My Particular Case and Fear of Barrets

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theacidrefluxman
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/7/2011 6:56 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi All,

I have been visiting this forum off and on for probably 3 years now, and occasionally ask a question...

I am in the fight against reflux like all of us, but I am a very odd case that the dr's just don't get.

Long story short, I have dysmotility due to long-term reflux but no esophageal damage. I am unable to take PPI's due to side-effects and am not a good surgery candidate due to the dysmotility as well as a lack of visible damage to the esophagus.

I continue to be terrified of Barrets and cancer, but my dr. told me something interested yesterday. He said that even if I am off PPI's and don't feel the rather constant on and off GERD symptoms (which have no relation to what I eat or anything...I live like a saint to try to stay healthy), that he doubts I will ever develop Barrets. He said that he usually finds Barrets during first-time endoscopies, and since I have had reflux for 3 years and don't have it he thinks I won't get it. After all, only 10% of severe GERD patients do...and my dr. said reflux isn't the only factor...it likely has a genetic factor as well as others which it looks like I don't have since I haven't developed it yet.

They were comforting ideas but I can't help but wonder how my dr. can be so confident. He said I should get an endoscopy every 10 years if I want to...that 3-5 years is unnecessary. And this is a GOOD dr., at a large medical facility in one of the best medical areas of the country. I trust him 100% and he has been excellent, but these comments seemed a bit difficult for me to accept at face value.

Has anyone else heard similar? I can't imagine having a life full of GERD and no Barrets or cancer...it seems to me like my esophagus would only be able to take so much...

Thanks.

Chuck T
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 7/7/2011 7:15 PM (GMT -6)   
My GI said a similar thing when he did my scope. I had some minor irritation of the esophagus, and a severely inflamed stomach. I asked about barretts, and he said that since I didnt have it now, I probably wouldnt get it. Its hard to believe that though bc ive seen several people mention that they developed barretts after their first scope on this board. Who knows?

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/7/2011 7:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I thought it was a direct correlation, and the more you get reflux the sooner you get Barrets. I guess its more like a threshold...once you get so much reflux, you either get Barrets or don't. That is why you either have it on your first scope or not...you've already reached that threshold.

I have no idea, and don't believe it too much, though it must have some merit. My dr. said he wasn't saying I wouldn't develop it...but he thought it was unlikely over my lifetime (and I am only 28)

Chuck T
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 143
   Posted 7/8/2011 8:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Interesting article that just came out, and seems to support what our doctors are saying. Im only 28 as well. Thought chronic reflux was supposed to affect old men. Guess not.

http://www.focushms.com/features/new-insights-into-origin-of-deadly-cancer/

eugenia
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 41
   Posted 7/8/2011 9:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Everyone:

I've been told the same thing by my GI.  Although I have burning most days she told me that they won't do another scope because my first scope showed ok.  Hard to believe because sometime the pain is bad.  My GI also told me that they will only do surgery on people who have severe problems with acid coming into their mouths....so like you I am not a candidate for surgery.

I try and do my best....some days are ok....some suck...but that seems to be the nature of gerd.

Anyway, just thought I'd add my little bit...hang in there.....you are in good company!!

Eugenia

 

 

 


mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/9/2011 6:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm not sure that Barrett's is always visible to the naked eye. Unless you had a biopsy at your first scope?

My first scope was totally normal, despite an array of symptoms. I had a spontaneous respite for 3 years after that with no meds. When it all came back last year I had another scope which showed gastritis, oesophagitis and a minute area of Barrett's (5 mm). The symptoms were the same as when the scope had been normal, however there was no biopsy the first time.

A doctor recently pointed out to me that it's possible to have "subclinical" changes I.e. Silent GERD, and I guess that is when we can do damage, when we feel OK but are still sloshing acid around. If I could ever get symptom free I'm not sure whether I'd feel safe being drug free without some means of monitoring. If . . .
New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma
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