Hi Everyone... some of you may have heard me from other threads, but things have gotten worse...
I have been going through a nightmare that began innocently enough back in June 2007, and it has advanced to many stages to the point where I am now going through GERD, Barrett's Esophagus, and the PPI routine.
For those of you who don't know, here's a briefing of how this whole thing began. I had my gallbladder removed in 2002 and had chronic bile diarrhea as a result. I was put on a bile sequestrant called Cholestyramine for the next 5 years which saved my life -- no more chronic diarrhea!
All went well until June 2007... my manufacturer of the Cholestyramine went out of business, and I had to survive with other means of bile sequestrants to control my bile diarrhea. But although any of these other new sequestrants controlled my diarrhea problem, I began to notice bad side effects immediately - stomach issues, indigestion, gas, and a white coated tongue and never-ending sour taste in my mouth which plagues me from June 2007 until recently. I went from doctor to doctor, insisting to them that this whole thing was caused as a negative reaction to these bile sequestrants. All they did was tell me it was acid reflux. I tried to periodically try to STOP taking the bile sequestrants, but I could not survive without them because the chronic bile diarrhea from lack of a gallbladder would come right back and leave me unable to leave the house.
Well, so I kept taking the necessary meds and just endured the annoying sour taste and white tongue and nasty stomach for about 1 year. Then we come to this past June 2008, about a year later at that point --- and I started to get a sore throat. Fearing that perhaps I had Barrett's Esophagus (and that this was indeed a longlasting acid reflux situation) I had an endoscopy... my fears were confirmed when my GI doctor did a biopsy and told me Yes, I had a "mild case of Barrett's".
I sank into a deep depression, but as of August I have finally had no choice but to take a PPI at last -- Protonix (actually, a generic form called Pantoprazole). The reason I am taking it is because supposedly it is THE ONLY WAY TO HEAL THE ESOPHAGUS AND PREVENT CANCER. I have been on this PPI for three months now out of sheer fear and desparation, along with a stomach coating drug called Carafate -- and I have to admit that my tongue has finally started looking better after 1 year, and the never-ending sour taste in my mouth has improved. I am terrified of taking the PPI for the rest of my life though, as the doctor insists I must - and I have always been a person who REFUSES to take medicines OF ANY KIND. Yet here I am on a variety of pills now, for this and that. In my view, good and true health can never be accomplished with drugs of any kind... but how do I stop them when I am told I have Barrett's Esophagus!??!??
The crazy thing is, this all began because I was forced to take a bile sequestrant to help with my bile diarrhea (it's not regular IBS - it's different when your gallbladder removal is the culprit) and then the manufacturer went outof business! I have no doubt that my present (progressive) situation is the direct effect of the bile sequestrant meds. If I didn't have to take this, I wouldn't have reflux/acid/stomach pain/gas/throat pain, etc..
But here's one more weird thing. On October 2nd I had the 24 hour PH monitoring test, where a tube is down your throat and into your stomach for 24 hours. Here's the kicker -- my doctor advised me TO GO OFF THE PPI FOR FIVE DAYS BEFORE TAKING THIS MONITOR TEST.... and afterwards I was THRILLED to discover that my acid level was NORMAL, well within avergae range! My acid level was good, even when NOT taking any PPI acid reducer!! But yet, my GI doctor still has me on the Protonix (Pantaprazole) because of the Barrett's Esophagus.
But do I have acid reflux or not?? Why was the PH test normal - even while off the PPI? I never felt I had traditional symptoms...I NEVER had any heartburn or anything; all I had was a white tongue and sour taste every day for a year... but it didn't feel like "reflux". And my throat has been sore for the past 5 months now and I have a lot of belching....
I used to read these boards religiously for help, but since the Barrett's diagnosis I have been afraid to read them because I don't want to learn any negatives or get too scared. I already am familiar with the down sides from past readings.... But now I've begun reading this website again, and I am at a point where I want to stop ALL MEDICATIONS. I want to heal myself naturally - but that also includes not only stopping the PPI, but also trying to find out how to control my Bile Diarrhea from Gallbladder Removal WITHOUT MEDICINES... and if I could have accomplished that back in June 2007, I wouldn't have progressed to this stage in the first place!
So it seems like quite a dilemma. And to say my mind has been all over the place with desparation and depression for the past year and a half is an understatement. :(
Post Edited (Joe9) : 11/24/2008 10:35:47 AM (GMT-7)