I met with the GI doctor yesterday to go over the endoscopy I had 2 weeks ago. Well first thing she opened up with was that the erosions that were visible the last endoscopy were basically gone and no ulcers so that was pretty good news. She then mention the “but”, but I do have some inflammation and irritation spots (I think thats the word she used) in the throat and stomach. The next one I wasn’t expecting, she then told me how I had barretts esophagus and the biopsy confirmed this. Its only in the beginning stages at this time which is good.
Barretts is a pre-cancerous condition at the base of the esophagus where it meets the stomach. While doctors don’t know the exact cause its believed it is caused by excess exposure to stomach acids from refluxing. The cells of the esophagus lining actually change to cells resembling those of the lower stomach and small intestine, perhaps in trying to protect itself. Barretts is non reversible and once you have it there is a greater risk of developing esophageal cancer, although they say only 1% of people with Barretts get it.
Now it’s important to note that not everyone with reflux develops Barretts esophagus. And not everyone with Barrett’s esophagus had reflux. But long-term reflux is the primary risk factor. If you have or had heartburn for weeks or months I highly recommend you have an endoscopy to find out if you have it. It can be seen visually but also must be confirmed by a biopsy. Also barretts alone has no symptoms which is the scary part. They now estimate 10-15% of the population has barretts and its increasing in the western world, mainly due to diets.
So for now she added an H2 blocker to my meds to be taken every night and in 2 weeks if I dont notice much improvement we will be switching the prilosec for another PPI and see how that goes. Still not positive that the lung and throat problems are all because of the reflux so will be doing other tests. But the endoscopy will be a regular procedure now every year or so to keep an eye out for cancer, yippee 🙂
All that was just the good and the bad, the ugly I’ve been putting off writing because its not certain yet but decided to put it out there cause I do think of it often now. I got the results from the last blood test over a week ago (by letter which kinda sucked). One of the tests was an Anti-nuclear antibody screening which in big bold letters said BORDERLINE HIGH, PLEASE REPEAT IN A MONTH OR SO. What this test is for is for autoimmune disorders such as Lupas (thats the one the letter mentioned). These disorders are when your own body’s immune system turns against itself. They come in varying degrees from not really a big deal to oh crap. If you have it there really is no cure just treatments for the symptoms.
SO thanks to that letter my mind wanders quite a bit to the what ifs and what is that. Waiting another week for another appointment to re-test and go over the other symptoms and the GI results with the primary.
But anxiety is pretty much in check 🙂