Can you have lifetime GERD and no Barrets?

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
[ << Previous Thread | Next Thread >> ]

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/14/2011 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
Just following up on a previous question. A lot of us don't have Barrets and the Dr's say "well, if you don't have it now, you probably won't get it". They told me that and I am 28 and not on any acid meds. They say only 10% of severe GERD sufferers get it.

On the other hand, plenty of posters here report finding Barrets after 5-15 years or so of GERD. I have never seen anyone say they are a lifetime GERD sufferer and don't have Barrets.

So my question: Are Dr's right, can you be a severe lifelong gerd sufferer and never get Barrets? I just don't see that truth holding up here on the forum...

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/14/2011 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
All I can say is I had acid reflux for 10 years and didn't have Barretts. All I got was stomach polyps from the PPIs. :(
Joy

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/14/2011 6:15 PM (GMT -6)   
@ couchtater - how did you get your reflux problem solved? you were able to get surgery without having Barrets?

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 14475
   Posted 7/14/2011 6:17 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I had a large hernia and my LES was weak.
Joy

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/14/2011 6:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Acid reflux is a lifelong condition you will need to treat . The article I found states only ten percent of acid reflux sufferers who are diagnosed with Barrett's Esophagus will develop cancer.
 

Barrett's esophagus is most often diagnosed in people who have long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) — a chronic regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the lower esophagus. Only a small percentage of people with GERD will develop Barrett's esophagus. Reference: Mayo Staff


~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety/Panic, Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.
www.healingwell.com

"If you can't change the world, change your world"

mock turtle
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 7/14/2011 6:40 PM (GMT -6)   
"So my question: Are Dr's right, can you be a severe lifelong gerd sufferer and never get Barrets? I just don't see that truth holding up here on the forum..."

----

in think it is a certainty that there are many people who have life long gerd and do not get barretts metaplasia

the numbers clearly indicate that people with barretts are a small subset of gerd sufferers

following up on your question id want to know if more , or less than 50% of gerd sufferes go on to contract barretts esophagus

my guess is, less than 50%, as it appears from studies recently cited on this board, that specific genes that are unusual are involved in the generation of columnar cells in the esophagus ... this genetic pre-disposition is in the minority

not even to mention the environmental factors which differ from person to person

hers an interesting article discussing the progression from normal to diyplastic epithelial cells in cancer of the esophagus

http://clincancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/11/7/2478.full

all this is conjecture on my part, i am a student not an expert on these issues

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/15/2011 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
I had my first round of GERD four years ago, which went away. Three years later it came back and whilst tricky to control, I'm told it is "mild". I am also told I have a very small area of Barretts.

Barretts is not necessarily visible to the naked eye, so I may have had it 4 years ago when no biopsy was taken.

Mock Turtle previously highlighted this ref http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/news/fullstory_113298.html
which shows that even if you do have Barretts, the risk of progression is small.

A lot is still not known, such as what makes Barretts progress to dysplasia or other long term effects of GERD (other than it driving us crazy!) . . . so much so that the jury is still out on surveillance requirements. They are not even sure how to pick out the people most likely to be in need of close monitoring!

Given all this, I'd rather not have been told that I have Barrett's. All it tells me is that a few of my cells have become aware at some point in time that they are being regularly splashed with acid, and changed themselves to cells that can withstand acid. In some ways that is clever; it only becomes a problem if the processes that control cell turnover and replication go awry. As for that, we need to look at other issues like antioxidants or Mediterranean diet etc (things with proven anticancer properties that we can incorporate into our lifestyle).

As for when the Barretts truly first appeared is hard to say as there was no biopsy 4 years ago; I refluxed and vomited daily when pregnant, so how do I know it didn't happen then?!

For lifelong GERD sufferers I'm not convinced that finding Barretts tells us much about our likelihood, or not, of developing cancer!
New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

Jeronimo
Regular Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 7/15/2011 11:16 PM (GMT -6)   
GERD, LPRD or Bile Reflux are chronic conditions that wont go away until we give it a root solution so if you develope Barrets, which is a precancerous condition then you should think about surgery.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/16/2011 1:40 AM (GMT -6)   
We are not all eligible for surgery; I have been told I am not bad enough. And the connotations of Barretts have changed. It is potentially precancerous in a small number of people. Most of us are probably more at risk of breast cancer or prostate cancer. There is no convincing evidence that surgery or drugs prevent the development or progression of Barretts, so I for one will not be running to a surgeon just because I have Barretts.
New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/16/2011 2:51 AM (GMT -6)   
http://www.sages.org/publication/id/22/
You can read the American guidelines here. Whilst Barretts is seen as a complication of GERD, if it is not causing symptoms then surgery is controversial (that is if you have no oesophageal symptoms specific to the Barretts, which I for one don't). Your guidelines (which are not the same as ours here in the UK, and other countries like France are probably different again) also say that compared with medical treatment (drugs), the surgery has no impact on the rate of adenocarcinoma.

I repeat . . They do not know what makes Barretts, in some people, progress to adenocarcinoma, and surgery is not necessarily protective.
New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 7/18/2011 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   
@ mudmagnetmum

I don't understand what you are saying. Barrets has no symptoms anyway. I know Barrets can be removed by radio frequency ablation, which is the first thing I'll go for if I get it.

I don't understand...you have Barrets, do you have reflux symptoms still? How can they say you are not a bad enough case to merit surgery (not to remove Barrets, but to stop the reflux)?

They tell me I am not a candidate for surgery because I don't have Barrets or Esophagitis most of the time they look...if I did, I think I could get the surgery despite having motility problems.

mudmagnetmum
Veteran Member


Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 7/18/2011 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi again,
I would, in the UK, only become eligible for surgery if medication fails to control my reflux. My Barretts was very small, like 5 mm, and the surgeon said it is common to find very tiny areas like that. My oesophagitis was mild and my gastritis was mild on my last scope, so they wouldn't recommend surgery on those findings alone. I've been on and off ppis due to side effects but am now back on them and persevering, not because the reflux was very bad, but because the gastritis has made me anaemic. In my case I guess surgery might take away some of my symptoms but it would do nothing for the gastritis. The surgeon also said the Barretts doesn't really count unless it's 2 cm wide and is the full circumference of the oesophagus; mine is insignificant from their point of view.

I would want surgery if it would take away all my symptoms and let me lead a normal life, but for gastritis I don't think that's the case. And for the Barretts it is not indicated, or even any guarantee of changing it.

If I did come to have surgery or the reflux miraculously went away, I would be interested in the ablation treatment for the Barretts, but the way things look at the moment, the risks of progression would make it seem unnecessary. That's not to say it shouldn't be made available to us though.

I'm sorry for my rant; I'm fed up of my symptoms right now!!

MMM
New stuff: GERD. Interstitial Cystitis
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies, eczema, asthma

mock turtle
Regular Member


Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 7/18/2011 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
just like mudmagnetmum i cant get "surgery" for my barretts

both the insurance provider and the gi doc state that my risk level doesnt warrant the procedure

there are several stages, or levels to barretts from metaplasia up to dysplasia

here they are from wikipedia

"The cells of Barrett's esophagus, after biopsy, are classified into four general categories: non-dysplastic, low-grade dysplasia, high-grade dysplasia, and frank carcinoma. High-grade dysplasia and frank carcinoma patients are generally advised to undergo surgical treatment. Non-dysplastic and low-grade patients are generally advised to undergo annual observation with endoscopy. In high-grade dysplasia, the risk of developing cancer might be at 10% per patient-year or greater."

so my doc said "see ya in three years for another endoscopy"

i said WHAT? three years no way , ill see ya next year or sooner if you let me

to which she said, " ill compromise and recommend scoping every two years but thats pushing the protocol

and they would not consider ablation until or unless the barretts "progressed" to a high level dysplasia

Post Edited (mock turtle) : 7/18/2011 3:23:55 PM (GMT-6)

New Topic Post Reply Printable Version
Forum Information
Currently it is Sunday, June 24, 2018 1:05 AM (GMT -6)
There are a total of 2,974,661 posts in 326,195 threads.
View Active Threads


Who's Online
This forum has 161294 registered members. Please welcome our newest member, TRNS.
273 Guest(s), 2 Registered Member(s) are currently online.  Details
Kippette, The Dude Abides