Hello, new here and confused!

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 5/22/2013 3:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Way back in 1997 was disagnosed with Baretts as had severe heartburn, also had gallbladder out as that was diseased. Another gastrocopy in 2004, and in 2008 still showed a small amount of Barretts. Continued to have severe heartburn and was on Zantac and gaviscon.
Symptons became worse last year and starting coughing which caused me to throw up/vomit at night. Pain in abdomen. Horrible taste in mouth. GP gave me omeprazole. Still having problems so eventually referred to Consultant who sent me for another gastroscopy which I had last week. Said he would see me again if anything major otherwise refer me back to GP.
The Doctor who did this could find no trace of Barretts but reported copious reflux, medium hiatus hernia and evidence of bile reflux in stomach.
Had to see my GP the other day for something else so showed him report [hav no idea when I will hear from Consultant or when GP will get his own copy!] and he was concerned that Barretts did not show up as he said the scarring never completely went so has sent a memo to Consultant and Dr who did scope querying this.
He has also increased omaprazole.
So am now waiting to see what happens next as all I have read up does not indicate barretts disappears and also wondering why should have bile reflux.
Incidentaly the Doctor showed me photo of hiatus hernia - raher sureal seeing picture of a red crater!

Post Edited (cairnlover) : 5/22/2013 2:18:28 AM (GMT-6)

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2013
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 5/22/2013 3:55 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Cairnlover, sorry you are not feeling well. My situation is similar to yours except that I do not have Barretts. However I did have my gallbladder removed, had a hiatal hernia, severe heartburn, and was diagnosed with bile reflux as opposed to acid reflux. I also have gastroparesis, a disease in which my stomach does not digest food as fast as normal. My GI doctor explained that because my stomach basically always has food in it, even after 12+ hours of not eating, the bile that is produced by my liver goes into my stomach (since I do not have a gallbladder to hold it) and since it can't empty into the intestines due to all the food sitting in my stomach, it refluxes up into my esophagus (and lungs) instead. My esophagus is also very weak, allowing bile, food, and anything else in my stomach to back up anytime I lay down.

I had surgery almost 4 weeks ago to help correct both the hernia and my weakened esophageal sphincter (the part of the esophagus that connects to the stomach, which should normally remain closed and keep food in the stomach, but in my case it was very weak and allowing food and bile to back up into the esophagus.) The surgery was a combined toupet (partial nissen fundoplication) and hiatal hernia repair. It has been very successful so far. I have not had heartburn or reflux pains since the surgery and am off the omeprazole that I was taking before the surgery. Feel free to read more about my surgery and experiences here: http://www.healingwell.com/community/default.aspx?f=45&m=2728074

Surgery is not for everyone, however it is the only way to repair a hiatal hernia. Since a hiatal hernia is caused by a defect in the diaphragm it cannot be fixed by medications or diets. Some people can keep their symptoms under control with medications, diets, and other lifestyle changes but the hernia will still be there unless a surgeon repairs it. I would recommend talking to your GP and/or GI doctor to find out more about surgery and if it might be a good idea in your case. If you do start thinking about surgery, make sure you find a really good surgeon, someone who has done a lot of these kinds of surgeries. It is a somewhat uncommon procedure and is pretty intensive so you don't really want to have it done by someone without experience.

Also, before I had my surgery I was on another medication called Cholestyramine. It is a powder that you mix with a liquid (usually water or juice) and drink and it helps absorb any excess bile that is in the stomach.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1178
   Posted 5/22/2013 4:36 AM (GMT -6)   

Are you from the UK? If so I know how dire the service is, you need to really push them. Most consultants will try to discharge you as fast as possible, but just ring up the hospital and book an appointment yourself. Thats what ive had to do. If I had waited for them I would have been waiting forever!

I have symptoms like you, hearburn even on maximum acid suppression. Omeprazole wont help bile reflux, but Sucralafate it supposed to help. Also domperidone is a drug that speeds emptying of the stomach and can help with reflux, so maybe ask to try that.

Surgery is another option, and may be the only option if your symptoms cant be relieved with medicine. Also with Barretts the surgery would give you piece of mind about the condition getting any worse.
Anxiety, Depression, Hiatus Hernia? (different tests have disagreed), Esophageal Hypersensitivity

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2013
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 5/22/2013 4:50 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for information.
I had Cholestyramine eight years ago when I was ill with jaundice/toxic liver [caused by reaction to penicillin] and it was to clear the jaundice caused by bile in blood.
Domperidone was prrescribed four years ago but had the affect of giving me constant diarrhea. Have IBS anyway so stopped taking those.
Yes I am from UK and live in an area which is served by a group of hospitals, so saw Consultant at one but had gastroscopy at the one nearest me. GP suggested I rang to ask for appt so did but secretary informed me that my paperwork had not got back to them [15 miles apart with regular transport between!] although I thought most things were sent email etc.......
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