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Gastritis Mystery Solved

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  • Gastritis Mystery Solved

    At least I hope so.

    Went to a Digstive Specialist. I think it's just another name for gastro doctor.

    He listened to me, read my past biopsies and medical history. He was quite pragmatic and said that he has seen this a few times. A patient with on going symptoms of consistent burning with a diagnosis of gastritis (in my case chronic) but on scoping the patient, the visual symptoms and biopsy show a condition that doesn't warrant the kind of symptoms the patient is having. He suspects this is what's been going on; the doctors seeing some gastritis ; the biopsy showing nothing further hence they try different meds or tell me to see a shrink!

    The triggers to him was that certain meds do work but only for a short time and the fact that nobody biopsied my esophagus because it looked okay on a visual.

    He suspects one of two conditions. The first is nerve endings in the esophagus that can't be seen. It's a hyper sensitive condition that requires an anti spasmatic medicine. That's why when I took Librax it worked miracles but only for a few months. Librax doesn't work after awhile meaning you can become immune to it.

    The second condition has such a long name that I was remiss and didn't write it down.

    But he's suspecting a nerve ending issue.

    So, I was scoped last week and he told my husband that he saw mild gastritis and some slight esophagustis. I have an app't with him next week.

    I'll let you know what he says. Let's just hope that he has a name for this and some kind of treatment plan. He told me that yes, there are meds for this and yes, I would need to change my eating habits! My eating habits have changed drastically but there are times that foods will bother me.

  • #2
    Lynn to Hope

    Hi Hope,

    I too was told that I am super sensitive to acid. I take a low dose of Dothiepin 25mg once a day and it stops all the burning. I have fibromyalga and this drug is prescribed for this too, it deadens the nerve endings. It works great.

    I still take my sulcrafate at night though.

    Love and all the best for Christmas and the New Year Lynn


    • #3

      Hi Hope When people have GI symptoms and nothing is seen on an endoscopy to warrant those symptoms , they have a theory that the person must have a functional disorder . It's a theory .

      He is talking about non ulcer dyspepsia or sensitive esophagus . Some doctors decribe it as IBS of the esophagus. He might of used the word visceral hyperalgesia. ( heightened pain sensitivity)

      They treat these things with antispasmodics , anti depressants ( to numb pain sensitivity ) , PPIS , and a low fat diet.

      Did he say this before or after your scope though Hope? You have always said you didn't have GERD .... but If you had esophogitis seen on your recent scope , and the biopsies confirm that, you definately have GERD. The mild gastritis should not cause any problems.

      Happy Holidays Hope and Lynn


      • #4
        Hi Trish

        I love that name - it's my daughter's name!

        Let's see, everything he saw was mild and not enough to cause the intensity of the symptoms I feel. For instance, I've had constant burning under my breatbone and into my belly for weeks now, 24/7. It's gotten to the point that this is normal to me! Coupled with the fact that I have burning in my mid back that won't go away. This is not making me a happy camper during the hioliday season! The back may be contributed to sitting in a chair in front of a computer most of the day or exercising. I don't know, it just seems when the burning in front gets bad the back starts and stupid me forgot to mention this to him.

        He's thinking hyper sensitivity to acid that can only be determined with a biopsy of my esophagus. Other doctors never took a biopsy there because I assume that it looked okay on their visual.

        Anyway, Librax worked great for about six months and that is prescribed for IBS so like you wrote, there maybe this pain sensitivity going on.

        This is my last short; I've gone the gambit on this for ten years now!

        He made his observatios before the scope and then told my husband after the scope that based on what he saw, it's not enough to cause the constant burning and this is what he suspects the other doctors saw and that's why it was dismissed as nothing! I see him on 12-29 to go over it all.

        Ever think you're losing your mind! That was me all these years. The doctors dismissed it as nothing or in my head. At least this guy has the foresight to investigate further.

        I'm just hoping that nothing serious is going on inside like Barrets or cancer. I know, it's a stretch but lately, it seems that everyone around me is being diagnosed with pretty heavy medical issues!

        Thanks for your email and insight.


        • #5
          Hope to Lynn

          Just wondering what type of symptoms you experienced with gastritis and if they were similar to what I wrote - the constant 24/7 burning with little let up. Even taking the carafate (suspension) at night doesn't prevent me from waking up a few times with burning.

          Did your upper or middle back burn at all?


          • #6
            Lynn to Hope

            Hi Hope

            Yes I had the burning, it was (still is sometimes) like a burning hunger feeling just across my midriff. I've had this for years and just kept getting treated for Helicobactor (6 times) every time tested positive for HB on blood test. Only breath tested when I insisted, then tested negative, I think all the antibiotics messed my tummy up.

            Have a great christmas and new year - Lynn


            • #7

              Hi Hope Esophagitis has to be confirmed by a biopsy . You can't see hypersensitivity on a biopsy ... a biopsy only proves whether you have endoscopic GERD or not

              So even if your biopsy comes back as positive for esophagitis , he is saying that since it is only mild esophagitis , you shouldn't be having severe symptoms ... and therefore have a hypersensitivity problem ? Is this what you are saying ?

              Anyway , good luck with your appointment, will be curious to hear . I hope you are feeling a little better and a very Merry Christmas to you and your family Hope


              • #8
                The Conclusion

                I had my app't and spent an hour talking to the doctor. My biopsies were negative for anything more than gastritis. On visual, he saw some irritation and very mild reflux, not even enough that it needs meds. The irritation was minor.

                We discussed the fact that PPI's just don't work; Carafate doesn't do much either and the only med that gave me some relief was Librax.

                His conclusion is I have a hyper sensitive esophagus that PPI's won't help. He's seen this condition a few times and compares it to having a skin disorder where even wearing clothes hurts - he mentiioned the name but it escapes me but I knew what he was referring to.

                Where I had success with Librax, he feels that the lithium in it was controlling the spasms that form the gastritis. It's almost like my stomach/esphogaus needs to be sedated!

                I have two choices; live with it and watch my diet and stay away from trigger foods or take 5mg of Lexapro. Lexapro is prescribed for pain in small doses.

                I searched for Lexapro info and this SSRI has a laundry list of side effects and possible addictive properties even at a small dose.



                • #9
                  To Hope, Tricia, Lynn, I have been posting on another thread "Terrible Burning" and just read this one for the first time, and it seems to describe my problems perfectly. Hope, you replied to my questions earlier, but haven't heard from you in a while, so I thought I would try here. I had a scope yesterday and the doc diagnosed esophagitis and also did a dilation. He talked to my husband afterwards, but didn't go into any details and my husband didn't ask, so I'll wait to see him in 2 weeks. He put me on 30mg prevacid twice daily. After reading you all's posts, I really am worried I have nerve ending issues - the burning behind my sternum never stops - was on aciphex (prescribed by my internist a while back) for two weeks, but it did nothing for the burning. 10 days of prilosec actually made it worse - had swallowing problems and regurgitation for the first time. I can't find a pattern as to what I eat making things worse, because the pain is always there. The funny thing is after the scope yesterday, when I got home, I was still under the influence of the sedatives and for the first time in months, I felt good and had no pain.Forced myself to stay awake just so i could enjoy the feeling of no pain.But by night it had worn off and the burning was back, as well as a sore throat from the dilation. Really don't have any questions, just felt the need to vent, as I am quite depressed and frustrated from all this. I feel I have no quality of life - have curtailed many of my activities. If this prevacid doesnt work I will ask the doc about dothiepin, lexapro, carafate - although I really dont like meds. Thanks for listening and any advice would be appreciated.


                  • #10
                    You may also want to ask your doc for elavil or paxil -- they are prescribed for esophageal pain post fundo, when people are still in pain, but refluxing within normal limits. Good luck!!! b


                    • #11
                      Hi Mickie

                      I was on vacation and had a family death so been out of sorts lately.

                      I actaully stopped everything, Librax and Lexapro. I did not like the side effects of always feeling sleepy. And after reading about Lexapro, I didn't like what I read! So, I started taking Librax again but I was too sleepy and then I just decided that after all these years I never went the route of taking nothing so what the heck, it's worth a try! Like I mentioned, the PPI's made me worse, not better.

                      How do I feel now? Well, I still have issues if I eat or drink a trigger. For instance, I was on vacation and had some island drinks. They bothered me but no more or less meaning, being on meds, I felt the same way as being off meds. It wasn't terrible but I definately had burning and pain.

                      My niece who is studying holistic medicine told me to try marsh mellow root. There are so many alternative meds you can try BUT it's trial and error. Some may help, others will be a waste of money. I think I tried them all. But not the marshmellow root.

                      But for right now, I am not going to take anything. And, a sdie note, pay attention to the change of season. For some reason, I always have a flare up, really bad, come spring. One doctor mentioned he saw more people during this time with gastro problems than any other time, something about the spring and fall seasons that aggravate symptoms in people.

                      I wish I could offer you sound advise but it does sound like you are experencing what I have struggled with. The fact that being sedated made the symptoms quiet speaks volumes. You may indeed have a sensitivity issue going on.

                      Why don't you ask the doctor about a low dose of Librax. A month's trial certainly won't hurt you.


                      • #12
                        Hi Hope, thanks for the response. I am sorry about the death in your family. Please accept my condolences. I've been on the Prevacid for about six days now, and don't see any improvement, but have heard it sometimes takes longer, so I will not give up hope yet. I will, in fact, ask the doctor about Librax when I see him in two weeks. I actually have some Librax my primary doctor gave me, but haven't taken it yet. I might be going out of town this week-end for a week, so don't want to be taking it while traveling. When I saw a pulmonologist last week to see if maybe this burning was lung related, he prescribed two inhalants (one a steroid) to prevent a recurrence of the asthma/bronchitis I had last fall (which I believe started all this). I have not taken the inhalants either as I know one of their side effects is heartburn, so I wanted to give the prevacid a chance to work first. It's all a bit confusing and overwhelming. You take a medicine for one condition and the side effects cause another problem so you take medicine for that. Oh well, thanks, and, again, I am sorry for your loss, Mickie


                        • #13
                          Mickie, just my two cents. I would stick with the gastro doctor. It seems to me that too many doctors are involved in your heartburn issue. Just the stress of that alone will make your symptoms worse!

                          As I said, PPI's, and I tried them all, made me worse. If you indeed do have a sensitivity issue going on, PPI's won't help. They cut the production of acid and you need acid to digest your food. Meaning, if your issue isn't caused by too much acid, the eliminating it will only make your symptoms worse.

                          I need DAW or Trish to explain what I'm trying to say here!

                          But bottom line is stick with one doctor and take the time to explain to him in detail what's going on. If he listens and doesn't rush you, then follow his recommendations. Your diagnosis was the same as mine.

                          If he doesn't listen or is quick to just prescribe something, then find another. In ten years, I've gone to 6 gastro doctors until I finally hit upon this guy. He as well as the specialist I went to had the same conclusion. The specialist I saw a few years ago retired; he was the one that prescribed Librax.

                          BTW, Librax is okay to take in terms of side effects. I was prescribed four a day, 1/2 hour before meals and at bedtime. Where I work, the afternoon dose made me sleepy but not to the point I coudln't function. You'll know in a very short time, four days for me, whether it works for you or not.

                          Thank you for your kind words. It was my sister in law who developed a brain aneurysm after a successful bone marrow transplant for leukemia. She was a very special person.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Hope, I see my gastro guy in 13 days, so I guess I'll just keep taking the prevacid until then. If it's still not helping, we'll go from there. I did hear an interesting idea today from a surgeon who is a family friend. He suggested that I might have candida esophagitis - this based on hearing that I had been on several rounds of antibiotics and prednisone before this all started. This is a fungal infection that often occurs after antiobiotic/steroid use, and requires a specific anti-fungal medication. I feel my gastro doc would have spotted this during the scope, but who knows? I will definitely ask him about that - in fact, may try to call him and talk to him before my appointment. the photo he showed me of my esophagus taken during the scope does show scattered white patches. Did you ever consider this for yourself? Symptoms are difficulty swallowing and pain behind the sternum (same as other esophagitis). But it's worth considering. Mickie


                            • #15
                              Hi Mickie

                              It would show up on the biopsy. I have several taken with each scope. That's sort of protocol so I'm sure the doctor took tissues from different places to be biopsied when you were scoped. I don't have pain per se', just a lot of discomfort and burning. It's like the worse heartburn you can experience. My stomach and under my breast is hyer sensitive, even to touch.

                              If the Prevacid is making you feel worse, I would stop taking it.

                              Would be interested in hearing what your doctor comes back with.