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Barrett's Esophagus
I have had stomach/digestive problems sine 1956. About two years ago it was diagnosed as Barrett's Esophagus. I have been going to a local gastroenterologist in my rural area of Texas. The last three times the endoscopic biopsies were "inconclusive" according to the gastroenterologist.
I have altered my diet trying to eliminate "problem" foods. However, sometimes everything I consume bothers me. I used a wedge to sleep on for about two years until I started having leg and hip problems. Several months ago I purchased an electric adjustable bed, which has helped in reducing the reflux. However, I still have erratic pain and reflux problems. I am currently on 20mg Prilosec twice a day and still I have some reflux problem.
I understand the nature, treatment and complications related to my condition. My wife and I are very concerned.
I am asking for the name of a HIGHLY qualified gastroenterologist in the Dallas, Texas area. I have little confidence in the treatment or concern by my current doctor. I live about 1 1/2 hours out of Dallas but am more than willing to travel to find the right doctor.
Bill Caddell, ***@****
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I have had many different types of antiacids but I have never heard of aciphex.  Does anyone have any knowledge of this drug?  Also does anyone ever get light headed?  Just sometimes.  Just passed my heart stress test with the dye.
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Keith,

I've never heard of it but you can look it up on rx.com at

"http://www.rxlist.com/scripts/patient/piumore.pl?mononum=573&order=0&type=&item="
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In  Septembe 1999, I began having a terrible cough which turned into ecessive vomitting and asthma symptoms .  After four weeks of this and seven doctors, the final one being a gastro. doctor, I was scoped and diagnosed with Reflux disease and was put on  Prilosec 20 mg, two times a day, and propulsid, 20 mg, 6x a day.  I also began watching my diet.
I was feeling better and not vomitting anymore, however, I continued to choke and lose my breath.  When I returned to my doctor, I found out that the scope showed that I have Barretts disease.  I was then sent for a GI series.  The GI series confirmed Reflux disease.  Now my doctor wants me to consider
an esophagael wrap.     He feels  I am too young to suffer from this disease, I am 40.  Please let me know if anyone has had this surgery, what it was like, how long the recovery period was, what type of diet should I follow for healthier living. I  am also interested in knowing about any doctors and hospitals in the New  York City area .  Unlike most mose with reflux, I never have heartburn or stomach pains, only choking and lack of breath.  Please help me with any info.
thanks,
Randi
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Three months ago I was diagnosed with reflux disease after a month of profuse vomiting and asthmatic type symptoms.  After a scope and a gi series, my doctor put me on prilosec and propulsid.  now my biopsy reveals  that I have barrets disease.  My doctor wants me to go for an  esphogael wrap (Nissan fundrolocation).  He feels I am too young (41) to suffer from Reflux and feels the wrap will stop it.  My questions are: has anyone had an esophogael wrap?  was it successful?  what type of diet should I be on?  what was the recovery period after the surgery?  Do you know any good surgeons and hospitals that specialize in this in the NYC area?  The only symptoms I ever have are occassional vomitting, choking and lack of breath, although the medication has kept these symptoms pretty much under control.  Please help.   My gastro. doctor also wants to send me for a motility (spelling) study before surgery, does anyone have info aboout that?
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Randi,

I have not had any surgery for my REFLUX/Barrett's Esophagus...but there are quite a few in this forum that have had. Further down in the forum is one called "Surgery to correct REFLUX". Check it out.

My observation is - it's important to get the best gastroenterologist you can and if HE thinks you should have the "wrap" then research all the pros and cons. Then find a surgeon that specializes in doing the "wraps". Many have said that theirs were too tight and had to have additional surgery. Others have said they have had several surgeries. It can be serious and it is important to not go to just any gastroenterologist or surgeon. Only you should make that decisionwith only the BEST diagnosis and recomendation.
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***@****, I have sent you an e-mail. If you do not received it, send me an email at ***@****.
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I am 34 years old and was diagnosed with Barretts 6 months ago after approx. 10 years of GERD. I have been on Prilosec for about a year and it has really helped (more so than Axid and Pepsid). Anyone with information on long term use of Prilosec?
I also have episodes (lasting over a month) of erratic or irregular heartbeats (mostly skipped beats). Judging from all the internet responses and info on this, it seems to be a very common thing. Three questions: What causes it? Is it something to be worried about? What can I do to elliminate it? It seems to happen in the winter - but it has only been two years since it started and both times were in the winter months. I am very active, otherwise healthy (severe childhood asthma) and I have changed my lifestyle to elliminate caffeine, alcohol, and late night meals. (Propped-up bed of course!).
I would appreciate any info or good websites on this, I can be reached at ***@****, thanks.
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AFTER THREE OR FOUR YEARS OF SEVERE SYMPTOMS OF BELCHING, SHORTNESS OF BREATH, UNABLE TO BREATH DEEPLY, EXTREME CHANGES IN BLOOD PRESSURE AND PULSE VARIOUS IN EITHER ARM, SEVERE HEARTBURN, THROWING UP OF YELLOW BILE AND BLOOD ALL CAUSING FEAR AND SEVERE HYPERVENTALION, I WAS FINALLY DIAGNOSED IN 1975 IN HOUSTON WITH ACUTE GASTRITIS AND PRESCRIBED COMBID. IT TOOK SEVERAL MONTHS TO RECEIVE ANY RELIEF. IN 1982 A LOCAL GASTROINTEROLOGIST CHANGED MY MEDICATION TO TAGAMENT TO IMPROVE MY CONTINUING SYMPTOMS. IN 1986 MY CONDITION BECAME WORSENED AGAIN AND I WAS PRESCRIBED AXID, AS TAGAMENT NO LONGER WORKED. IN 1988 I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH DISTAL ESOPHAGEAL MUCOSA WITH BEEFY RED AND EDEMATOUS, STOMACH INFLAMMED THROUGHOUT ANTRUM WITH SCATTERED EROSIONS AND A DILATED BILE DUCT. I WAS THEN CHANGED FROM MEDICATION TO ANOTHER UNTIL 1991 WITH A MAJOR FLARE UP. I WAS PRESCRIBED PRILOSEC, BUT EACH TIME AND BEGAN TAKING THE MEDICINE MY BODY WOULD GET NUMB AFTER 10 OR 11 DAYS. I WAS DIAGNOSED IN 1991 WITH PROMINENT GASTROESOPHAGEAL REFLUS, MILD PYLORSPASMS, MODERATED SPASTICITY OF THE DUODENAL BULB,INFLAMMATORY CHANGES IN THE DUODENAL AND AN ENLARGED BILE DUCT. I WAS PRESCRIBED PREVASID. IN 1999 I HAD ANOTHER SEVERE FLARE UP AND WAS DIAGNOSED WITH DISTAL MUCOSAL ERYTHEMA AND EDEMA AT THE EG JUNCTION, AND EITHER A HIATEL HERNIA OR THE EARLY STATE OF BARRETT'S ESOPHAGUS, ANTRUM INFLAMMED EROSIONS, CHRONIC DUDENITIS WITH THICK SHAGGY WHITE MUCOSA AND GASTRIC MUCOSA EXTENDED ABOVE THE GASTRIC FOLDS.

AFTER 20 YEARS, THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR MEDICATIONS AND MEDICAL CARE, SLEEPING IN A NEAR UPRIGHT POSITION AND THE USE OF ADDITIONAL ANTI-ACID GALVESCON, WHO WOULD THINK THIS WOULD NEVER GO AWAY, CONTINUE TO FLARE UP EVEN WITH MEDICATION, AND WORSEN STILL TO POSSIBLE BARRETT'S DISEASE AND PRE-CURSOR TO CANCER.

I AM PRESENTLY RESEARCHING M.D. ANDERSON'S FACILITY IN HOUSTON TO SELECT A NEW CARE GIVER TO FIRST DETERMINE THROUGH BIOPSY IF I IN FACT DO HAVE BARRETT'S AND IF SO ARE INTESTINAL METAPLASIA PRESENT. I DO NOT YET UNDERSTAND HOW ACID COULD CONTINUE TO REFLUX GIVEN ALL THE MEDICATION AND SLEEPING IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION. I AM ALSO CONCERNED THAT CONTINUAL USE OF ANTACIDS-H2 RECEPTOR ANTAGONIST AND PROTON PUMP INHIBTOR (PREVASID), IN FACT HAS CAUSED A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY. WHEN IN FACT THESE MEDICATIONS MAY HAVE ONLY TREATED THE ACIDIC GASTRIC CONTENTS AND CAUSED A "PH" INBALANCE IN THE ESOPHAGUS CAUSING THE PANCREATIC JUICES WHICH IN TURN DESTROY THE EPHITHILEAL LING OF THE ESOPHAGUS RESULTING IN CHANGE TO BARRETT'S.

SO,, WHAT GIVES...? IS THE CONTINUED REFLUX OF STOMACH ACID WHICH CAUSES BARRETT'S? ARE IS THE MEDICATIONS WHICH CAUSE PANCREATIC JUICES? AND IF THE LATER, SURELY THERE MUST BE A MEDICATION TO PREVENT THE PANCREATIC JUICES, IF THAT IS THE CULPRIT.

I HAVE A FURTHER CONCERN ABOUT THE DUODENUM BEING IN CHRONIC DUODENITIS FOR ALL THESE YEARS AND THE STOMACH AS WELL. HOW CAN THESE ORGANS MAINTAIN ANY KIND OF HEALTH GIVEN THESE CIRCUMSTANCES?

SURELY WITH OUR MEDICAL SCIENCE THERE ARE BETTER OPTIONS TO PUT IN PLACE A GREATER SUCCESS RATIO THERAPY FOR ALL OF US WHO ARE LONG TIME SUFFERES AND BETTER YET FOR THE NEW COMMERS!

I AM SEEKING A SOLUTION OF CONTROLING THE CHRONIC SITUATION WITHOUT INCREASING THE POTENTIAL FOR ESOPHAGEAL CANCER.

I WOULD APPRECIATE ANY INFORMATION ON THE ESOPHAGEAL PH FACTOR, DUODENUM THERAPY AND SUCCESS RATES ON REFLUX OR OTHER SURGERY ESPECIALLY TO ALLEVIATE WHICH NOW APPEARS TO BE A TIGHTENING IN THE THROAT AREA.

THANKS....AND GOOD LUCK TO ALL...WHAT A JOURNEY THIS HAS BEEN, ONLY TO GET SUCH DISSAPOINTING NEWS.
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There are many good sites on the internet. Some good ones are at

"http://www.gihealth.com/TREC2/articles/gerd.html"
"http://www.gihealth.com/TREC2/articles/barretts.html"
"http://pharminfo.com/pubs/msb/mangerd.html"
"http://pharminfo.com/disease/gastro/gastrolinks.html#Barretts_Esophagus"
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Good News,

My endoscopy biopsies (last Monday) showed no dysplasia or helicobacter pylori infection eventhough Barrett's esophagus (3 cm) and medium hiatal hernia was still present. My Gastroenterologist put me back on endoscopy every two year schedule (had been every 6 months for last 3 endos): continue with no fried or fatty foods and no caffeine products, chocolate, milk products, tomato products, or citrus fruits or juices. My medicine continues as 1-prilosec (20 mg) in am and 1-ranitidine (zantac) 150 mg in pm. AND, of course elevate the head of (at least 8 inches) my bed every time I lie down or sleep. The above treatments have apparently improved my condition. The Dr had no explanation re: the frequent horizontal pains across the middle of my back. However, in the material I have read and others comments about their situations show that the back pains may be characteristic of GERD/Barrett's esophagus.
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I am a 59 yr. old female recently diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus after 4-5 months of chest pain, food getting stuck half-way down, etc.  This diagnosis has really scared me and I am is a state of shock re: the risk of adenocarcinoma (from 1-10% varies with literature.) I also have coronary heart disease so this whole episode was really scary although after 9 yrs. with CAD I was able to recognize this was not heart pain.  I actually think I have had this pain before and it may have resulted in 3 of my 5 coronary-angiograms when I had chest pain.

Through all this, I have lost 17 pds. in 6 weeks because of the pain and now since the diagnosis, the pure fear of eating.  With such limited choices, eating has become a nightmare!  What to drink is a really big question since you need to watch everything that has citric acid and literally everything has citric acid in it as a preservative.  I drink water, water, water and some herb tea, although most have citric acid.  I am on Prevacid and since the endoscopy and stretching of a stricture, my pain has subsided.

I would really like to have a web board or e mail subscribe list for all of us with Barrett's/Gerd to communicate.  This board seems to fill very rapidly with all the concerned folks.  I would be glad to set up such an e mail subscribe list on onelist.com (free) is people would be interested.  Send me your e mail address if you would like to be included and if I get enough responses, I will set up the board and get it up and running.  I will let you know when it is set up so you can subscribe.

It was a relief to find other with this diagnosis.

Thanks,
Letty
***@****
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i am 40 years old with a 15 year history of reflux.  i now hve barretts-1 cm- with severe dysplasia.  The recommendation is for a total esophagectomy.  has anyone had this procedure-if so, what was your quality of life after the procedure.
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Reply to steve's message dated 2/3/2000

My husband was diagnosed with an adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus in August of 1991.  At this time his Barrett's esophagus was also diagnosed.  He does not remember a time in his adult life when acid reflux was not a problem.  At the time of his cancer diagnosis he was 44 years old and seemingly in great shape. He is an active man who was just preparing to retire after over 20 years in the Air Force.  He did have the surgery with several inches of his esophagus and 1/2 of his stomach removed.  His recovery was long, but we have had 8 wonderful years since his surgery - life is pretty normal, he works a 40 hour week, travels frequently for business and pleasure,and enjoys all the activities he did prior to the surgery.  Now we have just found out that the Barretts has returned and, of course, he is concerned that it will mean another battle with cancer.  We are very interested in a treatment that may destroy the Barretts before cancer can develop.  One website we have visited is:
http//pharminfo.com/meeting/ACG/acg_ehlb22.html
This site is on the Pharmaceutical Information Network and the treatment discussed is Photodynamic Therapy.  The article title is: Photodynamic Therapy Destroys Dysplasia in Barrett's Esophagus. There also are hospitals conducting clinical trials of this treatment.  
You have to consider your options.  Surgery was the answer in 1991, it may still be the best answer.  We're looking too.  Good Luck to all
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bill:
was glad to hear your test were better than expected.would like to ask a question of all.stopped smoking 1 and a half years ago.prior to stopping had all the symtoms every one has,heart burn,pain in chest,arms,back.bed was elavated and slept up right for several years.untold number of bottles of tums(wish i had stock in the company).after stopping smoking all this stopped.only very rarely do i have heart burn.two weeks after stopping i developed  drainage in my throat.this mucos is a constant daily thing.sometimes i'm able to expel this but most of the time it just hangs up.dr.has prescribed 1000 mgs of amoxicillin,clarithromycin,and lansoprazole.i take this twice a day.at present have had no relieve.was wondering if any one else has had this problem.as for the pain and heart burn if you smoke stop now,you will see an improved
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I have suffered from heartburn for the last 11 yrs (I'm 27), which I put to the side with Tums.  This past november I went to my pcp when I noticed that everything I ate came up.  He put me on Zantac 2x daily, it didn't work.  He sent me to a gastroentologist and he put me on Prevacid 15 mg. a day and had and endoscopy done that revealed Barretts.  I also had a Gastric Emptying Study done, but that revealed that my stomach empties normally.  I've altered my diet (not that it needed much altering), but still suffer from the reflux.  Its not acidic, its  actual food.  I also suffer from burping as soon as I put something in my stomach.  My gastro just put me on Carafate 3x before I eat.  Does anyone have similar problems?  Any suggestions?  I'm loosing weight and don't know what else to eat!!!!
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To Elisabeth
My brother is 19 and was diagnosed today as having Barrett's.
He has been vomiting for the last 2 months, and the doctors haven't been able to find out why. There seems to be no pattern to what makes him sick or when. He, too is losing weight, and he's only slim anyway. He has been on Tagamet before, due to chronic heartburn, but it did nothing. I wonder if the vomiting has caused the Barrett's in the first place, as a stress related problem. agh help! He has a healthy diet and is active. Sorry I can't be of any help!
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The best thing I have done is get some liquid 1 gallon aloa vera
for about $8 at Walmart pharmacy area and drink about a half of glass with some water added before I go to bed. Even with prevacid I still got some buring in my throat at night if I wasn't careful with eating to late or had some cafiene. The aloa vera always worked with no waking up with acid in throat feeling. Its only $8. Give a try.
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Just discovered this support group tonite.  I have been dealing with a combination of all symptoms I have read in the notes above.  I just turned 41 on Valentines Day and was plagued with these sympton on or about November 6, 2000, though I think they have existed for a longer period of time, just not properly diagnosed.  I had my 2nd endoscopy on 2/16/00 and expect the result back on 2/18/00.  When my Physician mentioned for the 2nd time concerns of Barretts Disease, I thought I would take a shot at finding it on the internet, thus I did, now scared more than ever.  My family has a history of cancer related deaths and though I quit smoking 14 years ago, I feel like a different form of cancer is chasing after me, God, I hope i'm wrong.  I'll be in touch
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I was diagnosed with Barrett's about a year ago.  At the time I was also diagnosed with Celiac disease, a gross intolerance to wheat, oats, rye and barley.  I have had to strictly cut those ingredients out of my diet (a tough thing to do).  My doctor is giving me nothing to treat the Barrett's - he assumes that treating me for Celiac will solve the problem.  I very rarely suffer from reflux.  I won't have another scope done for 10 months.  From reading all of your comments, I don't feel that my treatment is aggressive enough.  Thoughts please.......
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Gee after reading thru this forum, I have all the systems of Barretts, back pain, severe chest pain and burning senstaions, sore neck, radiating pain down the arms at times and even the weird feeling in the bottom of my teeth.  I have been on Prilosec for approx 10 years for GERD.  I am finally scheduled for an endoscopy this coming Monday. Thats the first thing the doc mentioned, if I had ever been checked for Barretts.  Had an endoscopy 2 years ago, but wasn't checked for that as this was just a general practioneer who diagnosed me with GERD and a slite irratation around the duodenum.
Seems I am a bit worried about the results of the up coming endoscopy. Tylenol 3 doesnt even help the pain and seems to cause a bit more pain in the stomach.  Should have seen a specialist years ago, but all the docs just said Prilosec would help the GERD. It used to help lots but over the last year it just seems to have not been working as well. I take 40ml in the evening, I am 46 and in good health otherwise. Have had all the Cardiac Stress test preformed recently to rule out any heart probs. Tried Prevecid but I think the Prilosec works better for me.
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I was diagnosed with barrett's in Feb. 2000. Is there anything I can do about the chest pain. It's affecting the quality of my life in a drastic way. I take 30 mg of Prevacid once a day. Due for a follow up endoscopy next year.
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To Keith:

I was suppose to be a protocal patient for Acephix but missed the study.  However, I was put on the drug afterwards and it is wonderful.  No side affects like I had with Prilosec (lower bowel problems and headache).  I've been on it a couple months and had heartburn maybe once since then.
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Have any of you consider or checked out the side effects to some
of these meds?  And if so, are any of you having liver problems due to the meds you are taking?
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Photodynamic Therapy for Barrett's esophagus is discussed by the Jefferson Cancer Network in the Spring 1999 newsletter.  (Jefferson Medical Center, Philadelphia)  It is on page 4 of the newsletter.
http://www.kcc.tju.edu/Clinical/JCN/news/jcnnewsCurrent.htm
As to my Barrett's, my gastroenterologist says as long as I take my Prilosec, I can eat and drink whatever I want -- in moderation, of course.  I never had any symptoms of acid reflux, to the diagnosis was unexpected.  The one drawback to Photodynamic therapy is that for 30 days afterward, one must stay out of sunlight and bright lights.  Also, my gastroenterologist says while this procedure may eliminate surface Barrett's, it could remain deeper in the esophagus.  Anyone have any other information contrary to all this?

  
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My mother has recently been diagnosed with Barett's.  Am seeking a good gastroenterologist in South Carolina who has had success in treating Barrett's.   Any information would be appreciated.
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Lee,

Do a search for Gastroenterology on the internet. I obtained several email addresses from the internet and heard from the head of the Gastroenterology Department at Washington University Medical School, St. Louis, MO for a recommendation for Dallas, TX.

There should me several large medical complexes in your area or at least Atlanta, GA.

Good luck.
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I was diagnosed with Barretts on March 29, 2000 and have since been doing alot of research on the net. I am still waiting for the results of my biopsy and am scheduled to see my GI doc on April 12th. It has been comforting to read your stories and to find out that there are many symptoms associated with Barretts. To be perfectly honest I though I was being a little on the Hypochondriac side but now I realize that the chest pains, back pains, shoulder pains, etc are legit. The reason I first sought medical treatment was because I began to to vomit after every meal (this has been going on for about 2 months now) and can't seem to hold food down. It doesn't matter what I eat, it's coming back up. I have suffered from severe heartburn for about 5-6 years and no medication has helped. I've tried all of the ones you have listed but no help. I am currently taking Reglan and aciphex for the nausea, vomiting and heartburn but just like the others, they haven't helped. Does anyone else suffer from vomiting after meals? I have gotten to the point where I only eat one meal a day (I skip breakfast and lunch because I don't want to vomit at work). One thing that I've found in my research is that even though the symptoms can be treated and the acid reflux stopped, Barretts can't be reversed. Immediately after the scope, the doctor told my wife that I would need surgery. I don't know at this time what exactly he has in mind (I was examining the inside of my eyelids when he told her). Thank you for the opportunity to share my story with you and I'll let you know what the doc says on the 12th. If anyone would like to talk my e-mail address is will.***@**** or ***@****
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I am a nurse in a hospital that specializes in esophageal surgeries.  I am also a Barrett's esophagus patient. I have seen many patients do very well with the colon interpostition.
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What is colon interposition?
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Hi Everyone;
    I am a 45 year old male.  I have been eating heartburn pills for at least 30 years,  you name the kind I have tried them. Anyway about five years ago I had the camera put down my mouth and I have the pictures somewhere. It showed that I have a ulcer and the biggest high heria bad spelling that the doctor said he had ever saw before to the inside not the outside.  Also said I needed to have my flat redone, he said they would put a loop in it and said that I had Barrett disease.  Please excuse my spelling I am not that well educated.  Anyway they wanted  to do surgury and do it all at once.  I asked a question which most doctors do not like.  The question was What happens if I just deal with it the best I can.  His answer was You will just wake up dead one night I quess he tought this was funny. Anyway I have  not choke to death yet, but have woke up a few times and tought this was it. Has anyone else had this promblem?
   I have been taken prilosec all this time, it works. But I have got to tell you the last year I have been getting really tried and the depression is getting real bad.  If anyone one else feels like this please E-Mail me at ***@**** cause I really need to talk to someone.
   I have all the pain back, cheat arm neck and headaches.  I really dont know what to do, it got so back I cant make a living anymore.  
   I really few bad for you people out there cause I know where you are coming from,  This is real bad. Live sure is not much.
   I going to try to get off the prilosec and see if I can get out of this depression, cause I think that is where it is coming from.
   And if any of you people are still taking propulsid out there you need to get with your doctor because it has been cauing some real bad heart trouble, in fact it has been taken of the market.

  Good Luck everyone   Larry
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I was reading an article from the Mayo Clinic and the doctor indicated that he is very cautious in treating Barretts with acid blockers alone. He explained that the reflux could contain both stomach acid and i believe it was bile (please correct me if i'm wrong) and it is actually the bile fluid that causes the most damage to the esophageal lining. Treating Barretts with acid blockers alone does not stop the bile only the stomach acid. With this said, is it a good idea to just be treating with Prilosec or others? What do the rest of you think about this and has anyone else seen this same info? I believe the website I was on is mayohealth.org and the i chose digestive disorders and went from there! Thanx!
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Wanda,

I was diagnosed with GERD last week and Barrett's Syndrome today!  It was comforting to read your husband's initial success after surgery, but saddened to learn of it's recurrence.  Thanks for the information regarding Photodynamic Therapy (2-8-2000).  I'll check it out!  If you or ANYONE else comes across additional information and/or treatments, I'd love to hear more. My email address is ***@****
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if anyone is interested in an e-mail type support group, go to onelist.com and do a search for Barretts. you will then get e-mails from the other members and can correspond with them on a daily basis. i did this about a week ago and it is great. iwent in for a motility test and 24 hour Ph study yesterday and i was amazed at how many people e-mailed me with encouragement, support, and their own experiences. definitely worth a look.

willis
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I am 42 years old and live in London (UK).  I have just been diagnosed with Barretts after an endoscopy.  Prior to this I had reflux for about 4 years or so and it was only when I suddenly felt about 6 months ago that I really didn't want to eat very much at all and for a month ate just tinned sweetcorn and cream crackers and felt better as a result that I decided I needed to see a doctor.  It took a couple of months for the endoscopy unit to give me an appointment and it occurred to me that I was interested in pursuing the question of food sensitivity (I am very sensitive to perfume and chemicals generally and cannot use perfume/deodorants/ordinary washing powders etc.) so went to see a therapist at the Hale Clinic in London.  I am now taking a combination of nutritional supplements and homeopathic medicines which seem to control the reflux far better than gaviscon ever did (I took it for a month to try it out).  I currently take:

milk free acidopholus powder twice a day
choline/inositol
pantathenic acid
vitamin supplements
homeopathic medicines

I have replaced coffee/tea with green tea which I drink lots of (my therapist says I must drink a lot and I don't find drinking a lot of water on its own very comfortable)

I try not to drink for 1/2 hour before and 1 1/2 hours after meals which seems to be very effective

I have always eaten quite a lot of Indian food and now find that I can still cope with the milder south indian style cooking and that in fact potatoes which I had given up eating are digestable if eaten with fenugreek (I looked this up on the net and found that it is good for digestive ailments so will be pursuing research on that)

My therapist recommended that I try the hay diet to ensure easier digestion of foods and although I don't stick to it rigidly I find it very helpful.

I welcome mails about any aspect of what I have written, I will be seeing the specialist in a couple of weeks and would particularly welcome tips as to what questions I need to ask (my biopsies were negative).  So far, from reading on the net it seems to me that I should ask the following:

Do I need to have a test for cancer of the colon since a recent study showed that I may have a five times larger chance of getting it than someone without Barretts  ?

How big is the Barretts and where is it ?

Do I need to elevate my bed since I do not suffer from any symptoms at night ever (so far) ?

Is this in any way related to the fact that between about 16 and 26 I suffered from Bulimia Nervosa ?


My best wishes to all who have written to the site, many thanks for sharing your experiences, I will be calling back regularly-

(Just one slightly tongue in cheek question if you can send billions of messages down a fibreoptic cable the size of a hair (or something like that) how come an endoscopy tube need to be quite the size it is, I guess we are just not at the leading edge of surgical instrumentation guys.  Anyway I am not complaining really as the staff at the unit were absolutely great !)


yours Katherine

I can be mailed at: ***@****
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I am 42 and just diagnosed with Barretts.  I thought I would pass on a few experiences and would love to correspond with someone on dietary matters.

An alternative therapist I have been seeing recommended the following:

trying to follow the Hay diet - food combining

drinking lots of green tea - this seems to work well and I like it

not drinking for 1/2 hour before a meal and 1 1/2 hours after it - unless its green tea

I find in general that eating four small meals a day makes my tummy feel very happy at the moment and as a naturally greedy person I don't have long breaks between meals.  I find that certain fruits are very good to digest; pears, ripe mangos, melon, plums, strawberries, grapes - especially green.  I am not a big fan of peaches but maybe they are good also.

I live in London UK so if anyone from there wants to get in touch please do so but I would like to correspond with people from anywhere, hear their opinion on what I have written - anything

my best wishes to everyone

Katherine Phillips
***@****


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To Faye:

I know it is frightening to see your brother having trouble.  I felt the same way when I found out that me and my two teen age sons had Barrett's Esophagus.  I could deal with it for myself, but it just didn't seem fair for those young athletic fellows to have to go through it.  We all had the Nissen Fundoplication (wrap) and are doing great.  At our last check up the boys were pretty much back to normal, but I'm lagging.  I've probably had Barrett's since I was their age.  I hope your brother will take good care of himself and do everything his doctor tells him to do!  You can help him by reminding him (gently of course) as to what the doctor said!
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I have had the surgeries and all of the medications as mentioned and I am still having difficulty in digesting foods.  The tastes that comes up from the esophagus is nauseating and is terrible as I can not "burp" or "throw up".  As of this writing, Mayo Clinic is seeking an answer for me.  In addition, I have developed Dumping Syndrome from the surgeries.  Has any one else gone through this?  This syndrome is as bad as the Barrett's.  Maybe, not as serious.  Where do we go from here?  Is there a doctor anywhere that can help us with this problem and the aftermath?  Any information would be helpful.

E- Mail :***@****
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I have had the hiatal hernia repair and stil have problems with vomiting even though I am on prilosec 20mg twice a day.  I had the hiatal hernia repair in 1994 and was also diagonesed before that in 1988 at 24 years old with Barrett's.  I have had a couple of scares with dysplasia and also with atypical cells.  So therefore; I have to have biopsies with an EGD every 6 months to a year.  They have to take 21 biopsies each time since my section is pretty long.

My grandfather and an Uncle died from esophagus cancer so I am really upset.  I guess that is why they keep me under survellance  more frequently.  No one else in the family has this disease so far.  The doctor at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio told me that usually men get this more than women.  But I had a twin which was a boy but he died at 3-4 months inside the womb.  I was wondering if I could have inherited some of the male characteristics.

I have to go back again for another EGD July 18th, that is also my anniversary of my marriage, I hope that will bring me good luck since I have been married now for 14 years.  I don't no if I could handle any bad news right now because of the kidney problems I have.  I have lost 20-25% of my kidney function.  So with my other health problems I am very frightened.

If anyone else has the same problem please contact me and I will check this sight weekly.  I would like to hear from someone so I know I am not the only one with this problem.

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to anybody outthere.  I want to have an endoscopy to rule out baretts.  The only thing is i have alot of trouble with anesthetics.  especially sedation.  Has anybody outthere had the procedure done Other than being put to sleep?  I hesitate to go that route because I have tacycardia and mitral valve.  The thought of being put out because of the bad experiences makes me not want to do it.  Please e-mail me   Diana
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to anybody outthere.  I want to have an endoscopy to rule out baretts.  The only thing is i have alot of trouble with anesthetics.  especially sedation.  Has anybody outthere had the procedure done Other than being put to sleep?  I hesitate to go that route because I have tacycardia and mitral valve.  The thought of being put out because of the bad experiences makes me not want to do it.  Please e-mail me   Diana
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Following high dose melphalan chemotherapy and subsequent bone marrow transplant during the past four weeks, I have had endoscopy 20/6/00 which diagnosed barretts oesophagus which I was informed by my gastro.specialist is a complication of having had 2 serious haemoraghes  in the gastro intestinal tract following transplant. The reason for the transplant is I have primary amyloidosis in the kidneys and heart,sarcoidosis of the lungs and nephrotic syndrome{complication of amyloidosis]My specialist has told me that there is no cure for my amyloidosis but maybe after all this treatment the amyloid will stop growing.Needless to say I needed to have barretts Like I need the other diseases.Besides all the other drugs that I take because of the transplant I now also take Losec 20mg twice daily and have had the biopsied piece retrieved from the endoscopy and should have the results in the next week. I hope it is good news and that I only need regular endoscopies.

I'll let you know what happens and hope we all find something positive to look forward to.

Kind Regards Paul aged 48
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A number of the people responding to this list talk about chest pain as a consequence of Gerd and/or Barret's esophagus. I have had acid reflux problems for 1 year. Asthma like symptoms have emerged. These are controlled with albuterol. But the pain symptoms are not. It is painful to talk. Most pain is experienced on the right side of my chest. ....It is felt like more of a dull ache. Sometimes the ache is felt beneath my bottom right right... Sometimes the pain is felt as a tightness in my right backbone. ... Are these symptoms typical of GERD / Barret's esophagus?
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I JUST WANTED TO KNOW IF ANYBODY IS TAKING PROTONIX. I GUESS IT IS A NEW DRUG FOR ACID REFLUX. THANKS
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Re Protonix:  I could not tolerate Prevacid or Prilosec and am now on Aciphex, which is excellent so far after a little over two months.  My gastro said if it didn't work, we'd go to Protonix.  Prilosec has a new PPI called Nexium.  They're all good for acid reflux.  I'm glad my doctor is understanding, willing to listen and try different drugs.
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I was diagnosed with Barrett's about eighteen months ago. Like most of the people who have been commenting, I had no previous understanding of the potentially serious implications of this condition. I am not inclined to be passive and I began to explore this topic on the internet, make notes of the experiences of others and raise the questions with my gastroentologist. The initial answers were that the standard procedure was to perform an endoscopy (With Biopsies) every two years and wait to see if Displasia occured and then try to remove this by surgary while  the displasia was low grade. Through the internet I became aware of Photo-Dynamic Therapy and it's apparent success rate in eliminating the Barratt's tissue. The advice that I recieved was that PDT was only reccommended after Displasia was present. I have no displasia. There have been some clinical trials aimed at eliminating Barrett's before displasia occurs. This seems to make the most sense and I have now enroled in a trial to compare Argon Plasma Coagulation with Multipolar Electrocoagulation in ablating Barrett's Esophagus.
I am scheduled for four procedures and I have just completed the second session. The initial indications for me and the eight people who tried this before me are very encouraging. It looks like the Barrett's can be eliminated with this treatment. The unanswared questions are 1) Will some of the Barrett's cells remain under the new healthy tissue that replaces the Barrett's tissue. and 2) Will the Barrett's return. Only time will tell but I am very optimistic.

I am taking a combimation of Prevacid 30 mg once a day or Pantoloc 40mg. twice a day and this has eliminated 95% om my Gerd.

To anybody who has been diagnosed with Barrett'e I would encourage you to find out if any of these tests to eliminate Barrett's at an early stage are being carried out in your area.

Good luck to all of you in your efforts to retain your health. At the end of the day it's all that we have.
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I have been Recently diagnosed with Barretts Oesophagus and Biopsy has been taken . I want to know the foods wich are likely to be avoided . and Waht about Jim. as i am doing exercise with heavy weight especially Chest Exercise. I feel that it may have negative effect. Can any one suggest.
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A related discussion, What about the diet?? was started.
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A related discussion, possible Barretts was started.
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A related discussion, Reflux was started.
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