trying to decide whether to scope

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Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 10/31/2005 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Back in January, my gp sent me to a specialist for a scope.  He did not do it and I went about my merry way with some new meds.  Well....almost a year later....still no better...just on different meds.  I can't afford the $2500.00 scope but I am beginning to wonder if I will learn anything that will make a difference in my treatment.  I seriously am desperate to get better but even my regular doctor (now that he knows the price) has said no hurry in getting one.  Is there anything they can tell me other than yep you've got it and stay on nexium?  My specialist sees so many patients I am just another number but he is the only one in town. One of his nurses is really great and I like her and feel like she would take the time to explain stuff to me. The doctor gives you less than 5 minutes at best.  So....tell me...if you have done the scope...was it worth it and did that information help make you better which is the bottom line,of course.  I know I feel better right after I eat but it doesn't last long.  I also have problems with bowel movements so I know this whole mess is totally digestive.  I am about ready to sell my car or something to pay for the test!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 32
   Posted 10/31/2005 4:44 PM (GMT -6)   

when you write, it is as if you are writing out my problems exactly.

I did the scope. I said, "Doc, I have gastritis." He said, "well we will see." They put the scope down there and he said, "Looks like you have gastritis."

They put me on nexium and sent me on my way.

But I kept having trouble, pain in my sides, so I went back.

"Doc, I think I have IBS." He said, "well we will see." They put the scope up my back side and took a look.
He said, "looks fine. So you might have IBS. (because everything else was then excluded).

I got suspisious, and requested my files. In my records he wrote, but failed to tell me, "patient complains of abdominal pain. Probably onset as a result of the PPI's he has been on." He also told me to take fiber.

Bottom line is. Trust yourself. Keep the car.

Take fiber supplements (psyillm husk), 5 pills in the morning, 5 at night, and take a good probiotic everyday. It mostly got rid of my IBS. And my wifes.

At first you may get diarreha. This is your body, kicking out the back bacteria in your gut, and replacing it with good bacteria. Just keep at it and it goes away.

I feel just like you! I MUST eat every 30 mins to 1 hour or I get that knawing feeling, the pain. All I can say is what worked for me may work for you.

If I take the supplements I wrote about, my gastritis calms down, sometimes for a whole week. then I eat something or sleep poorly and its back to square one.

let me know if I can help you in any way.

best wishes,


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 11/1/2005 1:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Alfred, I was thinking about grinding flaxseeds for fiber. Is that as good as psyillm husk? I assume I can get both at my health food store. I have been eating berries this week hoping to add fiber that way. I eat so few though!!

I appreciate your post. I know in my gut not to do the scope cause I know what he will say. The doctors have been so nonchalant about getting it so I know it is not a big deal if I do or not. I insisted on a gallbladder ultrasound knowing I did not need it but I was desperate. So I paid a $475.00 bill for nothing. I get paid$6.75 an hour as a sub teacher and I do not work 90% of the time so....that was quite a chunk out of my pocket!! Oh well:)

I am taking 2 probiotics a day now. Hopefully I will restore the good bacteria. I quit the nexium today and took an otc prilosec. Maybe I should wean myself off? If nothing else, nexium is $5.00 a pill and prilosec is 75 cents a pill!!
Medicine really irks me. I had no idea people were being so ripped off. Two years ago...I never even took aspirin!!

I will keep you posted. I really enjoy and appreciate your posts. I will try some of the stuff you have recommended...just need to get to the health food store to buy it all.

So...your doctor basically admitted in his files that the RX he prescribed caused your pain? Unreal!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2005
Total Posts : 936
   Posted 11/1/2005 2:26 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi hearty,

My heart goes out to you and anyone who has to decide on whether or not they should undergoe a procedure or take pills simply because of money issues. Everytime I read a post here about a member not able to afford certain procedures just breaks my heart. I always took our medical system here in Canada for granted and like many other Canadians, I often complained about it. I don't so much since I joined here at Healing Well. But, with regards to your dilemma, I was put in the same position as you on whether or not to have the scope, although not because of the cost. I had both an endoscopy and colonoscopy a couple of years ago and was diagnosed with GERD, Hiatal Hernia, intestinal spasms, bowel spasms (I also have bladder spasms), IBS and something else that has the word "colitis" in it but I cant remember what it is. You could say my fibromyalgia functions like GERD of the brain LOL. My husband keeps track of my "conditions" and he isnt here right now. My doctor recently thought I should have another scope in case my condition changed and involved something more serious. I am a little afraid of having a scope now because I took a very bad reaction to the medication used during the scope "Versed". So he and I discussed it and I told him I would prefer not not have it unless my symtoms worsen. And he agreed, so long as I keep him updated. I did, however, agree to barrium exrays. I am still waiting for the results. Can you ask your doctor if there are other less costly procedures you could have done if you are concerned about getting a diagnosis?? Ulcers can be diagnosed via a barrium and its best to take meds to help cure the ulcers. The nice thing is that the meds are temporary. The only thing the scopes I underwent did for me was ease my mind about having a "progressive" or "worse" condition than than those I do have. Make any sense? . So anyhow, what I had to do is change my diet and my lifestyle. Slow walking several times a day really helps. Drinking lots of water really helps (water is very very important if you are increasing your fiber, and remember too that you are suppose to increase it only a little at a time...otherwise you could make matters worse).  As far as diet just depends on the person. Personally, I have to be carefull of fiber intake because my IBS will flare (My body is sooo strange you would not believe it). I also have to be careful of dairy products...I drink soy milk now. I need to watch my sugar intake...Splenda took care of that. I need fruits and veggies in my diet..lots of em. Red meat can bring me to my knees on a bad day. And look out if I indulge in Pizza or pie or anything with lard or yeast  in it. I can sometimes get away with eating a little of it, but its always a chance I take. I also started a low carb diet...which you already know. I needed the meds to start the healing process but I had to try out several different ones before finding one that works. And the one I am on is actually one of the less expensive ones, so maybe you can ask that your meds be changed. Have you considered researching on the internet the different meds available? I believe Prilosec and Nexium are in the same category - Omeprabozole. The meds that worked for me were from a different category. Altough they are all PPI's There are three or four diff categories of meds that include a slew of diff brand names. Does your doctor get samples...can you ask him for see if a diff med would bring better results? It would be free that way tongue

I really hope this helps you a little. No, I hope it helps you alot. I wish I could do more. Best of luck to you.

      ~ Good wishes from Dee~        
  I know God won't give me more than
I can handle, but there are times I
wish he didn't trust me so much!

Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 11/1/2005 5:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I did get insurance recently because my husband got type 1 diabetes without insurance and you would not believe how much we pay for his meds. They would not cover anything gerd related because I had a nexium prescription before. Insurance is wild!!! So...I pay full price connected to anything gerd. Before both of us got this stuff we never used doctors etc....but now we feel so bad for people who can't afford their meds, surgeries, etc.... He went to the doctor the other day and our bill was almost $900.00 and it was just a normal visit with labs!! I called the office to make sure there was no mistake and there wasn't. It is outrageous!!

Dee...thanks for the reminder about increasing water along with the fiber. I wouldn't want to mess up in that area.

My doctor's nurse suggested I try otc prilosec since Nexium is $5.00 a pill and she rarely gets samples. So today I started that. I have tried prevacid, protonix, aciphex in the past and nexium seems to be the best.

I have learned to ask for samples....if not a good fourth or more of our monthly income would be meds!!

I need to get better so I can go back to work and bring in a second income again....

Not meaning to get on here and "poor-mouth" but it is good to "talk" about it sometimes. It can be stressful which in turn probably flares up the gerd!!!Ugh.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 1849
   Posted 11/1/2005 7:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Hearty,
I had the scope done w/much hesitation, and it revealed H-Pylori. I wish I had the scope ages ago, because GI indicated that the scar tissue from taking meds prevented him from knowing if I truly had GERD. He indicated that if symptoms persisted, it is most likely GERD. Well, symptoms persist, so I guess it's GERD.

My PCP suggested having a scope when I constantly c/o of GERD symptoms while taking PPI's & Antacids daily. I became a little nervous and decided to have it done.

Like Dee, my heart goes out to individuals who has to make very uncomfortable decisions about their health, as a result of Insurance & money issues. The cost of healthcare continues to climb........

I am currently taking prolisec and seems to work for the most part, and I hope you're also able to get some relief with it.

Hearty, I hope you get better soon & try keeping stress levels down, because it is believed to cause flares.


Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 303
   Posted 11/1/2005 7:49 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the blood test done for h pylori and it was negative and had the barium xray done to rule out ulcers and hiatal hernia...then a gallbladder ultrasound. Everything looks good so my doc thinks it is JUST acid reflux. He obviously has never had it...he is very lowkey about it.

The meds cause scar tissue????? How?

Healthcare is amazing!! Cost anyway.
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