ARM.....Your doctors?

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DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
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   Posted 5/25/2012 11:00 AM (GMT -6)   
ARM,
Didn't you see Koufman and Shaheen? I thought I remember you saying that you had seen them both? If so, I have some questions for you about what they told you. Koufman is the best in the LPR field and Shaheen in the gerd field, correct?

theacidrefluxman
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 5/25/2012 12:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi DOGGBONES,

My current doc. is Nicholas Shaheen @ UNC Hospital. I don't know if he is the 'best' or how that could be discovered, but after seeing another GI @ Duke Hospital for a year I was at the end of my rope and send my record and info to Cleveland Clinic, where it was reviewed by a surgeon and GI dr. to evaluate me for coming in for tests and potentially surgery. I forget, but think Cleve. Clinic was top 3 in GI, which is the main reason I got in contact with them. The GI there didn't think it merited a trip for potential surgery based on my records, and told me that it would make a whole lot more sense to see Dr. Shaheen @ UNC since he is very well-known and runs the esophageal center there. So I took that as my cue that he was a quality Dr., since a GI doctor at Cleve. Clinic (a top GI hospital) referred me to him...and that he is on things with the GI association nationally and seems to be well-respected in terms of positions and published studies.

I have not seen Koufman. I've tried her diet 2 times and actually had worse symptoms while on it, but don't discount her. Actually, Dr. Shaheen told me he knows her well since she used to be at Wake Forest Hospital here in NC. He was able to give his opinion on some of my concerns and on what her research is on and what has been proven. There are some fundamental differences between what they both say, and at this point I'd have to believe my Dr. But like everything we don't have all the answers and its an evolving field, so a 100% concrete answer for certain things r.e. refux is still not attainable...

Sorry for the long background, but sure, ask away. If I can get your email address somehow we could discuss by email.

ericapeace2000
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Date Joined Mar 2012
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   Posted 5/25/2012 1:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Has your new doctor given you any new insights?
Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

theacidrefluxman
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 5/25/2012 1:11 PM (GMT -6)   
In one way, yes. I had RUQ pain for the past 2 years, generally whenever I took most pills, including PPI's or H2 blockers. Nobody ever diagnosed it despite doing many tests, and I think Dr's figured I was crazy. My Dr. gave me desipramine for potential hypersensitivity (although mostly geared towards the esophagus). Something, most likely the desipramine, got rid of the RUQ pain, and now I am able to take pills (inc. PPI's), without the pain. He said beforehand that the desipramine may help it b/c it was potentially a hypersensitivity issue....it would appear now that it was.

I'd say he is the best I have had for a number of reasons...whenever I bring up a concern, a study, etc., he always knows about it in depth and explains it all. Great attention to patients too.

His insight is that it is a hypersensitivity issue, and that we are trying to solve it more from the perspective of a quality of life issue than a cancer risk issue, since after various scopes over 3 years apparently if I were to develop Barrett's I'd have developed it already. Also, from what I understand he believes that Barrett's is a prerequisite for esophageal cancer, and that the studies have all but proven it by now...that is one of the points it would seem he and Koufman would disagree.

TBH just getting rid of the RUQ pain made me the happiest man in the world for a few weeks.

DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
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   Posted 5/26/2012 11:11 AM (GMT -6)   
ARM,
 
I tried to find were I read Shaheen was one of the best but I couldn't locate it...go figure. Anyway my point I was wondering, were you any more happy with Shaheen than other dr's? Did he give you a different opinion then all the others?
 
My dr. seems to think I have a hypersensitivity issue as well, or he's just grapsing at straws because he can't really help me. Maybe I'll give the anti-d's a try again.....I have nothing to lose, oh thats right my sanity! Ugh
 
Doggbones

theacidrefluxman
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 5/26/2012 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Hey DOGGBONES,

If you come across it again I'd love to see it.

Basically my other doctors all said "get scoped in 5 years if you want, or 10...there is nothing else we can do now". Shaheen was different in that 1) he reassured me saying 'don't worry about cancer, for you this is just a quality of life issue, and 2) he wanted to try more things. So far the desipramine, and now upping the dose, and if that doesn't work for the esophageal issue he will probably try something else. I think that if all fails he may say 'well, now that we've tried everything, if you want surgery it might not be a bad idea'.

All my previous doctors essentially said get scoped in 5-10 years, don't get surgery unless you get barrett's, and don't try anything else because nothing is left to try...

I can also tell just by talking to him that he is extremely knowledgeable, more than my previous doctors...

theacidrefluxman
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Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 5/26/2012 12:28 PM (GMT -6)   
If you are looking for a good dr. I'd say call top GI hospitals and see who they recommend in your area. Like I mentioned that is how I came across Shaheen.

ericapeace2000
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Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 5/26/2012 1:52 PM (GMT -6)   
I feel like I'm probably in the same boat as you. Endos show only mild esophagitis so I'm probably not a surgery candidate. On PPI dose that is higher, on a strict diet and natural supplements. Still suffering with esophageal spasms, bloating, shooting chest pains. I, like u, am frustrated. Never heard of the medication you listed. Will be seeing dr. In 3 weeks, he has a good background. Probably will just change my PPI. The only thing helping me really is gum n Manuka honey. Pretty sure I'm heading to acupuncture next.
Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 5/26/2012 6:42 PM (GMT -6)   
ARM,
It was a while ago, but I was researching for the best gerd dr.'s and his name came up in more then one place. I had wrote his name down months before you had posted you were going to see him, so when you posted you were going it really caught my attention. UW in Madison WI is the best in the state of WI and I see one of the top doc's there.
 
I've been on desipramine and it didn't sit well, however amitriptyline does, they are both tricyclic anti-d's. Let me know "what else" he tires for meds, I'd like to compare.
 
erica,
 
See my comments to ARM above about the meds as to what they are. I got relief from acupunture, I did it for about 4 years straight (once to twice a week). I got relief not cured, but it was helping for pain management. I haven't gone in months because it's $65 a pop and most insurances just won't pay for it and I just couldn't keep up with it.
 

ericapeace2000
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Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 5/26/2012 7:06 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for your input, I'll give it a shot. I found a woman who is both an MD and Accupunturist. It's probably going to cost me 60 a session but if it helps im willing to try anything.
Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)

theacidrefluxman
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 739
   Posted 5/26/2012 7:39 PM (GMT -6)   
Cool. I did some quick googling and found a few references for Shaheen, i.e. best doctors in america (best 3-5% apparently) http://www.unclineberger.org/news/-best-doctors-in-america

I'll definitely let you know what he tries out on me. I think I may be forgetting something and will try to recall. Stay in touch!

DOGGBONES
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Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 707
   Posted 5/27/2012 11:06 AM (GMT -6)   
ARM,
Thanks, awesome! Now I'll be able to compare one of WI's top vs one of the top in the States. So far from what I can tell both of their advice and methods are VERY close to one another. We'll keep in touch.
 
 
erica,
Good luck, it's very relaxing once you submit to it and just let go.....very important you must completely relax to get the full benefit.

ericapeace2000
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2012
Total Posts : 1110
   Posted 5/27/2012 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks, I'm open to trying it. Will report back
Diagnosed GERD, no other medical conditions (this one is enough)
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