that I'm much more likely to gain cancer than I thought I was yesterday.

I will likely try to find another specialist, as I did not find this Doctor's bedside manner easy to converse with in my one consulation , but I'd love to hear other's experiences and thoughts on this. Have others found the same to be true in regards to complete avoidance of foods/drinks, obviously it's not something to mess around with.
I recommend you try mangosteen juice. Everyone, one hundred percent of people I know that have had any kind of acid reflux, find that one or two ounces of mangosteen juice eliminates the heartburn feeling and other associated symptoms. Additionally, everyone one of them also gave up their medicines because they no longer needed it - they could control their acid reflux with a fruit juice. Note: many mangosteen fruit juices contain other fruit juices mixed in with them - mostly berries. If you have an allergic reaction to any kind of berry, then you might not opt for mangosteen juice.

 
Old 10-01-2009, 02:41 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 560
Linda_in_NJ HB User
Re: 34yo with Barrett (questions)

Have they given you PPI's to start taking? Basically BE is from stomach acid that is eating away of your esophagus. It means your stomach sphincter is weak. You should be taking PPI's to help keep the acid down. I've had BE for about 5 years and I get an endosocopy every year for it. There are a lot of message boards and websites for BE. It doesn't usually turn to cancer unless it's starts growing up your esophagus. And there is now a treatment for BE that burns away the effected area. It could still be buried down deep though. Your doctor took BE a little too lightly I think. It is a scary diagosis to have.
Good luck. You will be fine.

 
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