Can erosions in esophagus heal?

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Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/7/2014 10:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello to all!
I've already written a few posts in the forum.
I have a severe GERD since last summer. Two months ago endoscopy showed erosions 0,3х0,8cm (it is LA grade B as i understand it).
Since that my GI doc prescribed PPIs (omeprazole 20mg х twice daily - so i get 40mg per day). Also i take Gaviscon and melatonin 3mg at bedtime (these i "prescribed" to me myself).

Two months will end in two weeks but i still don't have relief.

Now i want to ask you something dear forum-users, GERD-sufferers.

1) Did you have erosions in the esophagus? What grade it was (LA grade)?
2) And the most important: did it improve or heal somehow (by medication or surgery etc...)?

I just want to understand can erosions heal or is it just waisting of time - all these medications.
I think it is useless to mention that i have great anxiety - i think everybody here has it. As all here i am afraid of Barret's and cancer.
I am 33 yo (woman) and i dream to have normal life, to have kids and so on... It fears me to think that i can forget about pregnancy, normal life etc. And it fears me even more to get something more severe than i have now.
Alexandra

Andy1986
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Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1171
   Posted 5/7/2014 10:33 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes the esophagus can heal, Im no expert on erosions but things like bleeding ulcers in the stomach and esophagus will heal in time so the body is very capable in rebuilding itself.
GERD, Anxiety, Depression, Rolling Hiatus Hernia, Esophageal Hypersensitivity

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/7/2014 10:37 AM (GMT -6)   
Thank you Andy! It gives some hope...
Alexandra

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/7/2014 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Alexandra,

I'll second Andy's comment. Yes, erosions in the esophagus can heal, but its a long process. The omeprazole will not heal anything. It only helps to prevent further damage by reducing stomach acid. But learn of its long term side effects. You should supplement with calcium, magnesium, Vitamin D2, D3, and B12 while on it.

Gaviscon and melatonin are also good. But keep in mind that, as long as your are on omeprazole, Gaviscon's main benefit will be the alginic acid that forms a "raft" that stays on top of your stomach contents, keeping it from rising to the throat. So it will not be of much help taking it at bedtime. When you lie down your stomach contents goes horizontal with you, putting the "top", and the raft, in a different place that wont protect your throat. If night time reflux is where your issues are, much better to make sure you do not eat or drink within 3 hours of bed time, and raise the head of the bed 4-6 inches. Not just pillows- raise the mattress.

I was diagnosed with Barrett's short segments last Sept, and have my follow up endoscopy in June. Was on Zantac for a while but got off that as the damage to my throat has come only from nighttime reflux while lying down. I never have heartburn during the day. So I take Life Extension version of Gaviscon after dinner. I also take melatonin, and have for years, but just to help me sleep through the night due to an enlarged prostate. Melatonin is a powerful antioxidant as well, but I don't expect you need it for sleeping. It won't hurt, but at your age, your body should still be producing plenty of it. Not so for me.

Other things I take to hopefully help heal my esophagus are manuka honey, DGL, and beta carotene. After an extensive search for Barretts treatments, I could find no real recommendations. I did come up with one, and only one, scientific study that was done in 2000, and then done again in 2012 by a different team, involving beta carotene in does of 25mg/day. The first study was declared invalid due to procedural mistakes. The second one did not have those errors, and the results were just as promising. But this is a very high dose. Higher than recommended as a dietary supplement, and there can be some side effects of too much, so please proceed with caution if you take this route. The study involved only 6 people, but all 6 saw their Barrett's segments decrease in length and number, and two people had them disappear entirely. I hate to base much hope on such a small single study, but the dramatic result made me feel it was worthwhile to increase the level of a nutrient that I needed to get anyway; and beta carotene is known to act on the outer layers of skin, so it all made perfect sense.

Good luck and don't stress over it. Stress can cause heartburn :-)

Cristian
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2012
Total Posts : 26
   Posted 5/7/2014 2:40 PM (GMT -6)   
I've heard Manuka Honey is really good for that stuff

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/8/2014 2:49 AM (GMT -6)   
rjdriver, thank you so much for your informative post!

I take melatonin because i saw two studies in which the 100% healing was achieved for the esophagitis. In one the dose was 3mg melatonin + 20mg omeprazol, in the other - 6mg of melatonin without omeprazol but with some other additives.
As i take omeprazol, i chose 3mg melatonin + omeprazol. But unfortunately, after 6 weeks of the trreatment i feel the same pain daily . So 3 days ago i doubled melatonin and now i take 6mg of it.

You mention Life Extention version of Gaviscon... Is it Life Extension Esophageal Guardian? I bought it in Vitacost recently. I use it sometimes also.

I also take DGL regularly - not before meals, but rather when i feel worse chest pain. And i am going to order manuka honey.
For the vitamin A i try to eat more liver, carrots (as juice) and i ordered seabukthorn oil incapsuled.

Hopefully something of these will help...
Alexandra

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/8/2014 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Alexandra,

I'll look for the melatonin studies. As my initial search was for Barrett's rather than esophagitis, I may have missed those. I would not have expected that from melatonin and am curious if they have an explanation for the healing mechanism. But it's good to know it helps, since I am taking it anyway.


Yes, the Life Extension product is Esophageal Guardian. I don't use Gaviscon anymore, as the version of it sold here in the US has aluminum in it, which I would like to avoid.

I'm curious about your use of DGL. I take it for its healing effect on throat and stomach lining. Do you find that it actually stops heartburn when you are having an attack? Does it neutralize the acid and stop the pain on the spot?

Andy1986
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2012
Total Posts : 1171
   Posted 5/8/2014 11:34 AM (GMT -6)   
My esophagus took a long time to heal last time I had a bad reflux period. It wasn't even badly damaged, just mildly inflamed although at the time my esophagus was extremely sensitive so it felt awful.

It took me a long time to feel like I'd recovered from it, maybe 6 months, but as I say I was hypersensitive. I have heard stomach ulcers take 3 months to heal in normal people.
GERD, Anxiety, Depression, Rolling Hiatus Hernia, Esophageal Hypersensitivity

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/9/2014 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
rjdriver, in this review you can read about melatonin http://www.altmedrev.com/publications/16/2/116.pdf

As about DGL - i don;t think that it can stop acid reflux but i use it instead of gum just to produce saliva while chewing. Saliva ease pain a little.

Andy1986, thank you for sharing!

In the majority of studies they talk about 4-8 weeks needed for healing. In the study with melatonin for example people achieved the 100% healing in 8 weeks.
It makes me wonder why it doesn;t work for me? What am i doing wrong?
Alexandra

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/9/2014 4:24 AM (GMT -6)   
Alexandra -Thanks. That article is treasure trove of information. Everyone in this forum should read it. Not just for the melatonin section.

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/9/2014 6:00 AM (GMT -6)   
rjdriver, i'm glad to provide you with some new information. This forum is extremely helpful!
Alexandra

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/9/2014 6:29 AM (GMT -6)   
Pompadur said...
rjdriver, i'm glad to provide you with some new information. This forum is extremely helpful!


The section on the LES and how and why it opens when it shouldn't confirmed a theory that I think not many are aware of. So many of us with GERD and reflux also complain about bloating belching and burping. And we write it off as either a consequence of our general digestive issues due to GERD and/or the meds we take to control it, or to totally unrelated IBS/Crones/Gluten sensitivity, etc.

But this article proposes that more than half the GERD and heartburn we suffer is specifically the *result* of the three B's, the pressure of which opens the LES, often silently. Later in the article, it explains how controlling carb intake can greatly reduce the 3 B's, and therefore reduce or even eliminate GERD for many people.

There's a book called Fast Track Digestion by Norman Robillard that could be very helpful in taking this approach to curing GERD, or at least making the quality of life much better while you use other methods to treat your specific issue. He explains the "bacteria fermenting carbohydrates producing gas and bloating" process in great detail. But he goes one step further in analyzing carbs by categorizing them based on a fermentation factor (how much gas they cause). You can just reduce carbs in general and have success, but with his method, not all carbs are bad. For example, Russet potatoes are OK, but all other varieties are not. Jasmine rice is OK, but most other types are not. The first half of the book explains the science behind it all. The second gives detailed meal plans and recipes. If you find the idea of giving up most carbohydrates unappealing (I would), it's an interesting read that still allows you to have some "sinful" carbs in your diet.

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/9/2014 6:44 AM (GMT -6)   
You know i have the book of Norman Robillard and i even had two appointments with him via Skype. I beleive in his theory.
I followed his diet for 3 weeks very strictly but it didn;t help me. Maybe that's because i have lazy galbladder or smth else, or maybe 3 weeks was not enough for improvement. So it made me to give up with this approach. After that i went to gastro-doc and endoscopy showed erosions so i had to switch to PPi's from just natural remedies.
But i am going to restart it because i really think that it must be helpful. Maybe i just need more specific diet. Low carbs and low fat maybe... Don't know yet.
Alexandra

rjdriver
Regular Member


Date Joined Dec 2013
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 5/9/2014 7:22 AM (GMT -6)   
We all react slightly different to various treatments. I have taken some of Robillard's dietary advice, but not all, combined it with pro biotic, fiber, and digestive enzyme supplements and gotten *most* of my gas and bloating under control.

It's such a frustrating condition. No easy answers. Trial and error seems to be the only way to figure it out. And while most of them are not willing to admit it, Doctors are of little help passed giving tests and opinions and declaring that we have this syndrome or that disorder and jumping right to the PPI "cure". Often they are just as baffled as we are.

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/12/2014 2:07 AM (GMT -6)   
Yes, there is no easy answer... In addition to GERD there is anxiety and fears for future that don;t allow to relax and concentrate on healing.

I found interesting article about integrative approach to GERD - there is a good picture of health condition related to GERD.
Alexandra

Pompadur
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 77
   Posted 5/22/2014 1:10 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello to all!
A few days ago i had another endoscopy and it ahowed that erosions "are in the process of healing" after 8 weeks of treatment with 40mg of PPi's but the LES is not closing properly and the esophagus is red and inflamed. My gastro doc tells that endoscopy was not accurate and he doesn';t understand the term "in the process of healing" (what does it mean - are the erosions healed or they are not? ).
Also unfortunately these endoscopy showed a lot of bile in my stomach. And biliary reflux can worsen with using of PPI's because thea affect the work of galbladder (and mine is alredy lazy).

Well.. My doctor prescribed 20mg of omeprazol instead of 40mg and go on with Ursodeoxycholic acid (to dilute bile).

I am depressed because biliary reflux is worse than acid reflux and it has much less options to treat. Also I am afraid that the health of my gallbladder will continue to decline destroynig other organs (liver, pancreas, stomach...)

Not easy story :(
Alexandra
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