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Need some advice for diag. of GERD/Barrette's Esophagus...
chanson56 posted:
I moved 4 yrs. ago and signed on with a new drs. practice. During the 9 mos. I was with this dr., I could only get appts. with the nurse. For 6 mos. I complained of having: stomach pains, burning sour acid when I would burp, intermittent nausea/vomiting, severe bloating. Twice when I had stomach pain, the pain would go up my chest and throat and into my jaw.

After I had the endoscopy done, she called me. Sounding giddy and trying to put me down at the same time, she stated (and I quote), "We finally found something wrong with you, you have H.Pylori! The surgeon did 2 biopsies and it's confirmed you have H.Pylori!" I said great and it only took you over 6 months to do something about it.

I changed drs. after that. And now this is my problem that I need some advice and help on.

Yesterday I saw my dr. I have lost 15 lbs. in the last 2 wks. because of stomach problems and feeling tired. She told me she was sending me in for another endoscopy, that I should have had done yearly. According to the previous "dr.s" notes I have Barretts Esophagus, that they did one biopsy for H.Pylori and the other for the Barretts. She was surprised at reading that and even more surprised that I had not been told.

Now that I know this, what kind of knowledgable questions do I ask the new surgeon? I've been on Protonix for the last 4 yrs., should this have been changed to another medicine? It doesn't seem to be helping much. This dr. put me on something called promethazine to use as needed. I have the endoscopy scheduled for this coming Wed., so if I could get any advice or information before I go in, I would appreciate it.
CalGal37 responded:
One of the first things to do in the future is to request copies of any and all results of any exams/tests/biopsies, etc. Make sure you read through them each and every time something is done. You'll slowly learn to understand what the test results say as you ask questions and do some reading.

Go back and get copies of your older results. You want to find out what 'grade' the Barrett's was diagnosed as, and exactly where it is located.

Have you been following a GERD diet? Have you made lifestyle changes? Both may be necessary in addition to the current meds, or any changes in meds, to try to make sure the condition is hopefully to be kept under control.

After the H. pylori was found, were you then found to be H. pylori free? Some people don't clear the bacteria easily and multiple treatements may need to be done.

While waiting to see the surgeon, Google Barrett's esophagus and do some reading on the subject. That might be the best thing to do so you'll have some idea of what the surgeon might want to discuss with you.
chanson56 replied to CalGal37's response:
Thank you, CalGal37. I hadn't been following a GERD diet because until Fri. I didn't know I had GERD, a minimal ulcer or Barretts. When I would start getting sick, I would try to eat really bland things. Plain rice worked pretty well for me.

Fri. I did request copies of my med. records and test results for that short period of time. However, they told me "legally we have 30 days to get the copies to you." They also said they could only release them to me if they were for another dr.? I don't understand why I can't get a copy of my med. records and tests for myself? Is this a law? So I won't have the copies in time to see the new dr.

I looked up Barratt's and GERD and have a general idea of what they are. Do you have Barratt's? Do you know how long it takes to get the test results back? I did start a list of basic questions to ask the dr. and hope I didn't leave anything out. I did print out a copy of the diets for GERD. Maybe after staying on this diet, the stomach issues will calm down.
CalGal37 replied to chanson56's response:
When I hear someone say they can only release the records to another doctor, it really gets my back up! Try this site:

You are entitled to your medical records. The only thing they may request is that you pay for copying those records.
chanson56 replied to CalGal37's response:
Thank you for the information. I'm going to the drs. office this morning and requesting a complete copy of my med. records in writing. I have also printed out the HIPPA rights--just in case.... I know they will take the full 30 days, but that's ok. I'm not happy with this entire situation at all.

Again, thank you...

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