"Silent" Reflux

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grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 6/27/2008 10:36 PM (GMT -6)   
For many years I've had acid reflux. It kept me up at night, and I constantly felt sick, bloated, and basically terrible. The telling symptom was the heartburn... I had it bad. Ferocious, even. Eventually I was diagnosed with reflux and put on Prevacid. From the first dose that seemed to help tremendously.

For four years I've had no sign of the heartburn. I was scoped every four to six weeks for a year to make sure the Prevacid was working. It was. The ulcers and everything else healed up nicely. I have a small spot of low grade barrett's (no disphagia) and that's it.

But about two weeks ago, from out of nowhere, I started having symptoms common to silent reflux: first, excessive phlegm. Then pain up and down the chest and back. The pain is there off and on and it doesn't seem to matter what I eat (though admittedly it's less when I eat certain foods). I'm having no issues with swallowing or keeping food down. I do have low functionality of the gallbladder; I've had that for just over a year but it usually doesn't bother me so I've not had it taken out yet, per the advice of my doctor.

I thought at first the phlegm might be allergies, because I had it at the same exact time last year. But with these other symptoms now I'm not so sure.

Has anyone else ever experienced heartburn as a primary symptom of reflux, only to have it disappear and be replaced with some of these other symptoms? Especially after a period of time where there were no symptoms and the meds seemed to be working?

It's only been 16 months since my last scope and at that time everything worked well. I've heard many cases where meds suddenly stopped working and symptoms came back, but none where the meds stopped working and different symptoms appeared.

Just curious. My scope will tell all next week, but I'm a bit concerned over the circumstances so I'm searching for peace of mind.

Jencalem
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 12
   Posted 7/8/2008 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Grimmly, Just wondering how your scope/results went. Hope you are feeling ok. Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

Jen

thegrimmsleeper
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 7/8/2008 2:16 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jencalem,

Had my scope last week. My gastro doc was a little nervous about the symptoms I described; it's never a good thing to be put under with your doctor looking worried. So far it seems like all of my fretting was over nothing - or at least, over very little. She said nothing has changed from my last scope. My barrett's spot looks exactly like it did a year and a half ago; no growth or anything. She biopsied it, of course, and I'm waiting on those results. She also biopsied what she called a polyp on my hiatal hernia. She did not seem too concerned about it, but at worst she said they might have to repair the hernia. But she believes my continued weight loss will help deal with that.

Aside from the polyp, I have a peptic ulcer. While it's not great, it's not a big deal; I've had those before. Those are at least treatable.

I feel like a new man. I only spent about four weeks in "survival mode" but it felt like an eternity. Needless to say, the Mrs. is quite happy to have me back.

So while I await (anxiously... but not *overboard* anxiously) the biopsy results, I've opted to seek some help with the panic issue. One way or the other I'll have to live with barrett's for the rest of my life, and I hope that is a long time still. I can't go into survival mode every scope I go through. If the biopsy does show some displagia this time, I might take more aggressive action to rid myself of barrett's before it gets worse. Depends on how bad it is. If it's still normal, then you can bet my diet is a lot more controlled than it used to be. I've done some reading that suggests recent studies are showing that barrett's in and of itself (no displagia or low grade) is not as dangerous as was once thought; it's the ongoing presence of reflux that worsens it. Those aren't absolute results but it's where the research I read about is going. If that's the case, it's a load off.

In any event, I feel fantastic. My reflux symptoms have actually lessened considerably since the scope, which goes to show you how much stress I was putting on myself with the worrying and fear. It could have become one of those self-fulfilling prophecies if it had gone on longer; my worrying about barrett's worsening flared up my reflux which could have caused it to worsen. Not a circle I want to run in again.

Thanks for asking! I hope you're enjoying your newfound freedom from worrying as well!

grimmly
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2008
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 7/10/2008 11:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Oops. I just realized I posted my reply from a completely different user account. How strange... I guess I had forgotten I created one on here years ago, before I learned I even had barrett's.

Anyway, more good news on the home front here. My biopsies came back great. No displagia in my barrett's and the polyp on my hiatal hernia is benign.

Can you say sigh of relief? I haven't been this happy in ages.

Now it's off to the allergist to find out what triggers this post nasal drip that seems to get me thinking I'm having esophagus problems.
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