GERD and cancer

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kitty061203
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 7/23/2007 3:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone.

I had my follow up appointment with my doctor last week, the follow up from my EGD. I opted not to take any anxiety meds because none of them seemed to suit me. One option was to take a daily pill, which I think causes more anxiety since I have a fear of swallowing pills. The other option was to take something that is a sedative, and that doesn't work for me either being that I have kids to take care of all day. Anyhow, my doctor told me to continue with the Prevacid for 3 months and then see how I'm feeling.

I got a little nervous though because she said that this can lead to esophagul cancer. I have read that this can happen, but I thought it was in more extreme cases? I mean, not as common. The doctor that did the EGD found no cell transformations or anything like that and in fact told me that he didn't find much of anything other than some bile and such in the stomach which does go up into my esophagus. He said it could be due to stress and anxiety. My regular doc said that it if is just due to stress that the problem could at some point subside. I'm just worried about this cancer thing. I don't want this to get so bad that I develop cancer. Anyone know any more information about this?

debaser
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Date Joined Nov 2006
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   Posted 7/23/2007 4:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I know as much as any non-doctor/nurse/health professional could possibly know as I battled GERD for quite a long time.

There is a risk of cancer in the esophagus if GERD is left untreated for a long time. The cancer is almost always preceded by a condition called "Barrett's Esophagus", which was what you doctor was talking about when he said he found no cell transformations. I think you're probably okay. The risk of developing cancer at this point is minimal.

GERD and anxiety disorders do have some kind of relationship, though. I'll give you a personal anectote:

I had GERD pretty badly for at least four years. For three of those years I was either on Nexium or Prevacid. They helped, I guess, but I still had plenty of GERD problems; if I did not eat exactly the right way and at exactly the right time, I was burping fire, having horrible tastes in my mouth, regurgitating...you name it. Again, this is WITH taking the Prevacid/Nexium. Skipping ahead, I was at one point diagnosed with panic disorder and prescribed Klonopin.

For several weeks I was afraid to take the Klonopin as I'm one of these people who absolutely hate taking pills. During this period of denial I had, at one point, decided that Prevacid must be causing my panic attacks (why would I think that? beats me). So, naturally, I quit taking it. The GERD got worse. I expected a "correction" period and tried not to think about it. And since my panic disorder was so bad in those days I was eating very little to begin with.

Anyway, I finally mustered up the courage to take the Klonopin. Instantly (and I mean by the next day) I was feeling better in almost every respect. My GERD disappeared. I felt calmer. Well, after about a week or so the GERD made a resurgence. I simply went back on the Prevacid and it stopped that problem. It had never worked before...it seems I needed both drugs to straighten GERD out.

Long story short:

GERD can definitely be aggravated by anxiety, so anti-anxiety meds can help out. Well, at least they did for me. And don't worry about getting cancer. That's your anxiety talking, too. The risk is infinitesimal since you are proactively treating GERD. If you really want to be sure about it, go back for another scope as soon as your insurance will allow and have them look again. It's very unlikely to show anything.

Advice:

Eat a GERD-friendly diet and find a way (through drugs or whatever) to decrease your anxiety level. What was this sedative that they tried to give you?
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/23/2007 5:54 PM (GMT -6)   

Hello,

Well Debaser has got it right on, he knows more than me. lol  redface

I too have GERD and if I am not on Prilosec it is just a matter of time when the severe burning in chest and the regurg at night starts.

What is the medication the physician prescribed to you, if you don't mind sharing. Before Prilosec I was using Mylanta by the bottle.

Please keep posting and know that we care. yeah


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 

Post Edited (stkitt) : 7/25/2007 10:04:28 AM (GMT-6)


kitty061203
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 7/25/2007 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your responses! Sorry it took so long to get back to you guys, I wasn't feeling very well yesterday.

The doctor didn't tell me any specific medications, she just basically told me the two categories that anxiety meds fall in. Which was the habit forming sedative or the daily non-habitforming non-sedative pill. I don't know though. I might change my mind about this.

I feel like there are days when I feel fantastic and then there are days when I feel near death and that's no exaggeration. Last night I had such a hard time falling asleep because I felt like my head was spinning and I just wasn't all there. I wasn't on any meds or drinking alcohol or anything. I just felt that way. I don't know if that's some kind of anxiety or panic attack, but it was rather scary for me. My husband insists that some of my headaches are due to sinus problems, which I have had in the past. I start to fall asleep and then when I'm nearly sleeping I wake up so quickly like something is trying to stop me from falling asleep. I'm getting pretty scared and I'm thinking I might need to talk to someone professionally.

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/25/2007 11:08 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning

I think you have a wonderful idea, talking this through with a counselor is a grand idea.  If it will help you than please do it.  Many of us have been through therapy more than once.

The spinning sensation may be a symmptom of anxiety. I believe that many of our members have this same concern.

Stay with us and keep posting.

 


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 7/25/2007 9:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Not to play pharmacist or anything, but when he mentioned sedatives he was probably talking about benzodiazepines, which are also called "minor tranquilizers".

There are two categories of benzodiazepines: long-acting and short-acting. With the long acting ones (Klonopin, Valium, Librium), the side effect of drowsiness typically goes away because this class of drugs is usually used at small doses twice per day. Short-acting ones (Ativan, Xanax) are meant to be taken as-needed are a little different. If you take enough of those that the side-effects go away, you're likely building tolerance and that, of course, is not a good thing. The character of your particular anxiety will help the physician determine which one to use.

When he was talking about the ones that are not habit forming and not sedatives, he was probably talking about SSRIs. I've read about a lot of withdrawal phenomena with SSRIs, though, so the "non-habit forming" statement could be misleading. Another thing about SSRIs as that most were designed to treat depression. While they are effective in treating anxiety in some, they often have an initial side-effect that's not very fun: increased anxiety.

I think you should talk more about the drugs with your doctor and perhaps even get a second opinion. The fact that he'd characterize a benzodiazepine as a "sedative" is curious to me. I've been on Klonopin for months. I'm not tired!

I don't know that I'd worry too much about the "habit forming" aspect. That suggests abuse, and as an anxiety sufferer you're very unlikely to abuse your meds. He was probably talking about physical dependence, but wouldn't that be an acceptable trade-off if your anxiety were alleviated?
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


kitty061203
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 7/26/2007 1:08 PM (GMT -6)   
She did mention something about the sedatives being called "tranquilizers". It just made me nervous that she would suggest a sedative because of the fact that I stay home with my kids all day. However, I'm beginning to consider going on them anyway.

I'm seriously in tears right now from these headaches. I feel dizzy like I'm going to black out. Loud noises seem to make it worse. Like I was talking to my sister on the phone today and when she would talk I felt it would resonate into my head which made me want to black out. My chest is killing me today too and my throat is very dry.

I don't know how much more of this I can take... I have no help from anyone, it's really hard for me to make doctor's appointments because I always have to get sitters, which is really hard to come by right now. Aside from that, I don't have the money to keep going. I feel like I'm falling apart.

sad

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/26/2007 1:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Dear Kitty

I am sorry that today is not going well for you and yes you do need to go back to your physician.

I am not sure how old your children are but I used to just have to drag mine along as I had no sitter or family around either.  Do you have a neighbor or a play group they  could go to?  There are many summer day camps through the YMCA and churches youth activities centers.  Perhaps they would be able to be involved in one of those. Just an idea :)

Keep posting and know we are here for you ((((((((HUGS))))))))))

 


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 7/26/2007 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Yep. My mom used to drop me off at the Boy's Club when she didn't want to deal with me on weekends. I learned to be a little criminal there, haha. But don't let that dissuade you. I'm sure most places like that are just fine.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/


nyliz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 7/26/2007 4:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey,

Bring them!!!!!!! Regardless of age or number of children, trust me they're used to it. Your children may drive you nuts while there but at least you'll be taking care of yourself and all of u will be better for it.

I know the expense thing can create a lot of anxiety all by itself, but try and put that out of your mind for now. Th money thing will eventually work itself out. You DESERVE to feel good!

nyliz
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 167
   Posted 7/26/2007 4:35 PM (GMT -6)   
by the way, u may have noticed i changed my name :)

kitty061203
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 95
   Posted 7/26/2007 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone for giving me a place to vent my concerns and aggravations! I really appreciate the feedback that I get from all of you. I know we are all suffering from the same thing and it's good to know that there are people out there who understand you and believe you. I'm still new at this and still trying to learn how to deal with these certain levels of anxiety and what triggers it all. It is really scary and the people who are lucky enough to not have to deal with anxiety should try and understand that.

Anyhow, I'll keep everyone updated! I really like having a place to go to talk about all of this and to read other's stories too.

Have a great night all..

Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 7/29/2007 4:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I am really glad you have found us here and are getting the caring and support from all our family

I would take the kids to a place that you check out and let them play all day and you start to look after self so you can have some down time and work on some techniques to fight this DD,like breathing reading self help books CBT .......there are many that you can use in conjuction with meds

I see nothing wrong with perhaps trying for a short time something fast acting and that will get you thru this AS long as you are WILLING and able to do it

Debaser is spot on in his pos

As well if you are truly that worried about GERD n Cancer then do ask for another scope .......IMHO I believe it is anxiety and that you will get thru it we are all here to help you out in any way possible
Keep us posted and please do stay with us
** I have often thought n said that I wish someone that didnt have this A/P could really know and feel just what it does to us **
If only for bit not long as I wish this on no one
LYN
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at wit's end
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 552
   Posted 8/10/2007 9:56 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel I do everything right as to watching what I eat. I do not eat any spice. no tomatoes, no chili, no pizza due to the tomato sauce, , no spaghetti due to the sauce, no ketchup, no coffee, no soft drinks. And fried foods are out for us. So I totally avoid any acidic foods along those lines but periodically do get some belching and develop gas in my side below my ribcage. I occasionally try to enjoy small amounts of chocolate but not very often as they cause heartburn. So by my eating what I eat I feel I eat farely well. I eat alot of grilled chicken, whether it be on a salad or on a sandwich. I remove the tomato as I know I cannot handle the acid in them. I drink plenty of water, I drink nothing else at work, or at home either, no orange juice although I do drink milk. So I feel I shouldn't be having any issues with a reflux problem, and since I am on Protonix 40 mg. daily, I do not know how I could possibly develop reflux from this, not even a peptic ulcer as PPI'S heal them over time from what I've read. And since I do not ever have the problem with belching up stuff into my esophagus and throat I wonder if that is even what I have. I do belch sometimes but alot of times it is after eating and I know I eat too fast even though I've tried to slow down my eating as that can make a difference. I would think it would have to be triggered by acid producing foods and I avoid the most acidic foods. And went I start to get the weird feelings in my left side and the spasms in my back I believe they are gas related so I got up and got on our home gym and worked out a little and got on my treadmill for 20 minutes and have now taken some Mylanta antacid for heartburn and gas. Not to mention the 5 mg Xanax has me loopy where the .25 did me good somewhat and Lexapro sure doesn't and it is 10 mg. Exercise is a good stress reliever for me. It helps. What foods does anyone else on here avoid? What drugs are successful for them? Thanks.

Post Edited (at wit's end) : 8/10/2007 8:59:07 PM (GMT-6)


debaser
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1745
   Posted 8/11/2007 2:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Wit's End,

I guess I'm lucky. As noted I had severe GERD problems whenever I'd eat anything (even grilled chicken, which is STILL a staple of my diet due to habit). Anyway, 30mg prevacid in the morning and .5 mg Klonopin twice a day has done the trick for me. I will on occasion take a single Maalox Plus tablet, not for heartburn but for gas in the stomach. Don't take an antacid for an hour before or an hour after taking a benzodiazepine. It will not hurt you, but it will decrease the benzo's effectiveness.

Just a couple of other notes after reading your post:

Have you considered lactose intolerance? When my doctors and I were still looking for GI issues by process of elimination, one of the first things we did was put me on lactaid for two weeks. That's available over the counter and is just an enzyme to help digest dairy products (which are ubiquitous). The lactaid didn't help me but perhaps it will help you. Worth a try.

Another gastroenterologist told me that you don't necessarily have to be regurgitating all the way into your mouth to be having reflux issues. You probably are regurgitating, just not high enough to feel it. Or at least that's what I was going through for a time. Only when I ate something really terrible would I regurgitate all the way to the mouth. Pretty gross.

You can also supplement with simethicone tablets to help with gas. Maalox and other antacids sometimes include Simethicone, but it's also available OTC at your local drugstore by itself. GasX is the popular brand, but I found that store-brand was just as effective.

And here's my standard advice to everyone: if you find that you're taking Xanax or other short-acting benzodiazepines on a daily basis, you may consider talking with your physician about switching to a longer-acting benzo such as Klonopin to avoid tolerance issues. They also typically have lower side-effect profiles for most people.

Good luck.
My Brain: My friend, My enemy: A blog to chronicle my attempt to recover from anxiety/panic disorder
anxietypanicdisorder.blogspot.com/

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