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AH1970
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Quote AH1970 Replybullet Topic: Oesophagitis / catarrh / slippery elm / probiotics
    Posted: 18 Sep 2012 at 9:39pm

Hello,

I had a gastroscopy five months ago when Barrett’s, hiatus hernia and gastritis were found and wonder if anyone can help me with these questions that I have, please?

1) I read about Barrett’s on wikipedia; have I misinterpreted that Barrett’s is caused by oesophagitis and oesophagitis can be caused by catarrh? My GP treated this link with disdain; however, I ask because I’ve suffered from catarrh for 20+ years and feel that trying to clear my chest sometimes takes a lot of effort and I worry that this could strain my oesophagus?

2) I also read that slippery elm and probiotics are good for GORD – can anyone here vouch for them?

Many thanks for any help.

Best wishes, Andrew
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bobgil
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Quote bobgil Replybullet Posted: 19 Sep 2012 at 7:36am
More likely the opposite is happening, that the hiatus hernia, is causing the acid reflux, that is causing the catarrh. At least that was my Doctors interpretation when, I asked about my sinus problems. Don't see any problem with probiotics etc, along side the PPI's, if they help, but I am not a Doctor.  Hope this helps.  Bob
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Suzy
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Quote Suzy Replybullet Posted: 19 Sep 2012 at 9:56pm
Hi Andrew,

I agree with Bob the hiatus hernia will be the cause, or a cause, of the acid reflux which in turn can lead to other problems such as persistent coughing and catarrh.

I'm a big fan of slippery elm, and have been taking if for a couple of years now, although none of my health care professionals have ever suggested I take it. I make a tea of it last thing at night, even though the advice is not to eat/drink for 3 to 4 hours before bed, I have immediately before getting into bed. I buy the capsules and open them up and use the powder to make a tea, although I believe you can buy it in 'tea' form. It's an acquired taste so you may prefer the capsules. I find it particularly soothing and beneficial. It's supposed to coat and soothe the mouth, throat, stomach and intestines. It can slow the absorbtion of other drugs so you may want to run that past your Dr. although I must confess I never did. I just find it really comforting and it has made a huge difference to the amount of discomfort I have from reflux at night. Not to be taken if pregnant though, so ladies beware!

Best wishes

Suzy

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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 10:37am
Hi Andrew,

Bob and Suzy have given good advice.
There is a strong causal link between GORD, which causes Barrett's and nasal and respiratory conditions. But GPs can't be experts at everything.
I have had catarrhal problems all my life and it's only in recent years the link has been acknowledged. I was constantly being sent to ENT when a Gastroenterologist may have been more helpful.

As regards slippery elm, I've never used it. Let us know how you get on.
I do take pro and pre biotics daily in the form of a vanilla yoghurt drink from Muller which I pour over my morning breakfast cereal in place of milk.
All the best

Chris
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AH1970
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Quote AH1970 Replybullet Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 12:02pm
Good morning and thank you all for your help.

Can I please check something Chris: I don't understand how I could have had catarrh for years but only recently obtained GORD - or are you saying I could have had GORD since I was a teenager?

Also, Suzy - you mentioned not eating 3 to 4 hours before bed - how important is this? I will find this hard, partly because I have a job which often calls for long hours.

Best wishes,
Andrew
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 1:34pm
Hi Andrew,

You may well have had GORD since childhood. It's quite common for babies to have it and grow out of it but some don't.

I always always told as a boy I'd grow out of my catarrh - and then they removed my tonsils and adenoids (which was quite common in those days) to see if it would help (it didn't) and then said it was a problem I'd have for life. No-one ever even considered GORD. We know better now.

The lifestyle changes Suzy suggests are important.
There are two elements to acid reflux: acid and reflux.

Acid may be reduced by medication but reflux won't. It won't be so damaging as it will have lost its corrosive aspect but reflux of bile, enzymes and food particles can still occur.

To prevent reflux, you need to think of your stomach as a polythene bag open at the top, half filled with liquid you don't want to spill.
Keep it upright as much as possible - particularly when it's at its fullest (ie. after eating), don't overfill it and don't squash it.

It can be difficult working into other routines. My problem was always eating too quickly as there were always meetings I had to be at. Is it possible to have frequent small snacks whilst at work?

All the best

Chris
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Suzy
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Quote Suzy Replybullet Posted: 20 Sep 2012 at 8:49pm
The last sentence of my previous post should have read slippery Elm is not to be taken by women who are pregnant or breast feeding. If in doubt ladies please ask your Dr.

Andrew, Chris has answered your question better than I could. Another tip if you are not already aware of it, is to raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches by using bricks or blocks. If that's difficult use lots of pillows to prop yourself up. This all helps to keep the contents of your stomach in your stomach!   As well as slippery elm you might like to try Aloe Vera Gel which has particularly good healing properties. I'm sorry I don't know how to do the links but if you look back at the old posts under the Barrett's Oesophagus Forum, Page 8, Topic Natural Aids, started by Steffie 71, dated 8th Dec. 2011 you will see what I had to say about Aloe Vera there. Hope that's helpful.

Best wishes

Suzy
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chrisrob
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Quote chrisrob Replybullet Posted: 21 Sep 2012 at 7:46am
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Suzy
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Quote Suzy Replybullet Posted: 21 Sep 2012 at 9:01am
Thanks for doing the link Chris. I clearly need to brush up on my computer skills!

Suzy
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AH1970
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Quote AH1970 Replybullet Posted: 21 Sep 2012 at 11:26am
Hi Suzy. Thank you very much for the info. Can I ask Where you buy your Aloe Vera?
Best wishes, Andrew
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