I am a 31 year old obese Italian male (5'9" tall, 300 pounds) who had been suffering daily heartburn for about 14 months. While it hasn't been severe, it has caused moderate discomfort, and during this period, I have only used Tums to alleviate the symptoms. I've also experienced a globus sensation that would be severe on some days, while mild on others, yet it's always there. In addition, there have been occasions when after getting up in the morning, when I go to blow my nose blood comes out. I have had no problems sleeping though, in fact, it is only when I go to bed that the globus sensation dissipates altogether. In the morning however it starts anew again. I have also had problems with excessive burping everytime I eat.
I am now taking Prilosec, which appears to have alleviated my heartburn symptoms altogether (globus and burping still persists, but not enough time has passed to see whether these will heal as well). I am hoping with a strict exercise/diet regimen that once I draw close to my projected weight (a 125 pound loss), my GERD symptoms can be managed without medication. Previously I had noted that even a 30 pound loss was able to make a notable difference in alleviating reflux.
My main concern though is whether I let too much time pass and that I may now be at risk for Barrett's Esophagus. Is this is a disease brought on by years of acid reflux, or can it present itself even after mere months of daily heartburn problems? Or will my esophagus be able to heal normally itself now that Prilosec is controlling the reflux. I'd like to know in case I need to start drawing up a will soon (and maybe take out some life insurance as well for the loved ones). :-)
Any information would be appreciated, especially to help my peace of mind.
If there is concern about Barrett's, an upper endoscopy is needed. Normally appropriate treatment of the GERD is recommended, however if the severity has progressed, a more intensive surveillance regimen is recommended.
Other causes of globus sensation would include post-nasal drip, which can be evaluated with allergy testing as well as a sinus CT scan.
A 24-hr pH study can be considered to evaluate the severity of the GERD. If medication isn't controlling the symptoms, surgical procedures can be considered.
These options can be discussed with your personal physician.
Followup with your personal physician is essential.
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patients education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
Thanks for the info, but I asked what the timetable might be beginning with the onset of frequent heartburn to when Barrett's might possibly develop. Is it rare for people who have endured heartburn for months before getting relief to develop Barrett's, or is that mostly found in cases where they've endured acid reflux and heartburn for years instead? I'd just like to get an idea of how much at risk I am for this disease after 14 months of heartburn, and whether there might be cause for concern.
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