Barrett's Esophagus...

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wen4003
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Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 1193
   Posted 12/25/2007 8:24 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
 
I'm new here to the GERD/Heartburn board, but have been on HW for a few months now.  My question is this, does anyone else here have the condition "Barrett's Esophagus"?  I was diagnosed with this a few years ago when I thought I was having a heart attack (which was a very real possibility as the women in my mother's family have heart attacks at a very early age).  After a few days in the hospital it was determined that I have GERD and my esophagus was then scoped.  They found 2 ulcers and I was told that I have to be on medication for this for the rest of my life or I could most likely develop esophageal cancer.
 
Has anyone had any experience with this condition?  If so, can you share your experience with me please?  I would just like to have a little more info on it if anyone has it.  Thank you so much for your time.
 
Merry Christmas to all!!
 
Wen

Dx:  Agoraphobia, Anxiety/Panic Disorders, Barrett's Esophagus, Bipolar Disorder, Depression, Fibromyalgia, I.B.S., Mitral Valve Prolapse, Narcolepsy, PTSD, Restless Leg Syndrome, Severe Acid Reflux, Sleep Apnea, Social Anxiety

 Rx: Abilify, Ambien CR, Ativan, Flexeril, Lamictal, Neurontin, Nexium, Requip, Ritalin ER, Valium

 

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important

than any other one thing.

Abraham Lincoln

 


bokbok
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 12/26/2007 5:50 PM (GMT -6)   
hi there i been told 2 months ago i have barretts esophagus i,m 34 years its not garrented you will get cancer from it, i,m going to get the surgery to stop the acid coming a least that might not make it worse then i will see about the treatment you can get for barratts it kills bad cells and regenerates new cells but not a lot of hospitals are doing it yet its new but you can go get it done it your paying, but you need he anti reflux surgery as well . cheers

TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 12/27/2007 11:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there Wen. I hope some people come along with their experiences on this condition.

Like bokbok said, you are not guarunteed to get cancer, so I hope that is not worrying you.

Here is a bit of information I found about this for you...



Treatment

Barrett's esophagus has no cure, short of surgical removal of the esophagus, which is a serious operation. Surgery is recommended only for people who have a high risk of developing cancer or who already have it. Most physicians recommend treating GERD with acid-blocking drugs, since this is sometimes associated with improvement in the extent of the Barrett's tissue. However, this approach has not been proven to reduce the risk of cancer. Treating reflux with a surgical procedure for GERD also does not seem to cure Barrett's esophagus.

Several different experimental approaches are under study. One attempts to see whether destroying the Barrett's tissue by heat or other means through an endoscope can eliminate the condition. This approach, however, has potential risks and unknown effectiveness.





Points to Remember


In Barrett's esophagus, the cells lining the esophagus change and become similar to the cells lining the intestine.


Barrett's esophagus is associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.


A small number of people with Barrett's esophagus may develop esophageal cancer.


Barrett's esophagus is diagnosed by upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy.


People who have Barrett's esophagus should have periodic esophageal examinations.


Taking acid-blocking drugs for GERD may result in improvements in Barrett's esophagus.


Removal of the esophagus is recommended only for people who have a high risk of developing cancer or who already have it.





Barrett's Esophagus and Cancer of the Esophagus


Barrett's esophagus does not cause symptoms itself and is important only because it seems to precede the development of a particular kind of cancer—esophageal adenocarcinoma. The risk of developing adenocarcinoma is 30 to 125 times higher in people who have Barrett's esophagus than in people who do not. This type of cancer is increasing rapidly in white men. This increase may be related to the rise in obesity and GERD.

For people who have Barrett's esophagus, the risk of getting cancer of the esophagus is small: less than 1 percent (0.4 percent to 0.5 percent) per year. Esophageal adenocarcinoma is often not curable, partly because the disease is frequently discovered at a late stage and because treatments are not effective.




This is just a few quick notes I thought you might find interesting. Let me know if you have any other questions!!!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


rhondab
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/13/2008 1:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Wen

I have Barretts as well and am using Protonix and so far it's helping my GERD somewhat. It's the best of what i've tried. My doc suggested i have an endoscope every six months. I have level 1 displaysia, so of course it's not at the worst stage. There is no guarantee of cancer...so try to be calm and do things to help control the acid and make u'r life as good as u can. I think we hear the "C" word and get upset and forget to step back and fully evaluate the whole situation...i did. As Tammy and Bok said...there are things u can do to help u'rself and u should be looking at this seriously...making changes in u'r diet and eating habits, but don't dwell on it. Educate u'rself and keep going. Best wishes to u friend.
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*


TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/14/2008 8:18 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Rhonda...just wanted to say thank you for giving your input!!!

I always love to see others share their thoughts!

Wishing you all the best!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


rhondab
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Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2146
   Posted 1/15/2008 12:22 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Tammy!

Thanks! I don't usually move around on the boards, but sometimes there are topics that i just can't resist! Thanks again!
rhonda
Co-Moderator, MS Forum
 
*~*Sometimes the Lord calms the storm. Sometimes He lets the storm rage and calms His child.*~*
 
Things that make u go hummmm......
*I wonder how much deeper the ocean would be without sponges.*
*One day without sunshine is like...um..well...night?*


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/15/2008 2:51 PM (GMT -6)   
sad  Hi....I am a 34 year old mother of two.  I was just diagnosed with Barrett's.  The thought of getting cancer is consuming me.  Even the thought of when and if it will.  I will do everything i could...going to the doctor today to ask many questions!!  Help th3e thought of leaving my precious children and husband is killing me!!!!

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/15/2008 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi there dstig, and welcome to healingwell! I am glad you have found us, but I am sorry you are dealing with such fear. Please look above at the information I provided to Wen. Having Barrett's is NOT a death sentence! Many people don't even get cancer who have Barrett's. Please, look at the above information, and ask your doctor many, many questions.

Stick with us, as this is a great place for information and support, and please, don't worry yourself sick over this!

And look at this next line, I am pulling it from my above response...

For people who have Barrett's esophagus, the risk of getting cancer of the esophagus is small: less than 1 percent (0.4 percent to 0.5 percent) per year. Esophageal adenocarcinoma is often not curable, partly because the disease is frequently discovered at a late stage and because treatments are not effective.

Wishing you all the best...please update us on how your doctor went!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/16/2008 9:40 AM (GMT -6)   
thanks for writing back.....the doctors appotintment went well as i asked all of my questions.  It seems to be that only one goblet cell was found and it is in the very beginning stages.  I just wish that the burning goes away and that i can get some sleep.  When i was put on nexium in December it was working then when i got the call last week about the Barrett's the burn came back....could it be nerves????  I definitly could deal with having Barrett's and watching it carefully but i don't think i can deal with this burn!!!!

skooby
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/16/2008 12:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi dstig

You are so young how long have you had GERD.

dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:16 PM (GMT -6)   
since december........

skooby
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:45 PM (GMT -6)   

you only had it a month and you got Barrett's that quick...I thought Barretts forms after years of GERD issues. Now I am going to start worrying. I had a clean scope in Oct 2006 and have had some issues off and on since.....So if a person has GERd do they need to be scoped once a year to check for Barretts.

Tammy maybe you can help with this question cause now I am stressing over this


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/16/2008 1:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi skooby.....I probably had it longer and just didn't feel it???? It is the very early stage of barrett's. Are u on medicine and if so what.....i am taking Nexium but since the stress of my mother being diagnosed with breast cancer it really doesn't seem to be working.

skooby
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/16/2008 2:07 PM (GMT -6)   

My issues started in 2005 about four months after my son was killed in a traffic accident. It started with swallowing problems that went away after taking prescription omezparole (sp). about a year later in September of 06 it started up again so they scoped me and found nothing wrong and my problems seemed to go away after that. In November of this year I started taking soy supplements for female issues. They did not agree with me and gave me the worst case of gas and the last night I took them a bad bout of acid. The next morning I noticed swallowing issues again and bought the over the counter prilosec which I took for two weeks and did not work worth crap. I called the doctor and got prescription omezparole (sp again) and it seems to have helped a lot and I am feeling much better.


TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/17/2008 9:26 AM (GMT -6)   
dstig...your nerves can definately aggravate your symptoms...that is FOR SURE! Different medications can aggravate symptoms as well. I am glad that your doctor appointment went well. Have you tried a liquid antacid at bedtime to help with the burning?

skooby...please don't worry yourself. As dstig said, the GERD may have been there and not noticed for a while. That can happen. Do not stress yourself. Each person with GERD is different, and not everyone with GERD will develop Barrett's. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if he thinks you should be checked for it, and if so, when. Also, if you are really scared about it, you could ask to be checked. I wouldn't let yourself freak out though...please try not to.

I wish you both all the best...and as usual, keep the updates coming...and skooby, please hun, try to relax...stressing about this will only make you feel worse!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/17/2008 10:03 AM (GMT -6)   
I did try maalox last night and it did seem to help but only a little.....just don't know how long i can go on with such discomfort???  After the scope and the doctor said everything looked ok, i was starting to feel better.  it wasn't until he called and said it is the beginning of Barrett's that I started feeling this way.  I actually was on the Nexium 2 weeks and was feeling pretty good before that news!!!

dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/17/2008 12:55 PM (GMT -6)   
O.K. I am at my end........I just want this burning to stop and i want to be able to sleep and not be so short tempered with my beautiful children. At what point to i call the doctor and say or ask should i try a different medicine than Nexium??? I know that i am very stressed right now....thinking about my mom with breast cancer and still dwelling on cancer from Barrett's (by the way the report said "these finding could be blah blah blah( i forget the exact terms) OR eary stage Barrett's ....I guess that is why the doctor is repeating the scope in March. I would also like to take a Xanex but some say it will relax teh pump and cause more acid. I need to find out if there is any anti anxiety medicine that i can take. I feel like i am going out of my mind......just want this burning to stop and i think i might be able to accept Barrett's. I know at least i will be in a better mood. I am a third grade teacher and i really need to feel better. It is too hard to work with these feelings. I just want to be my happy self again. A monlth ago everything was great!!! What happened???

bokbok
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 67
   Posted 1/17/2008 1:53 PM (GMT -6)   
hi i got told i by doctor the biopys had barratts 3 months ago then i asked a few weeks ago about what stage it was at and he told they had a letter from the patholigist to say they was no cells that had changed and i dont have barratts .... which was excellent news, but the 3 months i thought i had it,my acid was terrible cause i slept, eat thinking about it, it was coming right up in to my mouth and was burning when i swallowing it seems to have settled down now and i was on nexium twice a day. if you have barratts your better off thinking about the op to try limit more damage to the food pipe.

TammyGrl0528
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Date Joined Jun 2007
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   Posted 1/17/2008 4:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey there dstig. I am SO sorry you are feeling so lousy. I think you need to tell your doctor you are stressing over this so much that it is coming into your life, and ruining you in a bad way. You need to ask him if there is something you can take to help you get through this mentally. Don't ask for Xanax by name, as they will think you are wanting it for the wrong reasons, since it is a highly addicting drug, and many use it to get their fix when they can't get something else. That being said, I would actually suggest you talking to your doctor about a drug called Klonopin. It is like Xanax, but less addicting. More doctors are likely to prescribe that over Xanax anyway. Just explain to him that you are not dealing well with all this throat stuff, and you need some help to get through it. I am sure he will be happy to help you.

Remind me again how long you have been on the Nexium? The reason I ask is because maybe it is time to look at something else, as this doesn't seem to be working for you. I would for sure talk to him about it, you don't want to suffer.

Please, keep us updated on how you are doing.

I hope things start to get easier for you soon!!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/17/2008 5:15 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for responding......I am on Nexium since December 20th............

Canyonbabe711
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Date Joined Mar 2006
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   Posted 1/17/2008 9:50 PM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with Barretts about 6 years ago and have had 3 scopes since then and it was not found again so it was something called short segment Barretts which is not as dangerous. I just had a scope last week but do not have any results back except that I had Esophagitis, Gastritis and Duodenitis so I have it all this time. I am having terrible problems and also have lung problems and the meds increase my GERD. The one thing my Dr. has added is Gaviscon about a half hour after I eat and it has helped. Stay away from chocolate, alcohol and peppermint as they will relax the valve that allows the stomach acid to back up.

I would not jump into the surgery till you have explored it thoroughly. It is not a cure for many and like in my case perhaps they are wrong. I had not heard that about Xanax making it worse but i can understand how it might. It sounds like they are following up on you well if they are going to scope you again so soon. I was told to wait a year when they said "possible Barretts" and I drove myself crazy with worry.

dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/18/2008 7:20 AM (GMT -6)   
Tammy.....Do you think i should call the doctor and have the meds switched or give it more time? I am really suffering.....could this be for the rest of my life???/

TammyGrl0528
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/18/2008 10:41 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey there canyonbabe...thanks for sharing your thoughts.

dstig...if I were you, I would call your doc and express to him that you are not getting any relief from your meds. and see if he thinks it is time to switch to something different. Also, assure him that you are altering your lifestyle, by watching what you eat and drink, so on and so forth. If you are really suffering, I wouldn't wait.

This could go on the rest of your life, indeed, but with the proper medication, and with the proper alterations to your life style, relief is out there for you. It is just a matter of finding it, which isn't always so easy!

I wish you all the best...and let me know what your doctor says about switching to something different!
 GERD Forum Moderator
    Please share, only if you can spare! 
 Diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and Panic Attacks.
 Clickable Link that may be of interest to some...as I find I often like to check drug interactions...Drug Interactions
 
~Tammy~


dstig
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 1/22/2008 5:49 AM (GMT -6)   
ok my medicine got switched and i started it on Saturday.....Famotidine and pantoprazole. It is now Tuesday and it is not working. I have the burning sensation in my chest 24 hours round the clock. Have not slept in a week. I just want to cry. i have an appointment with the doctor tomorrow. This isn't how life should be. I am only 34. How am i going to take care of my kids, house and my marriage. I maybe sleep 2 hours. I lost 10 pounds and feel so shakey. I am going out of my mind. Does this feeling ever lesson or am i going to feel this till I die. And of course i am thinking that the longer i feel this the worse the Barett's in going to get and the sooner i am going to get cancer. Please help... is there anyone out there that can tell me i will feel normal again and enjoy life??????????????????/

skooby
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 1/22/2008 10:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi dstig
 
I am sorry you are not well. I know the anxiety and worry can make the symptoms worse. Just cause you have barretts does not mean you are going to get the C word. My sis was dx with barretts in 06. Of course she freaked out and even saw a gastro who specializes in barretts and he said that they make too much of a big deal over the barretts. You know the chances of getting cancer from it are.5%. That is less than 1 in a 100.
 
In April of 2006 I was dx with HPV from my pap smear. In case you are not familiar HPV is the virus that causes cervical cancer. So now I have to be checked reguarly to make sure cancer does not develop. If something starts to change they can get it out early.
 
I know people with barretts need to be scoped once a year so if changes start to happen they can take care of it. Its best to know these things so that it can be caught early and treated.
 
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