Esophagitis: How long does healing take?

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KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 4/30/2012 5:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I have been diagnosed with grade one esophagitis caused by reflux and have been switched from 40 mg Nexium to 60 mg Dexilant. During my endoscopy, my gastroenterologist also found abnormal motility in my esophagus, which he dilated. I felt like I was able to swallow better for a few days, but then went right back to where I was before the dilation. I feel discomfort when I swallow, and I can feel all food and liquid moving down slowly.

I have a follow-up appointment with my GI doc in a month. Today I called his office because of the difficulty swallowing and he said it would take some time for everything to get straightened out and he will see me at my follow-up appointment. He says the esophagitis is contributing to difficulty swallowing. Does anyone know how long it takes grade one esophagitis to heal?

I feel like this is never going to go away and I will just have to learn to live with it. It's hard to feel positive about anything right now. sad

WJF
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 4/30/2012 8:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi KitKat,

Do you by any chance have stress & anxiety issue at the moment? low serotonin level can cause esophageal motility problem.

With PPI treatment, the typical healing time for mild grade esophagitis is 1 week, standard treatment often lasts for 4 weeks.

Try eating in small size and slowly?

KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 4/30/2012 8:53 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm eating small meals 5-6 times a day and and chewing my food until it's almost liquid. My doctor has not indicated that I need to stick with soft foods, but I think I will try it with the hope that it may speed up healing.

I was on omprazole (20 mg) for a month and a half, Nexium (40 mg) for 2.5 weeks, and now I am on my 5th day of Dexilant (60 mg). I don't understand how I could have developed the esophagitis while on the PPIs. I guess it's possible that my esophagitis was worse and has been healing slowly before I had the endoscopy. However, the swallowing issues were not an initial symptom. At first I just had the feeling of a lump in my throat. Swallowing became a problem shortly after I started the Nexium.

I have been incredibly stressed and anxious since my GP told me I was experiencing reflux, to the point that I was afraid to eat. Since my symptoms have not gone away with PPIs, my anxiety has increased. I'm 25 and I don't want to live the rest of my life like this. I'm not in agony, and I know this won't kill me, but it sure is miserable. I only get relief when sleeping, so it's all I want to do.

I told my GP how anxious this has made me, and I was given a prescription for Lexapro (20 mg). I was on it years ago, but only 10 mg for a few months. The higher dose made me incredibly nauseous and because I haven't been eating very much, I was throwing up blood and mucus. I bought a pill cutter and took smaller doses for a while without getting sick, but I hate taking medication, so I stopped.

The PA that I see at my GP's office says that the motility issue is not necessarily linked to the esophagitis. The GI doc says that she is wrong. Motility issues can be present without esophagitis and esophagitis can be present without motility issues. But in my case, since I have both, they are related.

WJF
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 266
   Posted 5/1/2012 9:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Dear KitKat,

I was there! I was on PPI and yet I still experienced heartburn. I took high dosage of anti-depressant because of anxiety and insomnia arisen from the pain. Yet I am here. I am not totally well, but I can manage without taking any pill. Just hold on to hope. You are young. Young age is your best ally. People at young age heal fast and has a better chance of recovering from a serious illness.

Now back to your present condition. What you described is said to be "refractory GERD", i.e. in layman terms, GERD that still persist despite you are on high dosage of PPI. It isn't uncommon! 25% of PPI takers are refractory. Having known this, you can accept the fact that you may have developed esophagitis while you are on PPI, not because it was pre-existing and it was healing slow.

First, please check two things:

1. that you are taking the PPI at the correct time. For PPI like Nexium you need to take exactly 30mins before your meals, not earlier not later. I am not sure about Dexilant. Please consult with your doctor regarding the correct time to take it.

2. that you are not taking other medication or herb that could have worsen your reflux such as NSAIDs and certain traditional chinese herbs.

After that, here are two possibilities.

Either your doctor has misdiagnosed, and have wrongly put you on PPI. Conditions such as slow gastric emptying can cause acid reflux, and PPI could make the reflux worse. You could have managed well with prokinetic drugs.

Or there is a more serious illness behind, the most common one being bile reflux. Bile reflux is not inhibited by PPI and can cause esophagitis to develop while on PPI. I think it is unlikely you have bile reflux. The previous possibility seems more possible.

Please get your doctor to look into it thoroughly and if necessary seek a second opinion.

Have said these, stress and anxiety do play a part too. Please practise some stress-reducing techniques such as breathing, exercise, yoga, meditation, etc. It will help you alot. While you are in pain, stay calm and tell yourself, the pain is not going to last forever. You will get better.

Cylon101
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 5/1/2012 10:18 AM (GMT -6)   
I have been on Dexilent for 6 weeks with little to no relief of symptoms (still have lump in throat when i swallow and sometimes i get mucus and throat clearing)
 
But I've heard varied reports on how long it takes for PPI's to work, and each one may be different. Some people say a week or two for symptoms to improve, others have told me it takes several weeks to months.

My feeling is that it depends on what your symptoms are.  For those who suffer daily discomfort due to heartburn from the reflux,  they may start noticing an improvement or reduction in symptoms quite fast.   But for those who have more 'silent' reflux or LPR  symptoms (such as myself), it may take several months for the esophagus or throat to heal once the reflux has been stopped.
 
When I started Dexliant, the first two weeks were twice a day (morning and night) at 60mg each.  The pharmacist deemed this as the 'loading' dose.  Then in the 3rd week, I'm down to just one pill at night before bedtime at 60mg.   With Dexilant, you can take it on an empty or full stomach.

Since I have not seen a real improvement after 6 weeks, I am beginning to doubt if I am truly suffering from classic GERD, and it might be something else.  Time and more tests will hopefully give me some more ideas with my ENT, since right now it seems it isn't working fully.
 
 
 

KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/1/2012 11:22 AM (GMT -6)   
WJF- Thanks for the advice. No bile was found in my stomach during an endoscopy, so I'm hoping that means no bile reflux. I've read that the only thing that can help bile reflux is surgery. I'm taking my lexapro again in the hopes that it will help with the motility issue, or at least calm me down. Going on vacation to South Carolina in next week, so hopefully that will distract me from all of this.
 
Cylon- Did your doctor direct you to take the Dexilant at night? I wasn't told when to take it, so I take it in the morning as I had with the Nexium. I guess it probably doesn't make too much difference because it's time released. Dexilant's website says you can take it with or without food, which confuses me. I take it about 30 minutes before I eat. I took the Nexium an hour before eating.
 
 
Lately I've been reading about magnesium deficiencies, and it seems there may be a link to esophageal spasms. I've tried other natural remedies (DGL, d-limonene, digestive enzymes) and they didn't do anything for me. However, I may give the magnesium a try. Anyone have any experience with magnesium supplements?

Cylon101
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 5/1/2012 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Kat -
 
The instructions given (with prescription) was to take at night before bedtime.  Pharmacist told me it didn't matter if it's taken with food or not.

I usually take it right before bed.
 
 

KitKat880
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 111
   Posted 5/2/2012 9:42 AM (GMT -6)   
Ok, thanks. I'm still using samples from my doctor, so I will check with my pharmacist when I pick up the prescription.

Cylon101
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 68
   Posted 5/2/2012 10:46 AM (GMT -6)   
@Kat

Good luck, I hope it helps!

ericapeace2000
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 5/6/2012 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Try caltrate plus it has calcium, magnesium and vitamin D and I have heard this helps. I suffer from esophageal spasms from reflux and am on a low acid, low carb, low fat diet. This condition is very frustrating because there could be several causes for the same issue. Chewing non mint gum, aloe vets juice, Manuka honey, digestive enzymes and alkaline grass capsule have helped me along with the diet. I have to stay on zegrid at a high dose for 8 weeks to heal the root of the spasms; I have been struggling with this condition for years but did not change my diet enough. Hope this helps. You may want to consider getting the book "dropping acid" it's a cookbook that may help with diet.

tigertam71
New Member


Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/17/2013 9:27 PM (GMT -6)   
my boyfriend has tubes in stomach to use for meds and food for 6 months to heal his!!
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