What is wrong with me? I had a barium swallow with no results!

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/25/2012 3:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey guys, I previously mentioned that I have suffered from daily acid reflux for the past 2 years. I am on 2 daily omeprazole pills to control it but I still get reflux at night. Anyway, I had a barium swallow exam yesterday and they did not find a hietal hernia. AAhh! I'm glad I don't have a hernia but I'm disappointed that they didn't find the cause of my problem. I also tested negative for H pylori. What else could it be? I'm going back to my doctor next week to see what else it could be. Could it be that I'm just fat? Could that be causing my daily reflux? I've lost 20lbs but my reflux seemed to have gotten worse.

For anyone else that is fine anatomically with no hernia what is the cause of your GERD?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 2/25/2012 4:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey Geo,

You have to be really careful when going for tests not to get your hopes up. I know that sounds pessimistic but GERD can be very elusive to visualize for doctors,m and the lack of results can be super frustrating for the patients. I'd had bad reflux for 6 months and my EGD didn't show anything. One of our members, Efit, shares my opinion that it can be silly for doctors to think that they can "see our pain".

I have lost 60 lbs and my reflux has gotten worse, too. I see a surgeon soon. I believe that my GERD was caused by irresponsible lifestyle (eating large portions of whatever I wanted with little to no exercise for 26 years), but as far as a definitive medical cause, I'm where you are - normal anatomy.

Sometimes, idiopathic LES failure is the diagnosis, unfortunately.

Take care,

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2011
Total Posts : 1604
   Posted 2/26/2012 12:32 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel for you Geo - my first endoscopy in 2007.... I can tell you I was so excited to finally find out the cause of my symptoms. I asked for sedation, which failed, and it was fairly horrible. Even so I was looking forward to hearing what they had found, especially after what I'd just been through!! Yup..... you've guessed; they were so pleased to tell me everything was normal and I couldn't have been more fed up!! My symptoms did go away and came back 3 years later (and now won't stop). On my second endoscopy last year they found mild inflammation of the oesophagus and stomach and a very small hernia - the strange thing is, at the time of both endoscopies, my symptoms were IDENTICAL! Which leads me to wonder if the hernia has anything at all to do with it - after all if it's possible to have the same symptoms with no hernia, then the hernia may just be a chance finding!

I think reflux can be biochemical or neurological (or a combination of both) - some factors that come together and cause the LES to relax when it shouldn't. For us ladies of a certain age, hormones join in and cause further havoc.

The response to medication and the progression (or lack of ) of symptoms and signs over time can lead to a clearer diagnosis - so do keep pushing them for answers!

New stuff: GERD, Recurrent cystitis/Overactive bladder
Lifelong stuff: Food allergies/intolerance, eczema, asthma

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2012
Total Posts : 22
   Posted 2/26/2012 1:37 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Geo,
Not knowing the cause of something can be nerve racking to say the least. I did have an endoscopy a few years ago that found moderate inflammation. I was then offered another test which over the course of a day shows how adequate the closing of the opening into the stomach is. (Something like that) Anyway, it sounded really uncomfortable.
I do know that diet modification, and weight loss, etc., can really help out. Even 2nd or 3rd opinions. Have you seen a specialist?
Shoot for the moon. even if you miss, you'll land amongst the stars. (?)

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 2/26/2012 3:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Geo,
I may be wrong (correct me, anyone), but I believe you can have a "sliding hernia" that moves up and down, and therefore might not be noticed in a random barium swallow.
I also personally think that sometimes the barium drink they provide is very thick and doesn't really act like the acid contents in your stomach that might be bothering you at night.  (again, correct me if I'm wrong). 
Hang in there.  I had many tests, and it took many years before I was FINALLY recommended a consult with a surgeon.
Hopefully you can get feeling better without surgery...still, persevere!  Also, I'm sure I've read of at least one member who had a Nissen but didn't have a hiatus hernia. 
Best wishes,
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