Dear elcamino and friendlygal,
I am wondering about the criteria for surgery also. Like you, I take double PPIs (plus Zantac and Gaviscon) and am suffering more than ever. My current symptoms include: incredibly painful burning sore throat, painful and difficult swallowing, acid stomach, regurgitation, stomach pain, headache, exhaustion. I have had recent endoscopy and barium-swallow x-ray exams and was diagnosed with Barrett's at the lower end of the esophagus (near the LES) but apparently no hiatal hernia.
I am also frustrated with the doctors. I was told by the GI specialist that I was not a candidate for surgery because they do not see a hiatal hernia. Yet, the stuff that I have read on line and in books does not mention that you have to have a hiatal hernia in order to be a surgery candidate.
I have also been recently told by the GI specialist at the large medical foundation where I get my medical care that: - I have failed drug therapy - There is nothing more they can do for me - I will just have to manage this.
LIke you, I am in constant pain. I am doing all I know to try to get better including regular taking care with my medication, eating an extremely restricted diet under the guidance of a certified clinical nutritionist; taking homeopathic herbal remedies, probiotics, fish oil, calcium and vitamin B; going to an experienced, licensed acupuncturist for weekly treatments; meditation; not working (I left my stressful career job). Nothing seems to work. I was better for about 2 weeks after starting the brown rice/ veggies & fish diet then I seemed to crash and burn again this week for no apparent reason. I almost cant think straight because of the pain in my throat and esophagus. I used to just have gut pain and acid. I still have those problems but now, my throat and esophagus are the most painful areas.
Can you let me know if you have experienced the same symptoms? What have you learned?
Are you considering surgery? What have you been told about risks, success rates, types of surgery, etc?
Do you think menopause plays into this? I seemed to slam into menopause when I stopped taking the pill in April -- no period since then and the acid problem and reflux has been worse then I could ever imagine since.