Patient Comments: Barrett's Esophagus - Experience

Please describe your experience with barrett's esophagus.

Comment from: DBS, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I was diagnosed with Barrett"s esophagus about a year ago. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen for fibromyalgia for years. I was also on Celebrex. As a child I took aspirin a lot because of bronchitis. I started having heartburn, pain in my chest, and nausea. I was put on Prilosec, but it continued. At a later time I had a scope done by my liver digestive doctor. My Prilosec was increased. I had a small hernia, GERD, irritable bowel syndrome, and 42 polyps in my stomach. After being diagnosed with Barrett"s I was put on ranitidine and they increased Prilosec. I just returned from the emergency room at the hospital with hard chest pains that radiated to my back, fatigue for 3 days, cough, and problem swallowing; I also had a migraine the day before. I always have congestion. It was caused from all my gastrointestinal problems. My mother died from pancreatic cancer and I"m just afraid after all this, I think I need to get a second opinion as he only wants to scope me every 2 to 3 years. The people with cancerous Barrett"s have all seem to have a fast growing cancer and haven"t lived long.

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Comment from: missy, 65-74 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 07

My husband just passed away from esophageal cancer. He had asked our PCP to order an endscopy for him and was told we don't do that unless you can't swallow. He had GERD for 5 years. It was diagnosed only because he had pain under his right rib cage and then it took 3 visits to our PCP. The first visit he was given muscle relaxers, the second vist a chest x-ray was ordered and the third visit my husband asked for a gallbladder sonogram and it was then that they saw lesions in his liver. The end result was esophegeal cancer with mets to the liver. He lived 5 weeks. This could have been prevented if the doctor would have ordered a scope for him. I think that endscopy should be as much a part of a physical as a colonscopy. Esophegeal cancer and barret's esophegus is increasing. If a doctor does not want to order an endscopy, then check with another doctor and be persistant. My husband was only 65 yrs. old.

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Comment from: GERD sufferer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 21

Many years ago, I suffered from "stomach pain". It felt like I had been punched in the diaphragm. This went on so long I sought medical help. After a number of procedures, I finally had a gastroscopy and was diagnosed with GERD. I was told to have a gastroscopy every year or two which I did. My older brother suffered from "heartburn" and was always popping TUMS or ROLAIDS. Finally, he had a scope done and was found to have esophageal cancer. When they proceeded to operate in order to remove part of the esophagus and reposition it, it was discovered the cancer had spread. They closed him up, and he passed away two months later. Then I saw a program on television about a fellow who had died the same way. His brother was told Barrett's Esophagus, which is a pre-cancerous condition that can develop if GERD is left untreated, can be hereditary. The brother got treatment and was okay. I told my doctor that my brother had had Barrett's and about the show. When he did my next gastroscopy, he told me I did have Barrett's; however, the last one I had about three years ago was clean. I was told I didn't have to continue with the scopes as long as I took the medication. What works for me is omeprazole. I have taken it for years and have no side effects I am aware of. I do encourage everyone I know who suffers from heartburn which doesn't go away with change of diet, to see a doctor and get a gastroscopy.

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Comment from: Cyfy88, 45-54 Female Published: December 07

I am a 50 year old female. 10 years ago I had 2 open esophagus sores and 1 open stomach sore, I was not diagnosed with H-pylori or barrett's at this time. Eating Prevacid for 2 years consistently did not cure it. Seemingly chewing licorice root tablets did. I made lifestyle changes, gave up sugar (which irritated my stomach) and refined whites, walked the treadmill 5x weekly and only occasionally experienced heartburn. Starting a business (stress) brought it back. 1 year later "Empty Nest" triggered 2 hospitals visits in 1 week with extreme pain in stomach under sternum. After a CT scan, Ultra Sound and Barium Drink X-rays they determined I had GERD. I requested the Gastrointestinal Doctor to do an Upper GI but she was more concerned about a lower so I did not insist. I found another doctor who was willing to do the Upper and that's when they found barrett's disease with low grade Displasia. I will now take Ranitidine daily and Prevacid 30mgs daily and follow up with another Scope in 3 months.

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