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Alcohol and Barrett's

Printed From: Barrett's Support Forum
Category: Barrett's Support Forum
Forum Name: Barrett's Oesophagus
Forum Discription: Your Questions about Barrett's Oesophagus
Printed Date: 26 Feb 2021 at 9:53pm

Topic: Alcohol and Barrett's
Posted By: Flick82
Subject: Alcohol and Barrett's
Date Posted: 26 Oct 2011 at 11:49pm
Hi All,
I am female, 29 yrs of age have recently been diagnosed with 'quiet' Barrett's (meaning no dysplasia as per what my specialist said). Since i was diagnosed i have stopped drinking alcohol (i was a 3-4 wines a day drinker before then), stopped smoking and have been watching my diet. My Dr has put me on 3 different meds for the acid reflux and Carafate. I feel great since i have changed my way of living- no pains in the stomach, back etc. However i must admit i am finding it incredibly hard not being able to have a glass of wine in the evenings or at any events/functions etc.
My Dr did say no drinking or smoking for at least 4 months then he will assess it after that, but i wonder if this is him being 'overally cautious' as most doctors can be. What i am asking is really would the occasional glass of red say once a week really be that bad?
Does anyone else drink the occasional glass or two whilst having Barrett's? Once you have Barrett's should you stop drinking altogether? Or will it increaase the risk of the barrett's worsening?
Your feedback would be appreciated...

Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 27 Oct 2011 at 12:19pm
Hi Flick and welcome,

Congratulations on the lifestyle changes that are making such a big difference to your management of the condition.

I am not a doctor and it's probably best to follow his instructions. However, he may just be over-cautious.
The jury is out over small amounts of alcohol.

It is known that alcohol relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter thus making reflux more likely.
However, it is also recognised that a daily small measure of red wine can be beneficial.
Although, a study in Sweden in 2007 showed that, whereas low to moderate consumption of alcohol didn't promote the development of reflux disorder, for those who already have it, alcohol can exacerbate the condition.

Personally, in the many years I suffered with reflux (before I had a fundo operation), I found a small glass of red wine with my evening meal helped my digestion and it was one of the few liquids I could drink without it immediately refluxing.

Have you asked your doctor if you could experiment with the occasional small glass?

All the ebst


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Posted By: jcombs99
Date Posted: 27 Oct 2011 at 1:52pm
Hi Flick
      Doctors are always coming out with new names to CONFUSE us regular people . " Quiet barretts   " does that mean it doesn't talk ? I heard a bunch of them like " pre barretts " . If you can't google it doctors shouldn't be using the Word or Phase ..You should be SLIM so the stomach doesn't pull on the LOS and pull it open ..Great no smoking like me now .Smoking didn't cause my barretts (didn't help either)REFLUX did .I like that Carafate there has been SMALL studies that shows it works..
    Ask your doctor about the wine AGAIN..But I see nothing wrong with (1)4oz glass of 3% wine WITH lunch and dinner BUT stop with that ..My ex use to drink the 20% wine in a water glass... OOP's ...
Whens your next EGD in 12 months ???

Take Care
HGD Jeff

Posted By: Flick82
Date Posted: 27 Oct 2011 at 11:57pm
Thanks guys for the welcome and the feedback :)
I actually went back to the specialist yesterday afternoon and he said that i can have half a glass now, or  2 x 1/3rds mixed with water- considering my pains have gone, taking my meds and i have changed my lifestyle etc. He said after the 4 months i can go back to having a glass here and there but in moderation - same with spicy foods etc. So happy to hear that :)
He re-iterated yesterday 'quiet' meaning only a few small patches of the barrett's at the lower part of the oesophagus and no displaysia.
I am assuming that the chances of it developing into oesophagical cancer are very slim and would more happen if i wasn't monitoring it or looking after myself? 
What are some names of 3% wines? Would prefer that than mixing with water Confused
I never even thought i had reflux as it never came up into my chest- it was purely just dull annoying pains in my stomach.
It's always nice to talk to 'real people' (not specialists) about this as i don't know anyone that has it and i had never heard about it. So thank you

Posted By: jcombs99
Date Posted: 28 Oct 2011 at 12:17am
I'm in the US so google or read the labels to find low % ones ..I had HGD but had " Silent Reflux " meaning you could be Burning a hole in your O and never feel it...I learned by using very fresh foods ONLY and ONLY cooking what I would eat right then that I didn't need spices anymore ( by watching Gordon Ramze)...Lost 39 lbs in 3 months and love my cooking NOW..
   Look at the numbers are 5.7% a year change to LGD,HGD or Cancer..I'm old but your not and that works agaisnt you in this case ..(5.7%) x 50 more yrs. living.. That is the way it works LOOK up the charts ..BUT there is HALO to remove barretts..........



Posted By: headyheady
Date Posted: 30 Oct 2011 at 6:01pm
Hi Jeff!
How's things?
I've got a question about tea and coffee ?  I find cappuccino - half a shot with skimmed milk doesn't reflux too much.  I am trying to study at the moment and finding it hard not to have too much tea or coffee.  Have you got any ideas for alternatives - I want to give it up altogether and am failing - with studying and trying to control my weight it is just too difficult - I am concerned about the damage it is doing to me.  I drink redbush tea but can't have that all the time.  It is difficult knowing what to eat and drink with this condition - very frustrating.
Personally I haven't had spicy foods for years - since I had a thai meal years ago and felt terrible for a week later !  Also a small glass of wine with food - preferably pasta or another carbohydrate is fine.  Anyway sorry to go on but just wondered what you thought.

Posted By: jcombs99
Date Posted: 01 Nov 2011 at 11:51am
Coffee and tea isn't the best for you .What I do in the morning is pour my glass 1/4 full of OJ (or apple juice) THEN add the rest with water .My body loves OJ and it wakes me up..My coffee ,I add like 20% ice to it and one cup not 5 like I use to drink ...
My diet is lean meats and lots of GREENS and weigh yourself EVERY morning and adjust what you eat for that day .NO BREAD OR PASTA TILL YOU GET TO RIGHT WEIGHT ..READ EVERY LABEL BEFORE YOU EAT IT ..
I was on vacution 2 weeks ago had fried chicken (tasted great) for the first time 4 yrs .I was in the restroom for 6 hrs thinking I was going to die REALLY !! . A couple days later kinda did the same thing SOOO my body is use to MY cooking and can't take ANY grease Anymore ..



Posted By: mrstella
Date Posted: 02 Nov 2011 at 11:29am
Just one thing bear in mind when weighing yourself that if you do it often ie every morning that you will naturally get wild swings in your weight due to natural things ie undigested food, drinking more water the day before etc so please bear that in mind especially if you start adjusting your food intake accordingly as you may make yourself worse off by doing so.

I do weigh myself daily and can see a swing of +-1kg on a regular basis but a long term view ie 1-3 months shows a nice gradual loss.

Posted By: Terrapin54
Date Posted: 03 Nov 2011 at 2:16pm
Hello Flick and welcome. I was diagnosed just over a year ago, and although I've made some lifestyle changes, limited fried foods, no citrus or tomatoes etc. I still drink a couple of glasses of red wine a day. It's whatever suits you.

Whereof of one cannot speak, one must remain silent.

Posted By: Flick82
Date Posted: 03 Nov 2011 at 10:23pm
Hi Richard,
That's good to know. They do say that red wine would be better than white as fas as acidity is concerned. Are you still on medication as well? I am assuming your doctor told you that is should do no harm. My doctor said after the 4 months i can go back to having a glass or 2 here and there (but not everyday). But definately no bingeing

Posted By: bobdigi
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2011 at 3:57pm
I drank wine almost every night (a bottle) And since my diagnosis i have only drunk once at a wedding. I was only smoking one cigerette a night (after my bottle) and have also stopped doing that.
 I'm also confused weather a glass of wine is a good thing or not. Apparently a glass is goo because of its sillenium (can't spell it) but then alcohol relaxes the LES. It seems you're damned if you do, damned if you don't.

Posted By: bobdigi
Date Posted: 06 Nov 2011 at 5:19pm
29? I'm 32 and i thought i was really young to have this. I've had to stop the wine too and would also like to know if a glass is good or not. So when you've made your mind up, let us know.

Posted By: LindaG
Date Posted: 15 Nov 2011 at 6:57pm
Hi all
My husband recently did the Bravo 48hr PH test (he was off the PPIs for 5 days previous) and we used the opportunity to experiment with different foods/alcohol.  He found that wine (his drink of choice), and gin & tonic, made the meter reading drop sharply (acidic).  However, with whisky and a little water, the meter reading stayed at the normal level, 7.1.  So now he just has an occasional whisky and water, but I guess everyone will be different. 
Incidentally (and off topic -sorry), it also showed that most of the fruit he was eating was acidic, in fact the only ones that weren't were bananas and melon.  But best of all, it showed that his PH values were within normal limits and there was no evidence of significant acid reflux.  This, I believe, is all down to his weight loss, change of diet/lifestyle etc.  However, the doc has kept him on a lower dose of Nexium (40mg) till his next endoscopy in a year's time, as he is still "susceptible" to acid reflux. 

Posted By: jcombs99
Date Posted: 17 Nov 2011 at 12:35pm
     I'm glad your husband is doing very well and has adjusted to being barretts free and keeping it that way .That's good his PH is normal without being on drugs ,I had to be on 60mg to do that.I was able to do testing like you on the foods but I stay at the hospital so I did no brooze testing.The doctors are always telling you no brooze because it relaxes the LOS. But really I think it's the grapes NOW because if I drink a small glass of OJ not watered down I get heartburn but everyone is different .What really can a small glass of wine do at lunch and dinner can't make you drunk ? Was he wearing the meter while working ? That's what drove my meter down to 2 (very bad)not while sleeping like many people get ..

Stay Out of the Sun

HGD Jeff   [IMG]smileys/smiley1.gif" align="middle" />

Posted By: LindaG
Date Posted: 18 Nov 2011 at 7:26am
Thanks Jeff.
Yes, he was wearing the meter while working and had a fair amount of stress during that time but it didn't drive the meter down.  The meter also stayed high overnight, particularly when he was lying on his left side.  Basically the only things that made the meter drop was the wine, the G&T, and fruit, particularly apple, but he was sticking to the GERD diet in the main and still does.  However (and I don't understand this), he still does a lot of throat clearing and a bit of coughing during the night.

Posted By: Cinders
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 9:50am
This is a subject I am so pleased to read about other peoples experiences, as I too find a glass of red wine is the only pleasure left in eating, especially eating out, especially in other peoples homes which is always a challenge as people really have no idea what we are living with!!! However, I am so aware that women especially should not drink even one glass onf wine every day for other reasons, however I do find it helps with digestion, as well as making me feel better about things generally!!!

Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 10:17am
I believe the present recommended maximum levels of alcohol for women in UK is 14 units per week - so with a small galss of red wine coming in at 1.5 units, I think you'll be OK, Cinders, if you find (as I do) it helps your digestion and makes you feel good - rather than causing heartburn.



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Posted By: Cinders
Date Posted: 20 Nov 2011 at 11:42am
Cheers, I always value your opinion on this subject, and its great having the forum for support, as most people have no idea what we have to put up with!!! Although not being able to eat a huge amount at one time has certainly helped me keep the weight off, which can only be a good thing!!! I have had three grandchildren aged 8, 6 and 3 staying  this weekend, and it is impossible not be bending down picking things and people up, and boy does my tummy not object!!!

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