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  • Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

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    Old 11-12-2018, 04:14 PM   #1
    RTL89
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    Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Hey everybody,

    Recently I had an upper endoscopy due to several months of persistent nagging pain/indigestion and constant burping/nausea after meals.

    The scope itself revealed mild antral gastritis, but the other day I received the full biopsy report and it also mentioned that 50% of the specimen had "complete intestinal metaplasia"

    But also: negative for atrophic attributes. And negative for H Pylori.

    After doing a quick search of this online, i am led to believe that this increases my chances of developing cancer. Is this true?

    The clinic I had my scope done at is an absolute mess in terms of administrative hassles, and I keep getting a different person on the phone every time I call. I have one person telling me that the doctor needs to see me urgently, and another telling me that my biopsy results aren't even in yet!! (an obvious mistruth). The best they could do is schedule me in with that doctor for follow up but unfortunately that's a month away now, since apparently they can't see the results I see now!!

    If this is a worrying condition, is there anything I can do to treat it myself? I never drink, never smoke, never take NSAID's, and as mentioned i tested negative for H Pylori. I'm at a loss here, and still don't feel good.

    Thank you for any help!

     
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    Old 11-12-2018, 05:01 PM   #2
    yayagirl
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Dear RTL89,

    I'm so sorry that you have to wait. I know that's difficult!
    This is serious, but if it was urgent they would have sent you to Emergency. Not a big comfort, but try to understand that this indicates that there is time to deal with it. It's difficult for everyone at an institution to have all of the information, esp so soon after the biopsy. Not to excuse them but just to help you relax and understand better what likely is going on. Your doctor has to read the results and record his opinion and likely no one else is at liberty to tell you anything.

    The terms 'negative for atrophic attributes' is a VERY positive thing so the cancer may be contained. My brother had a huge tumor in his colon and it was completely contained and easily removed and he had a quick and complete recovery.

    Hon, try to not assume the worst. I know you cannot feel good right now. Try to take hope in the fact that they are not rushing you straight into surgery.

    Negative for atrophic attributes and negative for H Pylori is a very positive result, right there.

    Love,
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    ~ YaYa ~

    Last edited by yayagirl; 11-12-2018 at 05:04 PM.

     
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    Old 11-12-2018, 05:18 PM   #3
    RTL89
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
    Dear RTL89,

    I'm so sorry that you have to wait. I know that's difficult!
    This is serious, but if it was urgent they would have sent you to Emergency. Not a big comfort, but try to understand that this indicates that there is time to deal with it. It's difficult for everyone at an institution to have all of the information, esp so soon after the biopsy. Not to excuse them but just to help you relax and understand better what likely is going on. Your doctor has to read the results and record his opinion and likely no one else is at liberty to tell you anything.

    The terms 'negative for atrophic attributes' is a VERY positive thing so the cancer may be contained. My brother had a huge tumor in his colon and it was completely contained and easily removed and he had a quick and complete recovery.

    Hon, try to not assume the worst. I know you cannot feel good right now. Try to take hope in the fact that they are not rushing you straight into surgery.

    Negative for atrophic attributes and negative for H Pylori is a very positive result, right there.

    Love,


    Thank you so much for the helpful and tactful answer, YaYaGirl!

    The thing is, I also suffer from severe anxiety and depression...so that just exacerbates the situation. My initial consultation with the G.I was NOT pleasant at all. He was so rude, and when he found out i was a young male and taking anxiety/depression medication, he started chuckling, said he won't find anything with a scope, then just got up and left the room. He said that "it was my nerves and depression" causing my symptoms. I cried once i walked out of the clinic. I never felt so alone and dehumanized like I did in that one moment.

    Well, I proceeded with the scope anyway and lo and behold...there are abnormalities! I wonder if he's laughing so hard now!

    The sad and unfortunate thing is that to some of these doctors, cancer is a real sickness..but depression isn't. After all, how dare yo have anxiety and depression...and how dare those things get WORSE when constant physical symptoms are involved!

    Thank you so much for your kind answer. I know that as someone with anxiety, i shouldn't be reading up on stuff, but a lot of what I have read on "IM" is that it's when your cells transition into cancer cells. And the scariest part about it to me is that I don't know if it's something I'm doing wrong, like a prescription medication causing it.

    SIGH

     
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    Old 11-12-2018, 05:37 PM   #4
    yayagirl
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Dear RTL,

    I'm glad to be able to offer you a bit of peace. I know this feels like a storm. I have dealt with loads of health issues and in fact had them since birth. That's how it is for some of us.

    I suggest that if you can make yourself do it that you speak to a patient advocate (all medical facilities have them), and report that the guy laughed at you for using depression meds, and that it is insulting and inappropriate. I had to learn to stand up for myself. I was scared to death the first time I did that. But let me tell you it was the beginning of liberty to respect and accept myself. Bullies attack those of us that cower because they themselves are cowards. We all have to stand up for ourselves before we get treated with respect. Oh, of course there are lots of people that don't act out like that guy, too. I know I was a target in my shyness and low self-esteem. I stopped that a long time ago. You can, too. when you are ready. just sayin'

    You have it in you, because you went ahead with the test that you needed.
    Good on you!

    Don't waste your energy on fools, hon.

    That said, NO, you did NOT cause this problem!
    It's just a fact of being alive that some things go wrong. But it sure sounds like it's totally fixable.
    __________________
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    Old 11-12-2018, 05:46 PM   #5
    RTL89
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
    Dear RTL,

    I'm glad to be able to offer you a bit of peace. I know this feels like a storm. I have dealt with loads of health issues and in fact had them since birth. That's how it is for some of us.

    I suggest that if you can make yourself do it that you speak to a patient advocate (all medical facilities have them), and report that the guy laughed at you for using depression meds, and that it is insulting and inappropriate. I had to learn to stand up for myself. I was scared to death the first time I did that. But let me tell you it was the beginning of liberty to respect and accept myself. Bullies attack those of us that cower because they themselves are cowards. We all have to stand up for ourselves before we get treated with respect. Oh, of course there are lots of people that don't act out like that guy, too. I know I was a target in my shyness and low self-esteem. I stopped that a long time ago. You can, too. when you are ready. just sayin'

    You have it in you, because you went ahead with the test that you needed.
    Good on you!

    Don't waste your energy on fools, hon.

    That said, NO, you did NOT cause this problem!
    It's just a fact of being alive that some things go wrong. But it sure sounds like it's totally fixable.



    I am soooo sorry that you've had your fair share of rough experiences and health problems. It takes a lot of effort to survive in this world, because like you said, in the end you are your own advocate - not just for health, but for EVERY facet of life. But it's so hard to deal with those other facets of life when you don't have your health

    Hmmm i've actually never even heard of a patient advocate! Is it essentially the same thing as a social worker? I've also been thinking about reporting him to my local College Of Physicians.

     
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    Old 11-12-2018, 08:19 PM   #6
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Dear RTL,

    Thank you. It often seems like more than 'my' share but that's how it goes. I would not wish it on anyone.

    No a PA is not a social worker. Call your local hospital and ask if they have a PA. Or look the words up with your city name. I am not sure how to find them.

    I think you really should report the incident to the hospital or medical group, whichever it was, in a very polite way, since that he acted out toward you means he is doing it to others. That is just not a proper attitude for workers in the healthcare field. Life is hard enough without attitude from the healthcare givers.

    Hugs,
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    Old 12-06-2018, 06:50 AM   #7
    RTL89
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
    Dear RTL,

    Thank you. It often seems like more than 'my' share but that's how it goes. I would not wish it on anyone.

    No a PA is not a social worker. Call your local hospital and ask if they have a PA. Or look the words up with your city name. I am not sure how to find them.

    I think you really should report the incident to the hospital or medical group, whichever it was, in a very polite way, since that he acted out toward you means he is doing it to others. That is just not a proper attitude for workers in the healthcare field. Life is hard enough without attitude from the healthcare givers.

    Hugs,

    Hi YayaGirl,


    Just wanted to give an update since I have now spoken to the specialist who did my scope. He reviewed the report with me. He basically said everything that you did - that IM can potentially be serious in the future but right now there is no cause for alarm. However, he does want me to come in for regular scopes every 4-6 months to see if there are any changes.

    The biopsy showed no H pylori, and the blood test also came back negative.

    However, he seems a little divided on what the cause of this is. Despite the fact that all of these tests showed no H Pylori, he wishes to take further biopsies at my next scope just to make sure...since he still suspects it.

    Not sure if I mentioned this before, but I don't drink, smoke, use NSAID's of any kind. The only drug I use are caffeine tablets daily, but when i asked him if caffeine can cause gastritis, he said absolutely not. A few other doctors (and pharmacists) agreed.

    Do you think caffeine can cause this? What really sucks is that caffeine significantly helps my depression and I don't want to stop unless I absolutely have to, but it's very frustrating not to know for sure. *Sigh*. I'm exhausted.

     
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    Old 12-06-2018, 09:10 AM   #8
    yayagirl
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Dear RTL89,

    Hi there!
    Thanks for the update!

    I personally would not go for a scope that frequently after this last report. I would not poke at the body. Rather I suggest that you look at your diet and make sure it is very healthy.

    Caffeine even as tablets is acidic and can cause your symptoms. Caffeine tablets absolutely can cause gastritis. These things are proven fact. I swear, some of the things doctors say are so foolish!

    Rather than tablets, why not drink a caffeinated tea with cream (easier on the stomach) ? Or even real coffee with cream? You probably can take caffeine but you need to protect your stomach lining, and not depend on it excessively. Make sure that you get outside in the fresh air and exercise. Even if you cannot walk, you can stretch your arms and legs and work out.

    To be able to sleep, make sure to not take or drink any caffeine or tea two hours before bedtime.

    Let me know how you are doing. hon!
    __________________
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    Old 12-06-2018, 11:20 PM   #9
    RTL89
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by YaYagirl View Post
    Dear RTL89,

    Hi there!
    Thanks for the update!

    I personally would not go for a scope that frequently after this last report. I would not poke at the body. Rather I suggest that you look at your diet and make sure it is very healthy.

    Caffeine even as tablets is acidic and can cause your symptoms. Caffeine tablets absolutely can cause gastritis. These things are proven fact. I swear, some of the things doctors say are so foolish!

    Rather than tablets, why not drink a caffeinated tea with cream (easier on the stomach) ? Or even real coffee with cream? You probably can take caffeine but you need to protect your stomach lining, and not depend on it excessively. Make sure that you get outside in the fresh air and exercise. Even if you cannot walk, you can stretch your arms and legs and work out.

    To be able to sleep, make sure to not take or drink any caffeine or tea two hours before bedtime.

    Let me know how you are doing. hon!


    Thank you for the advice!

    Ingesting caffeine in other forms doesn't yield any results for me, not even wakefulness. It wasn't until someone suggested caffeine tablets to me a year ago that I noticed these overwhelming positive results. I went 4 days without caffeine and felt totally depressed, but when I took a little bit, it gave me very pleasurabel feelings of anxiety relief, depression relief, and even relief of my IBS symptoms.

    I only take 200 mg daily (but usually less). What totally sucks is that if this indeed is causing the gastritis to flare (especially the nausea), then stopping will make me feel depressed. But reverting back to my depression is equally as painful, and even after avoiding caffeine for almost a week straight and STILL feeling sick/nauseous, I end up caving and ingetsing some caffeine because i know I can count on it to at least make me FEEL GOOD and be in a comfortable space, mentally. This is indeed a vicious cycle, and getting very few answers with very spaced-out appointments is definitely getting to me .

    I'm even gonna go out on a limb and say that, without the caffeine tablets, I probably would be in deep depression.
    *Sigh*. Sorry for the rant.... I just need somebody to listen, and you've been sooo helpful!!

    Last edited by Administrator; 12-23-2018 at 08:47 PM.

     
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    Old 12-23-2018, 04:10 PM   #10
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    Re: Stomach biopsy revealed "intestinal metaplasia". Is this serious?

    Caffeine is a stimulant. Not sure how this "helps" your anxiety.

    I have issues with both as well and never go past 1 cup of coffee in the AM.

    Have you seen ANYONE for this? Yes it is as serious as a physical problem. I take Low dose valium when I feel like I'm "winding" up. It helps!
    Meds for depression just make me tired so I quit taking them.
    Getting involved with anything other than sitting at home in front of tv HELPS.
    GO outside as much as possible. If it's cold, go somewhere, library, anyplace that takes your mind off of your current thoughts.
    Caffeine can make existing gastritis worse. So, yes, use something to "buffer" the acid, like milk.
    Seek out another DR. I've been through a few PCP"S and now I have a wonderful one. They all put on their pants the same way. Don't be intimidated. I would spend more time looking for another dr. than going after the one you don't like. It'll just add to your emotional state.
    Good luck...

     
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