sore spot in esophagus, always thinking the worst

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Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/14/2008 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm new to this board, but not new to GERD.  I'm a 34 yr old wife and mom, short at 5'1" and overweight but losing it slowly.  Started taking PPI 7 yrs ago for reflux and + hpylori.  Dr never did treat the hpylori back then.  Over the years I've been off and on the different kinds of PPIs.  Loss of Ins in 2006 forced me to switch to the Prilosec OTC, for a while it worked.  Started having more substantial problems last Nov.  Lots of burping, stomach bloated, reflux and heartburn in spite of the 20mg Prilosec OTC.  Dr I saw retested for Hpylori, + again of course, treated it with the 2 antibiotics and 14 day Prevacid.  She also did an abdominal and chest xray.  Never got retested, didn't know I needed to.  Symptoms settled down some.  Feb 2008 started having lots of chest pressure relieved with burping, pain/spasms in espophagus, lots of reflux, even water coming back up.  Went to cardiologist, part because I have a bicuspid aortic valve and wanted to make sure chest pains/pressure weren't related... but to be honest I mostly went to the cardio because I knew he'd be the more likely dr to listen and do something.  Other dr (actually a Nurse Practitioner) blows me off every time.  Anyway, cardio doc didn't think it was heart related, sent me for a barium swallow.  Had that done around the end of March.  Showed severe reflux and small hiatial hernia.  Got me an appt to see gastro dr.  Took 2.5 months to get in.  Saw him May 27, Gave me Prevacid 30mg samples, told me to take 2x a day, while we wait for Ins to pre-auth Prilosec 40mg 2x daily.  I can't say I've seen a huge improvement, it's been 2 1/2 weeks.  I will say it's helped "some".  The chest pressure and spasms have stopped.  And I don't feel reflux as much, but...

shortly after starting the Prevacid I noticed a pain/sore spot on the left side of my espophagus.  It hurts in that one spot when I swallow a larger size bite of food, when I apply a lot of pressure to my chest to get up a burp sometimes I can feel the pain there.  It's a specific spot, not a general area.  And I'm certain it's in the esophagus and not the throat, but it is up higher closer to the throat rather than lower into the chest, not in the neck.

Of course my biggest fear is a tumor.  But wouldn't the barium swallow have showed that?  I think I remember when the nurse called on the phone with the barium results, her saying specifically, "... no tumors or anything...".

Do any of you know if GERD or small hiatial hernia related things that can cause this kind of pain/sore spot?  I do not have any trouble with swallowing the food or getting it to go down, doesn't feel like it's getting stuck or anything.  My stomach also still feels full and/or bloated most of the time.  I'm trying to stay away from what we all know as the "trigger foods" I'm not 100% on that but really trying.  I walk a treadmill every evening and usually drink a lot of water, a lot of times I can feel the coolness of the water coming back up the esophagus after it's went down.  But my main concern is this pain.  I'm scared but find comfort in reading posts here and other reflux boards.  Seems like I always think the worst and I guess I'd just like to know that other things can cause this other than cancer. 

Thanks for any help!

Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/17/2008 7:13 PM (GMT -6)   

Well, I'm a little disappointed that no one had a comment on my post.  I didn't think I would be the only one since I've read so many posts with all kinds of GERD problems.  Well, I did go back to the gastro dr and he's doing an endoscopy tomorrow morning.  I'm not nervous about the procedure itself but I am anxious about what he might find.  Still having that pain, feels like a burning sore spot. 

 

I wonder if anyone has any suggestions about sleeping with a wedge pillow?  We tried putting the bed up 6" but could not sleep, couldn't get used to it.  So my husband lowered it to 4", that seemed to work for me, but he's still having trouble sleeping.  I hate to make him so uncomfortable and not getting a good night sleep.  I just did it because I was parinoid that damage was being done inside and I'm trying to do everything I can to prevent it... but... I'm not really having any problems with reflux at night.  I've never had any of the waking up problems that I've read about in some of these posts.  I guess that's a good sign, but with how weird reflux can be, the whole "silent reflux" and all who knows, right.


Acid Prone
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 46
   Posted 6/17/2008 7:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Good luck tomorrow. I hope there's nothing there. I have GERD that effects my throat and sinuses. It's a drag. I gave up on the bed thing too because it didn't work. I have a sore spot in my neck but nothing serious showed on my recent endo except a stricture which the doc dilated. I think I just have to get the Nissen and get it fixed that way.
Again good luck. Let us know how things turn out.

Mary Lynn


Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/18/2008 11:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Well, I had the endoscopy today. Worst part was the IV.. Ouch! The dr only spoke to me a moment in recovery and said "...everything looked pretty good, there was one small area of inflammation that I biopsied, should have the results of that in a couple days, stomach looked good..." I said, "So you didn't see any sign of barrett's?" And he said "No, but we took the biopsy and well see what that says."

So what do you think that means? Wouldn't they know barretts just by looking? What is the biopsy for? Why do they take biopsies of inflammation? If the rest of the esophagus looked good wouldn't it stand to reason that there's no chance of this "small area of inflammation" being barretts? I guess I just didn't get to "20 question" him like I'd like to have.

Would anyone like to comment?

brit49
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/18/2008 12:03 PM (GMT -6)   
tongue  Hi, i just read your post and i'm wondering what the results of your endoscopy biopsy was.  I have similiar issues and have the pain in the right side of my throat and sinus.  I also have sort of a pain in the right side of my chest that i sometimes feel in my back shoulder and belching after i eat.  I had been on aciphex for 3 years and recently switched to protonix.  I've also been taking Pepcid complete at nite.  I had a somewhat normal endoscopy three years ago but also was treated for h-pylori that they found at that time.  I was supposed to take the aciphex for 6 weeks but symptoms came back so primary dr put me back on aciphex.  I did just have a gallbladder ultrasound but I haven't heard results yet.  I really believe it is connected to my reflux.  I'm just so glad to find somebody with similiar issues!   

Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/19/2008 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Brit49, I'm glad you could relate to my post... well, I'm not glad you're in pain... but you know what I mean :)

I won't get the results until tomorrow, at least that's what they said... "in a couple days". That would be tomorrow. Who knows though, you know how dr's offices' are. Did your Dr ever tell you what the pain was from since you had a somewhat normal endoscopy? Mine, yesterday said maybe a spasm, but it comes on and stays for quite a long time, it's not just a few minutes then it's gone, that's how I think a spasm would behave... I'm not an expert, but spasm doesn't seem to fit to me. I get that pain going back to my back right shoulder blade too, but kind of didn't know if it was related or not. I have a lot of soreness in that shoulder from overuse/strain... so I didn't know if it was GERD related or not. If you read these posts long enough it seems there are a lot of strange symptoms that people relate to GERD. I don't know what to think anymore. I'm tired of worrying myself silly. I think I have a lot of the symptoms of the upper throat GERD, can't remember what they call it on here, but it makes you feel like you have to clear your throat all the time and can make you feel hoarse. I also read a post that said GI docs pass that area right up when they do the scope and that you have to see an ENT dr for that. That's all I need is to have to go to yet another dr and convince them to at least hear me out and take a look. This GI doc I have now has been the best.

Right now I'm taking Prevacid 30mg 2x a day, but these are just samples till my insurance comp authorizes the actual prescription. But when I get it filled it'll be for Prilosec 40mg 2x a day. I don't hear many people on here mention taking that one... seems like most people are either on Nexium, Protonix, or Prevacid. I hope to find something that works so that I don't get a throat full of damage and edge closer to surgery. I'm already high risk for breast cancer, my Mom died from it in Dec 2005... I don't want to add esophagial cancer to the list.

I will post as soon as I know the results of my biopsy, let me know how your gallbladder results are. What are your problems with gallbladder... symptoms? I've wondered if I should mention that to my dr, but I'm not real familiar with the symptoms... I'm assuming some kind of upper abdominal pain, of which I have none. But my stomach is almost always bloated/feeling full, even after a small bowl of multi-grain cheerios w/skim milk in the morning. I need to ask him also to check to see if I have H Pylori again. I don't know what not to eat anymore, obviously the "trigger" foods, but it seems to be a long list for me. Does milk bother you, or has anyone else heard that milk makes GERD worse? Hope you are feeling better soon.

Jen

grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 6/20/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
Misery loves company, I guess.

I've had GERD for I don't know how many years. Around 2000 I started having problems swallowing and was diagnosed with a stricture. A later scope revealed barrett's. I had a hard time learning to live with that, but in the three years since, I've become accustomed to it.

Last year around this time I started having trouble swallowing, sore throat, felt like I had to clear it all the time, seemed like there was a lump from time to time. I went to my GERD doc who said it sounded like allergies. It went away eventually and didn't return.

This year it came back, but the symptoms were worse. I chalked it up to the fact that my new job had me outside more frequently. (I do have a history of allergies; used to get shots when I was a kid.) I had a scheduled check-up with my GERD doc, who offered to do my scope early (I was due in November of this year). Not long after that I started experiencing reflux symptoms again. The actual burning has been pretty mild, but I know my esophagus is being irritated because I feel the pain in my chest and my back. I also have "low functionality" of the gallbladder and though most of the time it doesn't bother me, it has also been acting up over the past few days.

I'm very analytical about stuff like this, especially when it comes to my esophagus. And since my scope is two weeks away, I've been restless with anxiety over the whole situation. I'm sure that some of the pain and discomfort can be chalked up to stress; that makes anything worse, and when I do have anxiety attacks they are all consuming and overwhelming. But there is definitely something going on with my reflux because I can feel my esophagus aching. Now I've been on prevacid for maybe four or five years now and it has always controlled my reflux. If I miss a dose, I still feel the heartburn. I haven't missed a dose for weeks on end though, and it seems like its effectiveness is waning. I'm not having trouble swallowing but the whole passage just seems irritated at the moment. I've had some brief, mild (but still noticeable) pain in my stomach region, up near the center of my rib cage, indigestion, and excess phlegm. And again, my gallbladder is causing me some discomfort. Seems like all of my innards are conspiring to make me paranoid. And it's working; I have been a wreck for the past two weeks. I have a lot to lose: a wife and five kids. Part of me thinks it's a worse case scenario, that the barrett's has worsened. Part of me thinks it's a combination of factors: stress, allergies (or the upper reflux that causes the throat irritation and phlegm), and reflux symptoms that are probably exaggerated by the stress. I'm hoping and praying that the latter is correct, or at least that the former is not true.

Unfortunately, working against me I have a weight problem (after my stricture was fixed I actually gained weight because I was able to eat more foods again).

I've reached an impasse where I don't know which way is up, and waiting two weeks for the scope (and another week for the results) is really making all of this worse. Part of me fears my ticket is going to be punched when I do have that scope. If my reflux has gone silent, then there's no telling how long it's been eating away at me. The infuriating part about that is that I was scoped every four to six weeks after my barrett's was discovered, to determine if the prevacid was working... and it was working wonderfully. I've had a few mild symptoms of what would be the "upper" reflux... a few times I've woken up and food came back up. But those are few and far between. i've had no cough, and up until literally the day of my GERD doc appointment about ten days ago, no reflux symptoms at all.

Ugh. I get a headache trying to figure it out. I wish I could just let it go until the scope but that's not how my mind works unfortunately.

Post Edited (grimmly) : 6/20/2008 9:32:53 PM (GMT-6)


Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/21/2008 8:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Grimmly, My heart really goes out to you. I know what it's like to wait and worry. I hope today is better for you. I will pray that your barretts isn't worse. I could relate to your "a lot to lose" mindset. I think the same things about my husband and 2 small children. I've had a rough year of surpising reminders that I'm not immortal... don't we all like to think we are. It's ridiculous the preventative tests I have to have each year just to make sure nothing ugly is lurking... I'll have to have a mamogram to check for breast cancer each year even though I'm only 34 because of my Mom. I'll have to have a echocardiogram each year to keep an eye on my bicuspid aortic valve to check for stenosis, and to keep a check on the aortic root to keep an eye out for anuerism (sp?), because people with bicuspid aortias are at risk for spontaineous aortic dissection, where your aorta blows a hole and you bleed out, almost always fatal. And now I've got this GERD and inflammed esophagus to worry with. I know that if it's not barretts he won't recommend annual scopes, but how else am I to know if it's progressing.

I don't know how not to worry about these things. I just take one day at a time and enjoy my family and praise God for another day of life and breath. I don't know where my GERD will lead me, I dont' know if I'll ever get breast cancer, I don't know if I'll ever have trouble with my aorta.. but most people do have to have the valve replacement usually in their 50's, open heart surgery, heart stopped, heart lung machine... But I don't know the details... and I'm not supposed to. I have to trust Him with what I can't see. And He is trustworthy.

I hope you post again after your scope, I'd like to know how you are doing. I'll be praying for you and your family.

Jen

grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 6/22/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I will definitely post again. I actually studied up on Barrett's a bit more and learned a bit that has set my mind at ease somewhat. Generally there are no symptoms when Barrett's progresses; that's why it's so fatal. A great many people don't catch it until after it's progressed into cancer. Mine was, 16 months ago, considered to be minimal; a very small spot that showed no signs of displagia. There are two (maybe three?) levels of displagia Barrett's can go through before they consider it cancerous. There are treatments for those, though they are risky and not widely used.

So these symptoms I'm having probably relate more to my reflux acting up than to Barrett's progression - maybe. Hopefully. If I understand what I read right, it seems like that could be the case. Mind you, reflux flaring up can certainly prompt barrett's to get worse, so I'm not breathing easy by any stretch. But I think I can make it this last week to the scope. The results are what concerns me the most. i'm overweight and with high BP, neither of which is very helpful.

I'm also starting some therapy this week to deal with what I think is probably some form of generalized anxiety disorder. I have a perpetual fear of loss. Sometimes it's rational (in my opinion, my concern for my esophagus, while extreme, has a firm basis in reality) and sometime's it's not (I just wake up in the middle of the night and I'm terrified of something I can't pinpoint). Lots of loved ones passed away when I was younger so it's no surprise I have that fear of loss. I need help dealing with it better though.

That's off-topic though, sorry. I'll certainly post again after my scope and hopefully it will be good news. Or at least not awful news.

I'll share my original treatment method, maybe it will do you some good to hear how they go about making sure your reflux is under control so your barrett's doesn't get worse (if you even have it) and so you don't get it, if you don't.

During my first scope, the dilated my esophagus (it was strictured due to reflux damage) and also biopsied several portions of it. One spot came back as having barrett's. I was then scoped every four to six weeks for about a year. The purpose of these was two-fold:

- To continue dilating my esophagus, since it was a narrow stricture
- To ensure my medication was successfully healing the damage to my esophagus (I had several ulcers too)

I was on Carafate to help with the ulcers and gastritis, and prevacid for the reflux. After a year of constant improvement, my GERD doc deemed me ready to begin my "every two years" scope to ensure the barrett's was not getting worse. It's every two years for me because there were no signs of displagia. It seems an amazing coincidence that I'm coming up on the end of that two years now and experiencing these problems, but we'll see what happens.

What I have gleaned from my previous treatments and scopes is that:

- The carafate healed the ulcers; my esophagus was just fine except for the barrett's spot
- Prevacid successfully controlled my reflux.

My PCP told me that generally, your reflux doesn't "change" its symptoms. That is, if you've had heartburn associated with it in the past, that trend would likely continue in the future. And it's true; any time I missed a dose of prevacid, I would feel the heartburn.

Yet since January I have had very infrequent and sporadic signs of the silent type of reflux that affects your throat. The kind some people say you have to see an ENT for because the GERD docs don't check for it. The most notable sign thus far (aside from a few nights when some food came back to bother me) is the constant clearing of my throat that I've had to do the past few weeks. My GERD doc has said it sounds like allergies to her, but taken in context with my other symptoms I am not so sure. (Despite that the throat clearing came first, the chest/back/pain symptoms came later.)

So... either my prevacid has stopped working and my reflux has gone completely silent (which seems to contradict what my PCP suggested, though I don't know if he's even right in the first place)... or there's something else going on here.

The other alternative is that my esophagus is so messed up I don't even feel the heartburn anymore... but my reflux went for many years without any kind of treatment at all, so it seems hard to believe that in 16 months it would fall completely silent and eat me up that badly. I never rule out anything but this doesn't seem quite as consistent with what I've learned about how things behave.

That said, I'm no doctor and can honestly say I have no earthly clue what's happening. All I know is, I'm freaked out by it all daily and I'm at once dreading and anxiously awaiting the scope that will hopefully bring me some answers. Some good answers that don't invovle words like cancer. I certainly hope and pray this is the case.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I can get carried away sometimes. I hope somewhere in there was something useful.

Post Edited (grimmly) : 6/22/2008 12:26:10 PM (GMT-6)


Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/24/2008 10:58 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Grimmly. I have the need to clear my throat almost all the time too, hasn't been too bad the past 2 days though. I enjoyed reading your post. I think you and I are somewhat alike. You're very analytical, me too. I could spin it a thousand different ways, just trying to gain some control. I've thought about seeing someone for my anxiety too. I have a prescription for valium (2mg) the lowest dose that I got back in Aug of last year, I've got about 10 left. I don't like taking it because it makes me feel dizzy and a dry mouth. Last Feb I had about a whole week of vertigo, and I'd taken 1 valium two days before this started. Probably not the cause of it, but I can't be off balance and dizzy like that again, I've got to be able to drive and such. I could function pretty good just felt like my equalibrium was off.

I have the same fears that you do. Although I think the reasons for mine are flipflopped compared to yours, I was sheltered from death of loved ones for most of my life then about a year after my Mom's death (she died in '05/breast cancer) it just hit me like a brick wall and all I could think about was it could happen to me. Four months after her my grandmother went home to be with the Lord. Then it seemed like it was an aunt or an uncle every year, my husband's father in Nov '06 as well, and just 4 weeks ago my sister-in-law was killed in a car accident. My anxiety is deeply rooted in the thoughts of leaving my children while they are so young. Like you said in your post, some of my fears are what I'd consider to be rational and some are not. Like you said, this is OT, but I appreciated your sharing.

Anyway, I hadn't heard anything from my dr's office about the biopsy... so I called this morning and the nurse called me back and said it hadn't come in yet. She said they usually take 3 to 5 days. I had it done last Wed... seems like it would have been in by now. I was feeling pretty confident about it since they hadn't called because I'd always heard that if the dr's office doesn't call right away with test results there's usually nothing to worry about, that they only call right away with something that's got an alert on it otherwise they don't get in any hurry. Oh well, so much for that. I'm just praying it comes back ok.

I guess you could say I'm better but still have some kind of pain down in there. It's not as bad as it was, I don't feel it as much when I swallow food, but certain ways that I move my chest or shoulders around I can feel it, if I have a big/hard burp to come up I can sometimes feel it... I wonder if it may just be something muscular. I've got to stop dwelling on it or I'm going to drive myself crazy.

Thanks for you post, I will post again as soon as I hear from them. I'm kind of irritated it's taking so long.

joyfulsoul
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/24/2008 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Grimmly,

I am a new member today and had to post just reading your stuff. I have always had bad allergy problems, so when I got sick last December and remained through January (sore throat, stuffy nose, pain in ears), I went from my family doc to my ENT. I saw him twice, we tried antibiotics and steroids for my inflammation, and I still felt terrible--my complaint to him the second time was that I had mucus not only in my nose but in my throat and it felt stuck. He did a CT scan of my entire head and throat area, and said I only had some inflammation--no infection, and then suggested I go see a Gastro doc because I may have acid reflux. Something I had never considered, because I never had heartburn up to that point. Unfortunately, I was only told to take OTC Prilosec (20 mg) once daily for 2 months. I did this while my symptoms got worse. Back to family doc, who sampled me with Zegerid 40 mg once daily. Symptoms persisted for next month and I went back and got Nexium samples 40 mg twice daily. After a month of this and not feeling better I just flat out quit and said "I must not have reflux". Well, I ended up in the ER with chest pain and shortness of breath and they determined it was acid reflux and gave me Pepsid through an IV. Prescribed Protonix 40 mg twice a day which I have now taken since Mother's Day (my day in the hospital). Never have had the heartburn again, but I still have the silent reflux VERY BAD. My throat always has that food-stuck-in-it feeling, creeping reflux coming up my esophagus, stuffy nose and ears, hard to swallow, etc. So I had a motility/manometry test last week and they called to tell me my results were totally normal! No spasms during test and spinchter seemed to be fine. Talk about frustrating! I am not fine! I seem to just have to live with this (at least for now). They (docs) tell me to give it 5-6 months on the protonix and eat correctly, sleep upright, and see. I hate to read your posts about how long you've had these issues because I am so hopeful of getting better. I am normal weight and just went through menopause last year, so I'm hoping it's something to do with hormones. I haven't had a glass of wine or coffee for 3 months, but I feel so deprived since I still feel like crap. I usually have to add pepsid in at night or antacids on top of the protonix to get through the night. I have tried lots of natural things too, like DGL licorice, and use probiotics. I hope you do get good news at your end, but wanted you to see I started in the reverse with the ENT first, and then progressed to find out I have GERD. Hoping the support here helps me through these hard times!

       

 

grimmly said...
I will definitely post again. I actually studied up on Barrett's a bit more and learned a bit that has set my mind at ease somewhat. Generally there are no symptoms when Barrett's progresses; that's why it's so fatal. A great many people don't catch it until after it's progressed into cancer. Mine was, 16 months ago, considered to be minimal; a very small spot that showed no signs of displagia. There are two (maybe three?) levels of displagia Barrett's can go through before they consider it cancerous. There are treatments for those, though they are risky and not widely used.

So these symptoms I'm having probably relate more to my reflux acting up than to Barrett's progression - maybe. Hopefully. If I understand what I read right, it seems like that could be the case. Mind you, reflux flaring up can certainly prompt barrett's to get worse, so I'm not breathing easy by any stretch. But I think I can make it this last week to the scope. The results are what concerns me the most. i'm overweight and with high BP, neither of which is very helpful.

I'm also starting some therapy this week to deal with what I think is probably some form of generalized anxiety disorder. I have a perpetual fear of loss. Sometimes it's rational (in my opinion, my concern for my esophagus, while extreme, has a firm basis in reality) and sometime's it's not (I just wake up in the middle of the night and I'm terrified of something I can't pinpoint). Lots of loved ones passed away when I was younger so it's no surprise I have that fear of loss. I need help dealing with it better though.

That's off-topic though, sorry. I'll certainly post again after my scope and hopefully it will be good news. Or at least not awful news.

I'll share my original treatment method, maybe it will do you some good to hear how they go about making sure your reflux is under control so your barrett's doesn't get worse (if you even have it) and so you don't get it, if you don't.

During my first scope, the dilated my esophagus (it was strictured due to reflux damage) and also biopsied several portions of it. One spot came back as having barrett's. I was then scoped every four to six weeks for about a year. The purpose of these was two-fold:

- To continue dilating my esophagus, since it was a narrow stricture
- To ensure my medication was successfully healing the damage to my esophagus (I had several ulcers too)

I was on Carafate to help with the ulcers and gastritis, and prevacid for the reflux. After a year of constant improvement, my GERD doc deemed me ready to begin my "every two years" scope to ensure the barrett's was not getting worse. It's every two years for me because there were no signs of displagia. It seems an amazing coincidence that I'm coming up on the end of that two years now and experiencing these problems, but we'll see what happens.

What I have gleaned from my previous treatments and scopes is that:

- The carafate healed the ulcers; my esophagus was just fine except for the barrett's spot
- Prevacid successfully controlled my reflux.

My PCP told me that generally, your reflux doesn't "change" its symptoms. That is, if you've had heartburn associated with it in the past, that trend would likely continue in the future. And it's true; any time I missed a dose of prevacid, I would feel the heartburn.

Yet since January I have had very infrequent and sporadic signs of the silent type of reflux that affects your throat. The kind some people say you have to see an ENT for because the GERD docs don't check for it. The most notable sign thus far (aside from a few nights when some food came back to bother me) is the constant clearing of my throat that I've had to do the past few weeks. My GERD doc has said it sounds like allergies to her, but taken in context with my other symptoms I am not so sure. (Despite that the throat clearing came first, the chest/back/pain symptoms came later.)

So... either my prevacid has stopped working and my reflux has gone completely silent (which seems to contradict what my PCP suggested, though I don't know if he's even right in the first place)... or there's something else going on here.

The other alternative is that my esophagus is so messed up I don't even feel the heartburn anymore... but my reflux went for many years without any kind of treatment at all, so it seems hard to believe that in 16 months it would fall completely silent and eat me up that badly. I never rule out anything but this doesn't seem quite as consistent with what I've learned about how things behave.

That said, I'm no doctor and can honestly say I have no earthly clue what's happening. All I know is, I'm freaked out by it all daily and I'm at once dreading and anxiously awaiting the scope that will hopefully bring me some answers. Some good answers that don't invovle words like cancer. I certainly hope and pray this is the case.

Sorry for the lengthy post. I can get carried away sometimes. I hope somewhere in there was something useful.

grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 6/25/2008 11:32 AM (GMT -6)   
Jencalem: it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who over analyzes everything to try and gain a measure of control, although I definitely feel for you since I know what it's like.

Joyfulsoul: welcome. I'm new here myself. I definitely empathize with not knowing what's happening. It's endlessly frustrating. I've cut back a lot of what I usually eat because I'm worried my reflux has come back and gone silent. I can't seem to find anything about that happening; what I've read (and even what my pcp has told me) is that if you feel it, you'll always feel it and if it's silent, it will remain silent. So... yeah. Another circle to run in.

On the bright side, I have lost a bit of weight because I've cut out a lot of junk I usually eat. Soda was my worst and I haven't touched it since Father's Day. Of course I really don't have much of an appetite right now either. Or motivation to do much of anything, really. Trying to get over that though.

I have an appointment today (probably more of an interview) with a doctor about my anxiety issues. I think I've become so used to it, I don't even realize it's there anymore. Anxious is normal. So I don't realize I'm stressing because I'm used to feeling this way.

Off topic again, sorry. A week to go until the scope...

Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 6/30/2008 9:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, I finally got the results of my biopsy. Never heard of one taking a week and a half to come back... but anyway, the Dr himself called me which I appreciated. The biopsy was as he said "normal". So that really takes a load off my mind! He said again that there was a small area of inflammation and the hiatial hernia was small. He said for me to give the Prevacid more time. But he said short of trying a few of the other meds, surgery was all there was left for me. I really want to avoid that!!!! So it's diet and exercise. The pain is so much better... I adjusted the times of when I took my prevacid (twice daily) and that seemed to make a big difference. Seems like if I take them less than an hour before I eat either breakfast or dinner that it doesn't work as well.  So that's the adjustment that I made.  Plus I got some gaviscon and that works real well too. I know that if I can't get control of this reflux via weight reduction and staying away from the "trigger" food (although I reflux anything right now, even water) then one day the endoscopy & biopsy won't be as favorable. Thanks to everyone who replied to my post.

Post Edited (Jencalem) : 6/30/2008 8:41:01 PM (GMT-6)


grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 6/30/2008 10:29 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm so relieved for you! That did seem to take awhile. Can't even blame it on the July 4th holiday yet. I'm sure that will set my results back by a few days.

There seems to be far too many doctors who want to jump into the surgery for reflux. Thankfully mine hasn't recommended it yet, though if my reflux has come back I'm concerned that they will want to go that route. I really don't want to have that done either.

Either way, I'm happy you got good news. Here's hoping I can claim the same next week.

joyfulsoul
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 7/1/2008 8:39 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Jencalem,

I'm glad to read your post. I will try taking my protonix further away from the times I eat also, because I reflux everything also, including water. Are you trying for 2 hours before breakfast and dinner or what timeframes seem to be helping? I am even thinking about just having a piece of toast and cereal everynight for awhile while I make something for my husband for dinner, because no matter what I eat for dinner, I am miserable. I've only been on the protonix twice daily since May 10. My endoscopy, biopsy and motility test were all normal. My doc says I have to give it more time also. I have lost 15 pounds since April. I am 145 now and am 5'6". Glad your biopsy came back normal too. Good luck with everything in this fight! I haven't tried Gavescon. I will have to look into it.

 

  

 


grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 7/3/2008 4:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Rather than starting a new thread just for this one comment, I'll just add it here since most of my related posts are above anyway.

I had my scope today, and of course there is no definitive answer until the biopsies come back, but thankfully everything looked pretty good. In fact, in light of the symptoms I've been having, my doctor was surprised and relieved to see how well it all looked. My barrett's spot has not grown or physically changed; it looks just as it did 18 months ago. That's not to say nothing has happened, of course, but superficially everything looks good.

I do have a peptic ulcer, but there wasn't anything she saw that really concerned her. But again, once the biopsies come back we will know for sure. Barring any complications with that, I go back in 3 months to see how things are proceeding.

Even without the biopsy results yet, just knowing that it looks good in there is a huge load off of my mind. I'll probably still be jittery for the next week but my panic has kind of dissipated. Doc's advice: watch the diet, avoid fatty foods, and keep on the meds. I may tweak the times of day I take the meds to see if that helps. I haven't touched pop in a week or two or three, and I've lost some weight so this is all good stuff.

Hopefully the biopsy will support this and come back normal... or at least normal for my barrett's.

dewey
New Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 0
   Posted 7/3/2008 11:18 PM (GMT -6)   
hello Jen and Grim and Joy,I'm have the same issues-- i go for a endoscopy on the 21st--i have had everything i can imagine tested all seems to be normal-- i have read that it is a normal practice to biopsy on a endoscopy--I'm just so frustrated--I'm 38 MM have been healthy my whole life ---TILL THIS HIT ME-- all of a sudden in march-- the SOB and now aniexity now that this has been going on--sometimes is overwelming for me---its a struggle sometimes just to have the energy to do the extras---o well!!! if i have a H Hernia i have read the chiroprator is the best way to help--i dont know --looking forward to posting to you guys!!! so we can share and rid our selves of this curse!!!!! arghhh Dewey

Post Edited (dewey) : 7/3/2008 10:23:30 PM (GMT-6)


kindu
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/4/2008 12:22 PM (GMT -6)   

hi everybody,    (excuse me for my poor english)

In july 2007 , I ate very spicy food and I felt little pressure in my chest and burping all the day then next day I woke up in the morning I felt lot of pain and pressure in my chest ,oh my god , that pressure was there every day I went to doctor  30 times, allmost every day I goes to doctor they did all the test for me every thing was normal except  I have high level of h pylori and mild mitral valve prolapes. so I took two types of antibiotics and prilosec. but my pressure was still there ,its like no life. I cried every day and pray to god , I stopped eating spicy food , caffein and sweet things at all. I stopped taking medicine after 15 day I felt better and then I took nexium for 5 day  my  chest pressue was totally gone . but took 3-4 months come to normal . I drink milk at night time and elevate head of bed, but I have another problem I do not know if its related with gerd I have mild sudden sharp pains in chest just for one second and go away, any comments please keep posting

 


Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 7/8/2008 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
dewey said...
hello Jen and Grim and Joy,I'm have the same issues-- i go for a endoscopy on the 21st--i have had everything i can imagine tested all seems to be normal-- i have read that it is a normal practice to biopsy on a endoscopy--I'm just so frustrated--I'm 38 MM have been healthy my whole life ---TILL THIS HIT ME-- all of a sudden in march-- the SOB and now aniexity now that this has been going on--sometimes is overwelming for me---its a struggle sometimes just to have the energy to do the extras---o well!!! if i have a H Hernia i have read the chiroprator is the best way to help--i dont know --looking forward to posting to you guys!!! so we can share and rid our selves of this curse!!!!! arghhh Dewey
Hi Dewey, glad you found this board, it's good isn't it!  I was so relieved to find people who had the same problems as me.  Hope you're feeling better.  I know it's hard to wait for those appointments, just hang in there and know that chances are your endoscopy will be show nothing terrible.  I was convinced of the worst before mine and I only had some minor inflammation and normal biopsy.  But it's a big wake up call, lifestyle has to change.  My Prevacid is finally starting to work.  I did not realize that it can take a while to get the esophagus and stomach to settle down, I guess when I started the max dose I just figured a few days and I should notice a difference... it took over a month to really feel better.  And I'm still not 100% but much better.  No more pain!  Are you going to pursue the chiropractor.  I don't think that'll be right for me but by all means if you find something that helps go for it.  I know a lot of people who have reflux and are very slim people, but I still feel my weight I carry in my middle is my main problem.  I've also read that some people still have severe problems despite lifestyle changes... but we've got to do something right?  Hope all is well with you, looking forward to hearing more after your scope on the 21st.
 
Jen

Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 7/8/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
kindu said...

hi everybody,    (excuse me for my poor english)

In july 2007 , I ate very spicy food and I felt little pressure in my chest and burping all the day then next day I woke up in the morning I felt lot of pain and pressure in my chest ,oh my god , that pressure was there every day I went to doctor  30 times, allmost every day I goes to doctor they did all the test for me every thing was normal except  I have high level of h pylori and mild mitral valve prolapes. so I took two types of antibiotics and prilosec. but my pressure was still there ,its like no life. I cried every day and pray to god , I stopped eating spicy food , caffein and sweet things at all. I stopped taking medicine after 15 day I felt better and then I took nexium for 5 day  my  chest pressue was totally gone . but took 3-4 months come to normal . I drink milk at night time and elevate head of bed, but I have another problem I do not know if its related with gerd I have mild sudden sharp pains in chest just for one second and go away, any comments please keep posting

 

Kindu Welcome!  I hope you are feeling better now.  I felt a lot of chest pressure with my reflux and I've read that H Pylori does cause bloated feeling in the stomach which can add to the chest pressure.  I have had H Pylori before too, took the same meds you did back in Nov 2007.  I wonder if I don't still have the infection though because I still have bloated stomach, but my dr's office said I'd have to go off my Prevacid for 2 weeks to take the breath test.  I told the nurse I'd have to think about it.  I just don't know if I want to be that miserable for 2 weeks and it took over a month to get my symptoms under control on the Prevacid, so I hate to start that all over again. 

What tests did they give you besides the H Pylori test?  Did you have a Barium Swallow xray, where you swallow that nasty chalky stuff and they xray the esophagus and stomach?  Did you have an endoscopy where you're sedated and they run a scope/camera down your esophagus to take a look? 

Chest pain can absolutely be related to GERD, also anxiety can cause shortness of breath and chest pain much like you're describing, that last a few seconds and then goes away. 

Did you see a cardiologist to follow up with your mitral valve prolapse?  I have a bicuspid aortic valve and have to see my cardiologist once a year to keep a check on it. 

If you don't feel better, continue to look for help until someone listens to you and sets your mind at ease.  Try not to think the worst, I know that's hard, but in most cases the things we worry about never come to pass, so try to keep this in mind and if you trust the Dr you are seeing then follow his advise.  Continue to eat right and avoid the trigger foods that can make your reflux (if you have that) worse.  Drinking milk is fine if that doesn't bother you but I have read that milk can make some people's reflux/stomach problems worse... different people are different... not all foods bother everyone, just do what feels right for your body.  Keep us updated on how you're feeling.

Jen


kindu
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 21
   Posted 7/10/2008 12:23 PM (GMT -6)   
hi jan..
I went to doctors so many time even the cardiologist. I had endoscopy done but without sedation it was very easy than sedation and because of my sharp pains I had cardiac ct scan done every thing is normal, thank god! I had breathing test done its very easy and it was negative Thank god again! so I m just watching my food . we can do chatting in the chat room just let me know the convenient time for you.
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