NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Surprise Diagnosis

Just a quick update, though I'm sure my journey to completely conquering my symptoms is just beginning!  I had my endoscopy and colonoscopy today, and got some surprising results.  The colonoscopy revealed nothing, which I expected.  Results of the biopsy for Celiac to come at a later date, of course.  But the endoscopy discovered Barrett's Esophagus which is a result of longtime GERD.  Photo below is not mine, but is very similar to what mine looked like. Normal esophagus on the right.


Ironically, I normally only get heartburn symptoms if I sleep on my right side or eat a tomato based  meal late in the day.  All the other things that worsen heartburn and would lead to a diagnosis of GERD such as alcohol consumption, caffeine, eating large meals and obesity are a not a factor for me for the last 8 years or longer. I gave up alcohol, caffeine and soda pop almost 20 years ago! Perhaps this is why I haven't been bothered by symptoms and didn't give it much thought.   I knew that my esophageal sphincter was probably faulty, but since it didn't interfere with my life and never take OTC medications I didn't give it any thought.  However, longterm acid leaking from the stomach to the esophagus causes tissue changes that could increase the risk of esophageal cancer.  Slightly increased risk, but treatment for prevention of course is encouraged.  Treatment will now include taking omeprazole even though I'm not symptomatic and having regular endoscopic exams to make sure it does not progress and become precancerous.

While I wasn't surprised the colonoscopy results found nothing (yay!) I do have a new plan of action for my original problem.  I'm to start taking Miralax twice a day in addition to the Amitiza twice a day and see how that affects things.  Sudden onset of difficulty with slow transit and excessive painful gas that is difficult to resolve due to certain foods are what drove me to see a GI doctor in the first place.  Perhaps by relieving the slow transit problem it will affect the gas production problem.  We'll see.  If not, then the next step is a hydrogen breath test to check for fructose malabsorption.  The doctor also agreed with me that whether or not the biopsy shows Celiac that wheat intolerance seems to definitely be an issue and to continue with a gluten-free diet.  That's okay, it'll keep me from buying those cakes, cookies and other things that aren't good for you anyway.   As for pizza...I'll keep searching for a crust recipe that satisfies for that occasional home-made treat.

I had some of my carrot bread with peanut butter and a slice of cheddar before succumbing to a nap after my morning adventure and hours later did not experience any food intolerance symptoms.  I was a little worried about the carrot bread and hadn't determined whether small amounts of peanut butter were being tolerated by my system, so if nothing else I have two more foods to add to my "safe" list.  Three hours ago I ate a baked potato with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a small piece of salmon and again seem to be suffering no ill effects.  Maybe I'll be lucky and the slow transit really is the culprit in the gas/bloating problem and I will be able to add fruit and vegetables back to my diet soon.  I could test that theory with an apple before bed tonight...but it is so wonderful to be symptom free today that I hate to "upset the apple cart", ha ha.

Sorry for such a boring problem filled post, but I wanted to get this out there for those in a similar situation that may be doing google searches like I have been.  I welcome those seeking answers to ask me further questions about my journey, especially if they are looking for reliable resources as those can be difficult to find, but again, I do NOT want unsolicited diet advice.  I do my research, check my sources, and what results I come up with are through careful trial and error to determine what is right for me and I am not interested in fad diets as everyone's food intolerances and dietary needs are specific to their situation.

I promise my blog will not become a health or recipe filled outlet, but will perhaps post an occasional update as things progress.  I would much rather write about my travel and outdoor experiences, and hope to post another one of those soon.  A car trip to Kentucky, North Carolina and Georgia is coming just after Christmas and I'm looking forward to it so much!

If the weather holds maybe I'll get another mini adventure in after Thanksgiving, too. In the meantime, I have a gluten free chocolate mayonnaise cake recipe to try tomorrow so I can have a treat on the holiday, and I hope everyone else eats well and has fun company on Thursday!  Gobble gobble!


  1. Sounds like you're getting things under control with a direction to go! Yay! Hope things continue to improve for you.

  2. So sorry you are having these challenges. I wouldn't chance upsetting the apple cart either...