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    Old 01-22-2001, 07:07 AM   #1
    Douglas Mack
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    Post Barretts disease

    A friend of mine has been diagnosed with Barretts, has anyone heard of it? I've discovered that it starts with Reflux and generally gets worse. He has taken Tagamet but it hasn't got any better. I understand it can lead to stomach cancer. My friend is obviously very concerned about this. He has now been prescribed some tablets called PARIET, do you know anything about these? Any help and advice you can give on this subject, I'm sure will be greatly received.
    Thanx D

    PS Also, do you have any dietry ideas, are there any websites relating dietry needs concerning Barretts?

    [This message has been edited by Douglas Mack (edited 01-23-2001).]

     
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    Old 01-22-2001, 07:36 PM   #2
    Dusty
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    Hi
    Several years ago I was diagnosed with Barrett's esphogaus. That is were the cells in your esphogaus change. Part of the esphougial lining become the same as your stomach lining. It is your body's way of protecting itself from the constant burning of stomach acid rising up into the esphogaus as is the case with acid reflux disease.
    My Barrett's actually receded, which my doctor said is quite rare, so I consder myself lucky. People with Barrett's have a 10% chance of getting esphogial cancer. So it is important to have yearly biopsies done by having an annual egd endoscope performed. Your friend is lucky they discovered it before it changed to something more serious. It was recently reported that drinking green tea helps reduce the chance of esphogial cancer.

     
    Old 01-23-2001, 06:45 AM   #3
    Douglas Mack
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    Thanx Dusty for your help. I'll pass on the idea of Green Tea, any other dietry tips? Incidentally, we were told that the esophegal damage was irreversible and would only get worse with time. Can it be cured?

     
    Old 01-23-2001, 07:59 PM   #4
    melody
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    I've got barrett's esophagus also (due to about 18 years of reflux). Dusty gave you a good description of what it is. I had to get endoscopies about every 3 months for a while because the esophagus lining was ulcerated and they couldn't tell for sure whether there were cell changes. I finally have been cleared (that there isn't cancer cells at this point) and I don't go back for 2 years. My understanding is that the best thing to do is to get the reflux under control. I sleep with the head of my bed elevated and take Aciphex and Reglan. Some of the other things I remember them suggesting is: Eat smaller meals. Don't eat after 8:00 p.m. Avoid acidic foods. Avoid alcohol. Do not smoke! Avoid fatty foods. Avoid caffeine. And the list probably goes on.

    Generally with reflux, the doctor would have already given your friend these suggestions. If he hasn't, he may want to change docs! It is important to get the reflux under control to limit the additional damage to the esophagus. I have no idea whether it can reverse itself or not.

    Good luck to your friend.

     
    Old 01-07-2003, 07:53 PM   #5
    MSUGirl
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    Hello,
    I am not sure if you still watch this site but here some info you may find helpful. This was taken off of mayo clinic website.


    Most people with Barrett's esophagus don't develop esophageal cancer. However, the prognosis is poor for those who do. Once diagnosed, the average survival rate is less than 1 year. Of the 12,000 cases diagnosed annually in the United States, close to 10,000 die. Less than 10 percent of people diagnosed with esophageal cancer survive 5 years.


     
    Old 01-08-2003, 04:27 AM   #6
    tmm35
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    hi barrets is a dangerous thing i was diagnosed with it aug of this year mine had gotten so bad my esophogus had completely closed off yes barrets can cause cancer and you have to be monitered real close because it can turn into cancer my esophogus was actully digesting my food and the drs where almost sure i had cancer but the biopsy turned out good.you do have to get put on a good medicine and make a lot of diatery changes because i also have an ulcer i actually had to cut out all meats also especialy red meats because its hard for your body to digest.and you have to avoid alcohol and smoking if you are over weight you need to loose it.its good that he got put on good meds im still baltleling with my drs to put me on something else because they put me on protonix and its not worth crap.good luck to you frien and ***** has some good info on esophogities and acid reflux.keep us posted. tmm35
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    Old 01-08-2003, 06:12 AM   #7
    Katie G
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    Hi tmm. Why haven't your docs talked about Nissan fundoplication for you? I developed Barrett's and then after 2 years and no improvement on medication (40mg Prilosec) decided to have the surgery. My last endoscopy showed much improvement, and no Barrett's. I think if I read another post of yours you were at Stage IV dysplasia? I was at Stage 0 and so petrified of developing cancer, I opted for surgery. I found out that my lower esophageal sphincter wasn't staying closed properly (hypotonic), and no amount of medication would change that. The surgery was my only alternative, and my chances of developing cancer are much reduced now.

    Good luck to you,
    Katie G

     
    Old 01-08-2003, 07:21 AM   #8
    New Dx at 50
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    I had a recent endo procedure ( dec 3). It seems that my problems got much worse about 2 wks after the procedure and after being on Nexium for 2 wks. Do you people that have frequent endos have your condition worsen afterwards? The doc said my barretts was mild and I had relatively few problems before the procedure but boy..this was a change. I am having a hard time adjusting to any of the PPI's..plus I am not sleeping well anymore.. Do these PPI cause you not to sleep and to be overly anxious??? Thanks for any help.

     
    Old 01-08-2003, 09:10 AM   #9
    Katie G
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    Hi New Dx and welcome to the boards! I can't really give you any advice/suggestions for your symptoms, because endos never seemed to bother me afterwards (I've had 7 of them done). I do know some people who post here have complained about problems with PPIs. I didn't have any sleep problems with mine - Prilosec just didn't really do anything for me. I'm sure there will be posters here who can provide you some personal advice/suggestions.

    Good luck to you,
    Katie G

     
    Old 01-08-2003, 10:46 AM   #10
    tmm35
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    hi katie the operation you talked about the drs cant do because the bottom part of my esophogus is so destroyed that the only procedure thay can do if it leads to surgery is the will have to remove most of my esophogus and use special tubbing to reconnect it back.no the insurance company are the ones im battleling about the medicine chamge .thank you for your concern katie .
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    Old 01-09-2003, 06:04 PM   #11
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    Thanks for welcome.. I need any help from anyone who gets esophagus squeezes.. feels like a golf ball is in my esophagus after I take Nexium... the feeling last forever.. I am not getting help at doctors office.. They have suggested anxiety.. but this is very uncomfortable.. I have tried Aciphex and had the same feeling.. Any advice welcome. thanks

     
    Old 09-20-2003, 02:50 PM   #12
    dd4241
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    Hello, New Dx.

    Aside from having Barretts, and a few other miserable Dxes, I am a Psychiatric Social Worker. One of the most useful techniques I have for patients in pain or suffering with anxiety and phobias, is hypnosis. Now, don't laugh or make faces! ;-P

    Hypnosis is nothing like the stuff you see on TV. It's simply total relaxation of your muscles combined with extreme focus of your mind. I the first session after I have assessed the patient for "hypnotizability" I hypnotize them and then teach them self hypnosis. They are always in control, awake and aware.

    Self hypnosis would allow you to relax your throat muscles completely so that you wouldn't have that golf ball feeling. You can find a legitimate, credentialed hypnotherapist in the phone book by looking under hypnotists and then seeing who is listed as an MD, PhD or MSW. Good luck, Dale
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    Old 04-11-2005, 07:39 AM   #13
    Salam
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    Cool Re: Barretts disease

    Hi All,

    I have been told that I have Barretts Disease, I had bad heart burn for about five years and I used to choke on food it would not go down. For the last two
    years I have been on medication and I have not choked on my food nor had any heart burn. Last year I had a endoscopy and was told I had Barretts Disease he took a biopsy and said it was not cancer at that time. He sent to a Doctor in Albany,NY for a possiable operation. This Doctor was going to move my stomach up above my heart and take off the Esophagus and reconnect it up there making for a very short Esophagus.I don't know what this is called. But to make a long story short in getting ready for the operation it was discovered that I needed a quadruple heart bypass, which was preformed and I ended up with only 3/4 of my heart. This year I went back for another endoscopy and was told that the Barretts was not any worse than last year and a biopsy again showed no sign of cancer and he still wants me to have the operation. I no longer choke on my food and I have not had heartburn in the last two years since I have been taking my medicine. From all I have read only about 5 to 10% of people with Barretts turns into cancer. I believe my best option is to have endoscopys about twice a year and than if it ever turns to cancer than have the operation at that time. I'm 68 years old now with 3/4 of a heart and have diabeties and hi blood preasure and I have been told that this operation is twice a bad as a heart bypass does anyone out there know what I should do this is a case of HAVE OPERATION or NOT HAVE OPERATION Cheers all Salam

    Last edited by Salam; 04-11-2005 at 07:46 AM.

     
    Old 04-13-2005, 12:10 PM   #14
    Katie G
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    Smile Re: Barretts disease

    Hi there Salem. Given your medical history, I think you're wise to wait and just have regular endos done. I developed Barrett's in 1999 when I was 37, but waited for 2 years to have the fundoplication. I had no other health factors to prevent having surgery, but I think in your case, your doctor should take a more conservative approach and just conduct surveillance on your esophagus, and continue with the PPIs.

    Sounds like you're getting relief from reflux that way, which is a much safer way to go than surgery. Although I'm glad to have the surgery done and over, I was 30 years younger and with no major health issues. My surgeon doesn't like to recommend fundoplication for someone over 65 - says it's more difficult to recover from at that age.

    Hang in there and keep us posted,
    Katie G

     
    Old 04-13-2005, 06:51 PM   #15
    Wintergarden
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    Re: Barretts disease

    Salam, I just wanted to wish you well - you have been through a lot! Frankly, if I were in your shoes, I would take the conservative route and go with the frequent endoscopies, especially if the surgery is still an option should they discover any sinister cell changes. Has the doctor told you if your Barretts is very severe?

    Katie, wow, I can't believe Barretts can happen at age 37! I hope it's a very mild case and the surgery will keep further damage at bay. Did you have several years of serious heartburn or other symptoms? I'm 43 with severe reflux, and my G.I. doc doesn't even think it's worth scoping me, but your story gives me pause. Are you satisfied with the results of the fundoplication, and I was wondering, do they consider that a permanent solution?

    Wishing you both the best of health!

     
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