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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Medical Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 5330
Experience:  20 Years in Internal Medicine, Neurology and Sports Medicine
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I had difficulty swallowing so I was given a barium swallow.

Customer Question

I had difficulty swallowing so I was given a barium swallow. It was determined that I have a narrowing of the esophagus and a hiatal hernia. I had an endoscopy performed and it was determined that I have short segment barretts disease with no dysplasia. A balloon was used to open my esophagus so I could swallow and it seems to have worked. Biopsies performed showed no malignancies. I did happen to have diverticulosis at the same time and was given antibiotics for this. I also has a colonoscopy at the same time and had two polyps (10cm and 30cm) and these were non malignant. I was told to be on acid blockers and I put myself on Prilosec OTC which seems to work for my heartburn and acid reflux. I was told that I should take 600 mg. of calcium 2X per day and that I would most likely be on both of these for the rest of my life and that there is no cure for barretts disease. I also heard from my wife's doctor that according to a recent study, that much calcium can lead to heart disease. My wife is on calcium and Boniva and her doctor told her to cut her 1200mg. per day to 600mg. per day because of potential heart disease. I don't know if Prilosec is really what I am supposed to be on. I don't know if that much calcium is too much. I don't know if I need to be on this forever or if there is any type of cure for barretts. I was told to come back in one year for another endoscopy and two years for another colonoscopy of which I will do both.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Medical
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
When are you going to contact me? I am waiting for someone to call or email me now.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

Hi there. Good to hear there was no evidence of a malignancy. The Barrett's can be managed and monitored. Prilosec is a good medication for reducing stomach acid and esophageal irritation from GERD. It is sometimes taken twice daily if symptoms do not improve. Reducing esophageal "backwash" of stomach acid will reduce inflammation and the risk of dyplasia. Those with non-dysplastic Barrett's have a very low risk of developing cancer.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
You didn't mention anything about the amount of calcium I should take nor if there is any cure or the fact that I was told by a nurse that I will probably be on acid blockers and calcium the rest of my life or if the 1200mg daily can lead to heart disease.
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 10 months ago.

There is no cure for Barrett's though it can be improved with treatment and can be monitored for any worrisome changes. It would be best to stay on the acid blocker for life, unless upper endoscopy shows complete resolution of the Barrett's, which is unusual. As for the calcium, it can be a risk factor for heart disease if one takes too much. If this is your only risk factor, you have no reason to worry. If you have other risk factors (diabetes, HTN, high cholesterol, smoking, etc) then you should reduce the calcium to once daily.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
No you did not answer all my questions.