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Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

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Old 08-11-2007, 06:48 PM   #1
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Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

My health seems to have fallen apart in the last few years. However, it is my most recent issues that I am worried and confused about.

I have had symptoms of GERD for about a year or less. The only symptom that I have is clearing of my throat though. I have never had heartburn, nor can I tell that I have reflux. The throat clearing is annoying to my co-workers and that is what got me to get it checked out.

I went to my ENT that I have been using for numerous years. It has been 3 or so years since I visited him and went to see him for my GERD.

He put me on Nexium, nasal spray and anti-biotics. (For nasal drip.)It did not help, so he did a CT scan, chest x-ray and barium swallow on me.

From the barium swallow, he learned that I have a hiatal hernia. When he looked at my barium swallow results, he had me move from the chair that he checks you out in to the chair next to the cabinet in the room. He has never done that with me, so I figured it must be pretty bad.

Anyway, he said that I may have Barret's esophagus and that I needed to be scoped and get a biopsy right away. He told that the Barret's can increase the risk of cancer, etc, etc....

It will not be until 8/21 that I get to see a GI doctor about my barium swallow results. I am dreading it, and just want to get it over.

I guess the point of this post is to ask 2 questions.

1. If the only symptom that I have is clearing my throat, can it hurt my esophagus that much?

2. I also have shortness of breath and diarrhea. Would Barret's cause those symptoms? I have diarrhea issues for some time now, so it could only make it worse, not necessarily cause it.

Any information, advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


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Old 08-12-2007, 08:16 AM   #2
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Re: Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

The only symptom that I have is clearing of my throat though


I experience the same need to clear my throat. I do this a lot, and it does not help. For months, my throat has felt as if there was an SOS pad stuck there. I also have a pretty bad shortness of breath. Had the pulmonary function tests done recently, which showed a good possibility of asthma, but did not rule out other causes. I get stomach discomfort and nausea during my very frequent bouts of shortness of breath (usually with even a slightest exertion.) This is why I don't believe I have asthma. I was just started on Nexium to see if it helps my breathlessness. I am skeptical. I suspect hiatal hernia. I have not had any tests done. One thing is for sure: the stomach issues are connected to my breathlessness in some way. I often wonder how the stomach would respond when briefly deprived of oxygen.

I am glad you've had some tests and are about to get a diagnosis of your condition. I wonder if my issues will ever get resolved. My shortness of breath is such that it prevents me from functioning properly. I can't see myself going back to work with the way things are right now.

A thought: are you on any other prescription medication? I am. I am also on a small dose of aspirin. I thought of perhaps all the rx drugs causing my stomach upsets or making it overly sensitive. Some rx drugs have that effect on the stomach. If true, how that would tie in with the breathlessness I have no idea.
Sorry I am not much help. I hope someone answers your questions and will watch this thread eagerly for new postings.

Good luck!


Old 08-12-2007, 09:02 AM   #3
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Re: Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

you said you had a barium swallow , did you have the ph probe test where they insert a tube up your nose down your esopogus and it measures your ph ?? I was told shows if you have reflux and regurg my husband had it done after his scope showed a hiatal hernia over one year ago. He also had a manometry test , but I can't remember what it will tell. Anyway do you also choke easily especially when you are eating or taking pills??? he does clear his throat and cough alot and he chokes when he eats. He says he tastes food a long time after he swallows it and his pills shoot back in to his mouth. The doc says he has severe regurg and reflux and he vomits after eating at times and he has diarrhea if he eats very much. They suggested the stretta procedure since he has been on just about every stomach medicine over the last 10 years or so. Where we live there is only 1 out of the 9 area surgeons which believe the streeta is safe and effective. The one we went to decided to try it , but had to quit due to my husbands dangerous airway. I know other people who have reflux and they say they clear their throats all the time, my husband does it but says he dosen't even realize he clears his all the time and it gets a little annoying listening to him to do it , but I know its because he is sick. I guess I am lucky cause I never had heartburn or reflux , but I know it sure makes him sick!! I am trying to persuade him to get that stomach and esophagus looked at again since it has been a year and he is getting worse , but he says no way after having major breathing trouble after the sedation for stretta . I wish you the best of luck !!

Old 08-12-2007, 12:23 PM   #4
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Re: Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

Thanks for the replies.

I do have a hiatal hernia and did not do the ph probe test.

The strange thing is that I never get heartburn, never feel any reflux, nor anything else. I only have the clearing of the throat issue.

I am hoping that something will come out of these upcoming tests.

Old 08-13-2007, 07:34 AM   #5
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Re: Barret's Esophagus, GERD, Shortness of Breath, and Diarrhea. Please Help

I'm pretty sure Barretts will not give you shortness of breath or diarrhea. It can also only be diagnosed by biopsy during your EGD. Even IF it turns out positive try to stay calm. Your chances of getting cancer are around .5%. Women in general have a better chance of getting breast cancer. I freaked out when I found out I had it but the more I learned the more I realized it was a wake up call than death sentence.

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