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spinecurves 01-17-2015 07:44 PM

First endoscopy recently with some scary results
 
I am new to this forum...at least this particular one anyways. I had my first endoscopy yesterday and received some of the results afterwards. Besides discovering that I have a hiatal hernia, which is the least of my concerns right now, I also have severe esophagitis-LA Grade4 -in my upper and middle esophagus, plus severe erosion in the lower third of my esophagus with the suspicion of Barrett's esophagus. Then some polyps in the upper part of my stomach.
Some biopsies were done in both my throat and stomach but will likely not get the results for a week or more.
I have had GERD for many years and started taking a ppi about 12 years ago. Tried weaning myself off it several months ago due to the negative side effects but with poor results. Had so much excruciating pain just eating boiled potatoes and carrots one day after 6 weeks of titrating my dose from 20mg to maybe 5mg every third day, that I was back on a different ppi the next day. Since then, I have tried monitoring my intake, eating small meals, exercise, and herbal tea to heal my throat and stomach. Hearing just these results, and not even the biopsy results yet, has really been devastating.
Is there life after a Barrett's esophagus diagnosis? I know my risk for throat and stomach cancer just skyrocketed but can it be healed?

MountainReader 01-17-2015 11:45 PM

Re: First endoscopy recently with some scary results
 
I found out about my Barrett's about a year ago. They will monitor me. The risk of cancer when they find it is about 0.5% higher. The best thing you can do is to continue to treat the reflux.

They always take biopsies. I'm told it is routine. It has been during my 4 endoscopies. There polyps that are also very normal and benign for people who have been on PPI's long-term. I've had them for years.

Have you had any other testing regarding your acid refluxing?

Stretch1one 01-18-2015 12:19 AM

Sorry to hear about all your worries but don't fear Barrett's is not a death sentence I have had it for 4 years ..... Well that I've known about found out from a endoscope due to GERDS for many years 10 plus been on a PPI for it so My GI Dr says I'm one of the lucky ones ???!? How's that I say he says because I now know I have it and it can be monitored he says many many people walk around with and don't know and by the time there are signs of it.It is usually to late YIKES!! So here's what I know I get scoped every 2 to 3 years at the latest so far been twice all nothing has changed low grade dysplasia so according to him if it ever changes to a higher grade he says off I go to LA which is about two hours away from me for a procedure called ablation where they burn it off somehow I ask why this could not be done before or now he says there are very strict guide lines For this to be successful not before and not when its deemed to late only in the middle so err go the monitoring so be lucky your know and hope that the results are low grade good luck FYI I have a 4 cm sliding Hiatal hernia which is loads of fun

spinecurves 01-18-2015 12:26 PM

Re: First endoscopy recently with some scary results
 
Thank you both for your replies of encouragement.
No, I have not had any other tests for GERD or anything else GI related. I had no insurance prior to 9/13, so needless to say, the treatment that is available now wasn't for many years. A doctor told me a very long time ago that I had reflux but never put me on any meds to treat it nor did she recommend any diet changes. I have been on ppis for at least 12 years and did okay with, as far as I know anyways. I didn't start having more problems with it until about 2009.
It's only been recently, this year, that it has gotten worse- aspiration pneumonitis, frequent aspiration during the night, sharp chest pain that was not heart related,etc. Now I am on a higher dose of Prevacid and waiting for the results of my biopsies.
I kind of figured they might find something-severe esophagitis and the erosion in the lower third of my esophagus which makes it more likely to become cancer at some point.
Once I got over the initial shock that I might have cancer, I think, at least for now, that I am just trying to deal with it without dwelling too much on the possibilities.Once I get the results, that may be a different story then.
One day at a time, I guess.
I had a cancer scare about 12 years ago. Breast cancer is very prevalent in my family. Again, after the initial shock, I came to a place where the biopsy could come back positive for cancer, and then I could unintentionally step out in front of a bus or fall in the tub and I could be dead long before the cancer had a chance to kill me. That thought helped me to realize that regardless of any bad news from a doctor or not, some day I am going to die. I most likely won't get a notice in the mail telling me my time is up.
So until I hear otherwise from my doctor, I am going to try to hold onto the that concept, thought, whatever.
Thank you all for being here and responding to my post. :)

jw994 01-19-2015 07:35 PM

Re: First endoscopy recently with some scary results
 
I hope you are better soon. You may want to check with your doctor about taking carafate suspension (prescription) to help heal your esophagus. Also, you may want to get some Gaviscon Advance to take in addition to your PPI when you experience burning. It coats the esophagus and neutralizes pepsin which is the primary enzyme that damages the esophagus over time. You cannot get this med in the US but you can order it from the UK or ******. Also, Dr. Jamie Koufman has done research on drinking alkaline water with a ph of at least 8.0. Regular water has a ph of 7. Alkaline water neutralizes pepsin too. You can find this research on-line and you can purchase this water at the grocery store. I recommend eating an alkaline diet and also drinking chamomile or throat coat tea. If you do not get better, please let me know and I will refer you to my physician who offers numerous treatments for reflux. Last year at this time I had terrible LPR and now I only take Gaviscon Advance and drink alkaline wster occasionally. I no longer take PPIS. There are other members on this board who can recommend other, more natural, healing products.


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