So confused by my reflux

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beth0277
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/13/2012 10:08 AM (GMT -6)   
I'm feeling a bit hopeless...I have posted before but I'll give my background (sorry it's a little long). 2 months after having my son, I had an Upper GI due to stomach pains. The stomach pains ended up being due to an SSRI that I had just recently started taking and went away quickly. It was during that Upper GI that a "small amount" of reflux was seen. I was shocked to hear that, because I have never felt heartburn in my life. I also do not suffer from any of the other reflux symptoms, such as coughing, hoarseness, belching, sore throat, anything like that. I talked to my PCP and she did not want to treat me since I wasn't having symptoms. I started reading up on silent reflux and Barrett's Esophagus and got scared so I asked for a referral to a GI. So, 13 months after my Upper GI showing reflux, I was given an endoscopy and I was found to have "Garden Variety Esophagitis" as my GI said, most likely due to acid reflux. The only other possible thing is that I had just (3 days earlier) started taking an antibiotic at night before bed and there is a *slight* possibility that it caused damage to my esophagus since it was taken and then I went straight to bed, but it is not as likely. One interesting thing is that a few months before my endoscopy, I started snoring like a bear. I had always had a light snore, but this got so bad that my husband slept on the couch some nights. I think it's important to also mention that during this time, I had gained a decent amount of weight. Between the pregnancy and the SSRI's, I am now about 25-30 pounds overweight, though at one time I was closer to 45 pounds over. I don't know if that could be causing some of my issues.

So, my GI wanted to treat me for reflux and put me on Dexilant 60 mg once/day. This would also heal the erosion to my esophagus. She wanted me to stay on it for 2-3 months and then get a Barium Swallow done. If all looked clear, she wanted me to stop taking it. I told her I wasn't comfortable with that because how was I supposed to know if my esophagus started to get damaged again since I had absolutely no symptoms? So, she agreed that after a few months off the Dexilant, she will do another endoscopy and if there is any damage we will know I need long term treatment.

So, I had my Barium Swallow done earlier this week. I got a call from my doctor's office later telling me to go ahead and stop the Dexilant and we will do endoscopy in a few months. I spoke to the nurse (who I'm not sure knows what she is talking about) and she said everything was normal, but because of my health anxiety and prying, she read the following to me "Minimal reflux in supine position that was unable to duplicate". I asked her what that meant, and she said that when I was lying down, at one point the radiologist saw a minimal amount of reflux, but he tried to get it to happen again, and couldn't.

I don't know how to take that. I thought that if I was being treated with PPI's that I wouldn't have reflux? I am so stressed out about all of this. I put in a call to the doctor but I don't know if/when she will call me back. I am worried that if I am having reflux, even on the medicine, how will my esophagus ever get better and I feel like it will turn to Barrett's Esophagus.

I don't know if I am overreacting. My husband said that obviously if the doctor was worried then she would not have taken me off of the Dexilant, but I can't help but overanalyze it all.

Does anyone have any input? Is it normal to still get "minimal reflux" even when you are on a PPI?

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 1/13/2012 10:23 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Beth,

Sorry to hear about your frustration. PPI's don't actually stop reflux, they just reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes, which in turn, allows your throat/esophagus to heal. I am a bit confused, what reflux symptoms do you have? Also, if you are concerned about silent reflux, it may be a good idea to get scoped by the ENT.

Best of Luck
Feel Good,

-Faith

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/13/2012 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
 
Hello and welcome to HealingWell.  I can see you are having a lot of health anxiety re your dx and treatment plan. 
 
I am wondering if you have had  ph testing ?  Esophageal acid testing is considered the "gold standard" for GERD.  If you feel you have not been dx properly you may ask your current GI Dr. for further testing or seek out a second opinion.
 
The nurse who explained the results of your Barium Swallow did answer your question correctly. 
 
I am sure you will hear from other members of our great forum that have better info for you so stick with us and know we care.
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

beth0277
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies. I don't actually have ANY symptoms of reflux. It was sort of an accident that I even found out I had it.

So..if PPI's still allow reflux but it is less acidic, is it relatively safe to think that the reflux shouldn't do much damage to my esophagus, especially given that I am/was/will be on a PPI that helps heal your esophagus?

beth0277
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Also, Kitt- You mention that the nurse explained the test results correctly, so does that mean the "minimal amount" of reflux would be considered "normal"?

lanab
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 136
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:19 AM (GMT -6)   
beth0277 said...
Thanks for the replies. I don't actually have ANY symptoms of reflux. It was sort of an accident that I even found out I had it.

So..if PPI's still allow reflux but it is less acidic, is it relatively safe to think that the reflux shouldn't do much damage to my esophagus, especially given that I am/was/will be on a PPI that helps heal your esophagus?


Some of us don't take PPIs or any H2s at all and get healed, it all depends how much you can stand it?

The body has it's own protection of mucus to a certain degree if acid is coming up all the way.

beth0277
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:29 AM (GMT -6)   
lanab- I'm not sure what you mean by "depends how much you can stand it". I don't mind taking the PPI's (of course I would rather be off of them but they don't cause any side effects to me) and I don't have any reflux symptoms, so it wouldn't bother me in that regard to be off of them. I did have erosive esophagitis so I am just worried it would come back without PPI's. Truth be told, I am worried that it will come back/get worse with PPI's.

stkitt
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:51 AM (GMT -6)   
Beth,
 

Gastroesophageal reflux is both a normal phenomenon that occurs in the general population and a disease causing phenomenon that can result in mild to severe symptoms. Your Dr. appears to feel that "minimal" translates to your not needing medication however and has chosen to  repeat your endoscopy in a few months as the best way to make sure you are doing OK.

I hope this helps you.

Kindly,

Kitt

 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"only as high as I reach can I grow, only as far as I seek can I go, only as deep as I look can I see, only as much as I dream can I be"

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 1/13/2012 11:54 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey Beth,

If reflux is the cause of damage to your esophagus, then PPI's will significantly reduce the acid production in your stomach and allow your esophagus to heal.


Hope this helps
Feel Good,

-Faith

beth0277
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/13/2012 12:26 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess I am just so confused by all of this. I don't have any symptoms AT ALL, but obviously I am having reflux since it has shown up on 2 Barium Swallows now (even though the amounts were only "small" and "minimal"). Plus, as I understand it, there are only a few things that can cause erosive esophagitis, most of which were ruled out by biopsy. It could have been a virus (unlikely) or could have been caused by the antibiotics I was taking right before bed (pill induced esophagitis is commonly caused by antibiotics, especially if taken before lying down and with small amounts of water). I just thought that if I was on a PPI that I would not have reflux, but as was mentioned earlier in this post, I guess you can still have reflux, but it just isn't acid...is that right?

I just wish I had run of the mill GERD so that I would know when I had symptoms and when I didn't and could know how the medicine was working. I hate dealing with this and with my health anxiety it makes it 1,000,000 times worse. Of course I am always thinking the worst.

I assume my esophagus has healed, since that is what the Barium Swallow was to see and although it is not as sensitive as an endoscopy, everything with my esophagus looked okay, as I understand.
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