Yeah, and you are not the only one here that had that experience if I recall correctly...which made me resistant to the idea myself based on my own experience. But in the end I have to go with scientific studies over a few cases that I know...although, like I said, I am still afraid of progression myself. I suppose it is also possible that those of us that end up here at at a higher risk of progression.
I couldn't find some study to cite right now, although I've seen a few...but here is what the AGA guidelines for GERD say:
7. Does GERD Progress in Severity, Such That Symptomatic Patients Without Esophagitis Develop Esophagitis and Barrett's Metaplasia, or Are These Distinct Disease Manifestations That Do Not Exist Along a Continuum? If Patients Do Progress, at What Rate Does This Occur, and Does It Warrant Endoscopic Monitoring?
Grade D: recommend against, fair evidence that it is ineffective or harms outweigh benefits
I.Routine endoscopy in subjects with erosive or nonerosive reflux disease to assess for disease progression.
Two potential paradigms for viewing the natural history of GERD exist. In the first, GERD is viewed as a progressive disease such that, in the absence of effective intervention, today's patient with nonerosive disease becomes tomorrow's patient with erosive disease, who then becomes a candidate for the development of Barrett's esophagus. This “spectrum of disease” approach has been contrasted with the view that GERD may be a disease with phenotypically discreet “categories,” such as nonerosive disease, erosive esophagitis, and Barrett's esophagus. In this phenotypically preordained view, conversion from one disease manifestation to another is distinctly unusual, and subjects generally stay in their initial category. Available, albeit limited, data suggest that while subjects with GERD may sometimes progress from nonerosive disease to erosive esophagitis (making it not a strictly categorical disease), the reported rates of progression are relatively low over a 20-year period. In patients in whom stricture, Barrett's metaplasia, and adenocarcinoma were excluded in the setting of a healed mucosa at index endoscopy, the likelihood of these developing within a 7-year follow-up period is on the order of 1.9%, 0.0%, and 0.1%, respectively. On the other hand, the likelihood of developing Barrett's esophagus (or unmasking prevalent disease) with healing of Los Angeles C or D esophagitis is about 6%. Most importantly, endoscopically monitoring patients with chronic GERD symptoms has not been shown to diminish the risk of cancer, and this practice is discouraged.