Patient Comments: Barrett's Esophagus - Symptoms and Signs

What symptoms and signs did you experience with your Barrett's esophagus?

Comment from: angelaking86, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I"m 27 and I"ve had heartburn off and on for the last 8 years (when I started having children). Each time I had my children the heartburn would disappear. I had my youngest daughter 3 years ago and had the worst heartburn while pregnant with her, the doctor was upping my medicines every couple of weeks. The heartburn never went away after she was born, instead it just became worse. Last year in 2013 I had to go to the emergency room (ER) with what I thought could have been a heart attack. My chest and shoulders hurt, my arms and fingers were numb and tingling. Turns out it was a just a bad case of heartburn. Earlier this year (2014) after my youngest daughter turned 3 I finally had good insurance (since I now work at the hospital) and went to see my primary care physician (PCP) about my heartburn issues. She got me in to see the gastroenterologist right away and after having an upper endoscopy done I was told I have Barrett's esophagus. I speak to a surgeon next week to set up a surgery date!

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Comment from: patient, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

I have been suffering from IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) constipation dominant for the last seven years. Three years back, I underwent colonoscopy and EGD. The doctor noted hiatal hernia and erosive esophagitis but missed biopsies. My colon was clear. I had GERD symptoms and again underwent endoscopy last year. It was again hiatal hernia with reflux esophagitis. Biopsies confirmed the findings of Barrett's syndrome with basal cell hyperplasia but no dysplasia. Since then I am taking PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) and H2 (histamine 2) receptors but symptoms are not subsiding.

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Comment from: Waterlilly, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 16

About 2 months ago, I was experiencing excruciating pain under my sternum, the pain was so severe that I could not even stand up during pain episodes. I also had a great deal of nausea and vomiting several times a day for 10 days straight, before I saw my primary care physician. My doctor prescribed Nexium and Protonix, but it only helped slightly, so she referred me to a gastroenterologist, so I could get an endoscopy. I had my endoscopy 3 weeks ago, but just found out today that I have Barrett's. He has me on Dexilant and wants me to continue taking it and call him in the next 3 to 4 weeks to see how the medicine is working. My symptoms are better as far as the intensity of the pain, but the extreme nausea has not abated. My doctor made it sound like this is not a big deal, but some of the posts here are worrisome!

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I am a 50 year old female. In 2011, I was rushed to the emergency room for severe stomach pain, vomiting and diarrhea. I never before had any pain in my stomach until this one day. The emergency room doctor sent me to my primary doctor, he sent me to the gastroenterologist and I had an endoscopy done and the results surprised all of us; starting with 6 deep ulcers in my stomach, acid reflux, and then diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus. The doctor told me since I was not treated for the acid reflux with medication, the acid went up to my esophagus and did some damage. I told the doctor, how could I be treated for acid reflux when I never in my life felt pain in my stomach. The doctors are very surprised I never felt pain with what they found in my stomach. Now I take omeprazole 40 mg twice a day. It helps with this sick feeling I get after eating. I do have to watch what I eat on a daily basis. Now I have had yearly checkups and the ulcers are gone and I'm doing well. I do now have low grade dysplasia, the doctor now wants to do surgery to prevent cancer. I am reading up on surgery, the risks.

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Comment from: Mel, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 11

I was diagnosed with Barrett's in December of 2005. Prior to that my symptoms were a chronic sore throat, the glands in my neck and my cheek was swollen all the time. When I drank some alcohol I immediately felt the burn in my throat and esophagus. I never slept more than 4 hours a night. When I was diagnosed my doctor immediately put me on aciphex and a restricted diet. After I was on the diet and had lost about 25 pounds, I started to sleep 6 hours. I now have lost 65 pounds (which I needed to) and I can sleep all night. I exercise daily and feel pretty good most of the time.

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