I'm terrified that I have Barrett's

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tweetiethebirdie
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2010
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 6/16/2010 11:11 PM (GMT -6)   
   I am really scared.  Some years ago I had an endoscopy and was diagnosed with esophagitis, duodenitis, gastritis and a hiatal hernia.  I was also diagnosed with anxiety disorder and depression at the same time.  Eventually the "itis'" went away but I've continued to struggle with anxiety and continue to take antidepressants.  Occasionally, the heartburn and indigestion would bother me and after the birth of second child when I was 40 my gallbladder needed to be removed.  It's been 8 years and the heartburn and "itis'" have returned (I havent had the endoscopy but I KNOW its the "itis'" because there is no mistaking that burning pain!)  I am now entering the preliminary stages of menopause, my anxiety has greatly increased, I am in the midst of medication changes (antidepressants) and have recently begun taking Protonix which initially helped but is starting not to work!  Its hard to eat anything without heartburn (I'm trying to be conservative) but its very frustrating.  I am not overweight so that can't be the problem and I'm wondering if changing to another ppi might help.  I really don't want to go through that endoscopy again.  (I'm just horrified by the effects of the sedatives!  I just don't do well with them at all)  My husband is a neuropsychiatrist and tells me that if I go back to the gastro I will need to have tests repeated, its 99% going to turn out to be the same diagnosis and it will cause alot more anxietyfor me, time and expense and I'll end up with the same diagnosis.  I'm terrified that I have Barrett's now that I've read up on it (although my husband seems to think I need to stop researching the Internet looking for trouble) even though it seems unlikely:  Caucasian Female, non-smoker, below average weight, don't drink, etc.  Any suggestions?  He thinks I should just try a different ppi.  HELP!
 
I gave your thread a title. ~ Thanks,  Kitt

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 6/17/2010 8:52:13 AM (GMT-6)


lilitiger2
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 6/17/2010 8:06 AM (GMT -6)   
HI tweetie!
how cool you posted here.
I agree that looking on the internet can be a nightmare as people have a lot of horrible stories and its easy to scare the bejesus out of yourself. I sure did!

But you will not feel better unless you have information. Your mind will create all sorts of worst case scenarios over and over. You can choose to not go to the doc, not do tests and I guess save money, but you will be pretty freaked out thinking of all the things it could be. Or you can just go and see what the doc says. S/he may or may or may not order an endoscopy. If it is ordered, talk about your concerns with her or him. My mom has Barretts, the silent kind with no pain, they only found hers with an endoscopoy (she lost her voice) and now she is doing really well. I've had three and will likely have more.

I guess changing ppi might help but whats the point if you don't know what you're treating? I am on a ppi that does work, generally but if it didn't my doc was going to try something else.

I would also suggest you might want to consider counseling with someone familiar with behavioral health issues in addition to your meds, as sometimes just treating anxiety with an antidepressant and no therapy isn't all that helpful!

anyway, glad you are here, hope you find something that works! keep posting, here and on other boards; it has helped me a lot.
Lila

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 6/17/2010 10:01 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello Tweetie,

Welcome to HealingWell. I think Lila advised you well. I agree you are going to have to bite the bullet and see a GI specialist. I am sure your husband is brillant at his speciality. Neuropsychiatry is the branch of medicine dealing with mental disorders attributable to diseases of the nervous system. I am assuming you have no dx nervous system disorder ? Sometimes we have to take ourselves to the right speciality Dr. to find the answer we are looking for.

Remember this is your own health and you must advocate for yourself.

Yes, your anxiety and depression can cause you to overthink your sx but I feel you would be wise to get a medical screening exam.

As for the internet I can read it and take it with a grain of salt but many people panic when they read sx that lead them to believe they may have a catastrophic disease. So perhaps for you reading less would be a good thing.

Kindly,

Kitt

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 6/17/2010 8:04 PM (GMT -6)   
If you have issues with the sedatives, you can request it to be done awake. You just have to be very still and control your gag reflexes. They can just numb your throat.

Joy

CathyA
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 6/17/2010 8:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Tweetiethebirdie,
I got horrible reflux during perimenopause.
Try cutting back on your carbs.
I think when I was on HRT, it made it all worse.
After menopause, I started taking Caltrate Plus 600mg twice a day (along with magnesium). It really helped my IBS diarrhea, and I've noticed that if I skip a few doses, my reflux comes back. That's when I realized how much good the calcium was doing for my symptoms.
Could you try taking calcium supplements and see if that helps?

Also, I had constant panic and anxiety during perimenopause. Alot of women experience this, and its a real pain in the butt! And for me, it was also a fear of a terminal illness. Its so strange that this seems to happen to alot of women during perimenopause. And even as I was coming out of perimenopause, I could always tell when my hormones were fluctuating, because ever little pain made me think I was dying.
The only PPI that worked well for me was Aciphex......so don't hesitate to try a different med.
You have my sincere sympathy and empathy starting perimenopause. Try to convince yourself that alot of your angst is truly from those crazy hormones, and they'll eventually settle down.
((((hugs))))
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