A month ago I was diagnosed with grade a esophagitis.
Spent 2 weeks on 300mg Zantac whilst waiting for my GI with the biopsy results. Went to see him and he gave me Rabeprrazole which I couldn't tolerate. Then was put on 40mg esomprazole. (Nexium).
I've been on that now for about 11 days.
I have severe anxiety since being diagnosed with this. Does it heal? Roughly how long does it take and are there instances where it doesn't? What does one do then? Also am I able to check say in 8 weeks or so if it's healed.
Any feedback would be appreciated. I'm really concerned.
Hi Dani, welcome to the forum.
I can relate to everything you've written because I've been through it before and am currently going through my 2nd bout of chronic gastritis and a grade B erosive esophagitis which can be very painful at times.
First off, the anxiety you are feeling is very normal. Esophagitis affects different people radically different. It's very important for me to know how were you diagnosed with a grade a espophagitis? Is the doctor guessing? Did they perform an endoscopy? I just want to make sure it's the correct diagnosis.
Some of the best advice I can give you, which I learned from making a ton of mistakes, is to change how and when and what you eat. Though medicine can and does help, the #1 thing that is going to help you heal faster is what you eat, which means sticking to a low-acid, low-carb, all natural diet. It's also critical that you eat small meals throughout the day (I currently eat 4 to 6 very small meals per day) and that you chew your food to the point where it's almost liquid in your mouth.
This allows your food to continue breaking down as it travels down your esophagus and into your stomach and keeps the alkaline levels in your stomach to a tolerable level. According to Dr. Jamie Koufman, in her book Dropping Acid, it takes about 2 weeks to clear the digestive tract if Pepsin, which is an enzyme that is activated by acid and acidic foods, so she has a 2 week induction diet that is very, very strict, but it's designed to get rid of the pepsin so you can begin adding more foods to you diet.
I strongly recommend reading all her articles on her website here, as they will be beneficial in helping you recover:
As already mentioned above, stay away from alcohol and make sure that you do not eat fatty, fried, or spicy foods. Stay away from all caffeine. Some publications state you can probably have one cup of coffee per day, but that's specifically for GERD sufferers. If one has esophagitis already, then caffeine is definitely something to avoid because it makes esophagitis worse.
Stay away from all herbal teas except ginger root or chamomile tea. Stay away from most herbs and spices, at least for the first few weeks while your body recovers. Bear in mind that everyone heals at a different rate, but for most people, it takes a long time for the esophagus to heal. I'm entering my 3rd month of recovery since my trip to the ER back in June and because of a few recent slip ups I've probably added another 1-2 months to my overall recovery (over eating and drinking a few glasses of red wine set me back).
Yes, your esophagitis will eventually heal. Though I am not a fan of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs, they do work for many people and in conjunction with a solid diet and other factors, they can speed up the healing process.
Another thing, sleeping with the head of your bed elevated is also very important. I invested in some bed risers and have my bed at 9-10 inches so that my entire body sleeps at an angle. This keeps the acid from coming up into my esophagus during my sleep.
I think once you do some research you'll find that you WILL eventually heal and that your anxiety levels will disappear. I know mine did.
As far as putting a time line on how soon you will heal, they are so many factors involved and people heal at different rates, that it's hard to predict. I'm with Sharon, I think 8 weeks is a little optimistic. If there's one thing I've learned with esophagitis is that it's best not to think in terms of time. I know, I know, easier said than done, but when I shifted my focus from thinking about when I'll be healed to focusing on eating better, it became a lot easier to deal with.
I had a co-worker who had a bad case of GERD and chronic gastritis and it took her several months to heal. I've had my current bought of esophagitis for many, many months and my GI doctor thinks my specific case may take up to a year or more to heal completely. The most important thing you can do is educate yourself on how to treat esophagitis, not just with medicine, but with the foods you eat and the beverages you drink because for the majority of people, that's the root cause of the problem.
Good luck to you,
Paul - Diagnosed gastritis and erosive esophagitis in 2011. Conquered it once and am going to conquer it again because this time I've taken total ownership of my health. Gluten, dairy, MSG, sulfite, caffeine, alcohol free. Said goodbye to canned and processed foods, my gut deserves it.....
Post Edited (Peabs) : 9/11/2015 9:36:47 AM (GMT-6)