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Feeling panicky

Printed From: Barrett's Support Forum
Category: Barrett's Support Forum
Forum Name: Support Forum
Forum Discription: News and Events
Printed Date: 12†Jul†2020 at 8:30am

Topic: Feeling panicky
Posted By: Jackie9
Subject: Feeling panicky
Date Posted: 26†Aug†2018 at 12:19pm
Hi. Iím very new to this group. I was diagnosed with Barrettís about 3 and 1/2 yrs ago. From my biopsies itís a small island and no cell changes. Iím now in the surveillance programme. However, every day Iím suffering with chest pain, and strange frog like gurgling, and because itís constant Iím also feeling very anxious that itís not under control and my Barrettís is now oesophagus cancer and it will be terminal by the time of my next scope in 2021. I do everything I should do. I take 2 lansoprazole 30 mg every day. Sometimes an added randitine and copious amounts of gaviscon.
I was just wondering if anyone could give me any re-assurance that the discomfort I feel doesnít mean the Barrettís is growing out of control.
Feeling so isolated with this any advice

Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 26†Aug†2018 at 1:02pm
Hi Jackie and welcome to the forum.

First off - you haven't got cancer.
Those of us who have been diagnosed are the lucky ones: we'll get medication and regular surveillance will see pre-cancerous changes whilst it's still early enough to treat.

Barrett's is not a rash that gradually spreads or gets worse. It is a kind of armour plating your body has created to protect the soft tissue of the oesophagus being destroyed by the concentrated stomach acid being washed up against it.

Your lansoprazole, a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), reduces the amount of acid your body produces to reduce risk of erosion. It's possible PPIs also reduce the risk of progression by 71%. (See the research on the possible chemo-protection of PPIs, from the addenda to the - Down With Acid encyclopaedia - by clicking on this link .

However, PPIs only reduce acid not reflux. ( - See this study. ) The symptoms you describe are probably those of reflux rather than acid.
Chest pain can result from messages via the vagus nerve that runs beside the oesophagus as it passes through the hiatus hole in the diaphrgam between the chest and the stomach. Any spasm in the oesophagus can be transmitted via that nerve to appear to come from anywhere in the thorax. (That's why it's the "vague" nerve as it's not always possible to say where the pain signals actually originated.)
Gurgling is a possible symptom of excess refluxate reaching the throat.

Take a look at the free - Down With Acid encyclopaedia; it should answer most queries. If you would like a printed copy please either send me a personal message or email with a postal address and I'll send you one. (They are free, paid for by others who have received a copy and found it useful, but donations are welcomed.)


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Posted By: Jackie9
Date Posted: 28†Aug†2018 at 1:33pm
Hi Chrisrob. Thank you for yr reply to my message. It did give some re-assurance regarding the probability of my Barrettís being cancer. However, I do feel really poorly at the moment. Iím at a loss. The discomfort in my chest and back is so all consuming. Iím sure it is acid reflux and Iím going through a bad patch nothing Iím doing helps relieve it. I go to bed with it and by the time Iíve had a few sips of tea in the morning itís back. Trying to relieve the pressure with forced burping doesnít work. Canít see an end to it. I know if I went to the gp they wouldnít be able to offer any advice. I was thinking of stopping everything for a short while. Maybe Iím just taking too much medication. Anyway. Thank you

Posted By: steveb8189
Date Posted: 30†Aug†2018 at 2:19pm
Hi Jackie
Please do not "force" a burp! I got into the mindset of doing this for a while and all you're doing is pushing the acid up. I got into a habit of doing it and almost forcing myself to reflux. If you can avoid it for a few weeks you may find some improvement in your symptoms.

Are you taking any over the counter remedies? e.g. Gaviscon. While you are in a particularly bad spell you can take some of that too - not an hour either side of taking your PPIs - and see if that gives some relief.

If neither of those help then you may be in the same boat I was a few months ago where the physical pain was caused by my anxiety about my Barretts. It is absolutely possible for physiological stress to cause physical pain. You may find talking to someone or getting some counselling to help you come to terms with your diagnosis may be worthwhile. Of course, we're here to bounce problems off too :)

I wrote down a few lines about 6 months after my diagnosis which helped me contextualise the problem and helped me stop worrying. I'll type it into a new thread later on and maybe you can get some use out of it too...

Posted By: marie
Date Posted: 01†Nov†2018 at 4:43pm
Hi there,

I suffer from anxiety too about my Barrett's. Especially when I have chest pain. I always worry it's my heart. I'm meeting my doctor next week to learn how to manage my symptoms.


It's hard to deal with.


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