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GERD (Acid Reflux) Community
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Avatar universal

Time for an Endoscopy?

I'm almost 43, male, healthy, very fit and eat healthy (Mediterranean diet), exercise, don't drink, etc. but I've had stomach burning/indigestion that has been on and off for the last 1.5 years.  It started in mid 2013 as I went through a stresful period with anxiety and insomnia as my father's health was fading and he passed away in Nov 2013.  I went on Prilosec 20 mg a day which did nothing, then 20mg twice a day - helped a little.

I went to a GI Dr. in Jan of 2014.  He had me eliminate 80% of my supplements and told me to quit eating 4 hours before bedtime.  The probably virtually disappeared within a month except for a tiny amount of here or there.  I was 99% good.  He didn't think I needed an endoscope, ran a bunch of blood work, everything was good.  I was off all stomach meds.

I still delath with anxiety and went on .5 mg of Klonopin - and the issue returned within a week of taking it.  I went back on the Prilosec and the issue disappeared shortly after.  For 3-4 months my stomach felt virtually perfect - off all stomach meds.

Then about 6 weeks ago, the issue returned when I started eating more nuts and seeds.  I quit eating them, and improved a little...but the issue is still sticking around despite 40mg of Prilosec a day again.

My regular Dr. thinks it's just anxiety and IBS.  I've always had a little bit of a senstive stomach and have had constipation issues since I was a kid.  I had a scope, upper and lower Gi when I was 12 as I had bad nausea, and every test was normal.  

I went to a new GI doctor today and he's going to give me Aciphex at my request and maybe that will help better than Prilosec.  He says he sees no red flags in my condition, but thinks I should have the endoscope since the Prilosec isn't working and 40mg is a good amount although admits some people respond to some PPIs better than others.

I have a deductable - so I would be paying for all of this procedure out of pocket with a discounted insurance in-network rate.

Should I just wait and and see, or just get the scope done?

16 Responses
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi and welcome to the GERD forum.

I would suggest keeping a journal of what you eat, how you feel etc....it could be a food allergy, seasonal allergies....along with stress as a trigger factor.

I know as seasons change my PND can increase and along with that my reflux also increases...

You may have a certain food that is a trigger, so do keep a journal to see if any possible triggers can be seen.
Avatar universal
I had the scope done yesterday.  Normal results - just a tiny bit of redness on one area of the Esophagus which the Dr. acted like was nothing.
620923 tn?1452919248

  So outside of that , what does the Dr feel is causing your symptoms?

So far the results are good...but I know still frustrating....hang in there as I am sure you will get some answers soon
Avatar universal
He really didn't say other than some people are just very sensitive compared to others, but my symptom have improved in that regard.  I switched over to Prevacid and maybe it's just coincidental, but I feel better on it for sure.  Biopsy results came back normal.

However, something very disturbing was found on the abdominal ultrasound he also ordered.

They found a 3.8 cm mass on my left kidney.  I had a CT scan yesterday and it confirmed the mass as "suspect".  These types of solid masses (not cysts) are usually cancerous.  I am meeting with a urologist tomorrow.

They did find a 4 cm cyst on my gallbladder, but he said that was harmless and will just keep an eye on it as they can cause discomfort.

But very worried about this kidney mass now. :(
620923 tn?1452919248

  Sending prayers your way it is just a fatty mass of some sort and not what you fear...try to stay positive and wait to see what the results are....

I am going thru a similar issue with my mom, she has 2 masses on her lungs and  they want to remove since they do not know what they are but have ruled cancer out for now....they have her upset and she can not see that they said not cancer...just the fact they want to remove them....she has fatty masses elsewhere in her body too....so, since you do as well it may be some other possibility that is not as bad....so hang in there.

Let me know what you find out.
Avatar universal
Thank you and the same to you and your mother.

I am going in for a biopsy on Wednesday.  My Urologist said he does see non-cancerous masses with people my age.

If it's cancerous, it doesn't appear to have spread as the mass is local and should only require me losing part of the kidney.
Avatar universal
Biopsy came back benign. (sigh!)  It will still be monitored though periodically via ultrasound to see if it's getting larger.  As accurate as biopsies are, there is always that slight chance it's wrong.
620923 tn?1452919248

  I know your frustration as my mom's biopsy came back not cancer, but they have no idea what it is so, tomorrow she is going in to have it removed....sigh....

This can drag out for a time...and I know all to well how that can cause stress but do try to relax and eat a healthy diet and exercise...get fresh air and enjoy the good days.....as it can help you feel better and sometimes that is the medicine we need to get better.

Hang in there.
Avatar universal
Part of me wants my mass taken out as they are now telling me it can still turn into cancer one day.

However, it would involve removing half my kidney and they don't want to reduce my kidney functioning nor put me through a surgery unless necessary.

But I don't want to go on years and years with this on the back of my mind, know what you mean?  Frustrating indeed.

I am going back in for an ultrasound to see if it has gotten bigger in July and November.  They would do another biopsy if it gets bigger....at that point I think I am almost definitive I want it out!  Not sure if they would go along with my wish?
620923 tn?1452919248

  Surgery is not always as cut and dried or the fix most of us want....so, do not jump into anything....if you feel your current Drs are not offering you peace of mind, get another opinion and if it matches what you current Dr is advising then maybe it is best to let it go and just monitor it....

My mom is not doing well since her surgery....it can take a long time to recover.....

I do know how frustrating it can be....try to put it out of your mind until you need to have the next ultra sound....

Avatar universal
Well, it's been a roller coaster since my last post.

It was determined my biopsy was invalid.  It appears the Radiologist missed the mass with the needed and only extracted non-mass tissue such as actually kidney (maybe that is why I am still sore).

On any rate, I met with two Urological surgeons and both agreed it needs to come out.  It's 90% likely to be cancerous, and even if benign, it could grow and cause issues to the kidney...or even turn cancerous one day.  I also talked with my GI and general doctor who are not Urologists, but both said you don't want a mass like that in your body as it will likely have to be dealt with one day - the sooner the better to address it.

First surgeon wanted to remove the entire kidney as the mass is so close to the ureter, but the second surgeon is confident he can do a partial removal so I would be able to keep most of the kidney.  This Dr. also specializes in partials and has a very impressive background.  I really liked him.

Surgery scheduled for June 16th with second surgeon.  I never had surgery before so I am scared, but I will get through it.
620923 tn?1452919248

With my mom's biopsy they too missed the targeted spot.
I know you will get through this, sending prayers your way.
Avatar universal
The surgery went very well.

Pathology of the tumor due back next week, but my surgeon was so confident every bit of the tumor was removed that he's not even concerned about it.  He said whatever it is, it's completely gone.  He dug even deeper than necessary.

The tumor was very deep in the kidney and he had considered removing the entire kidney, but this surgeon specializes partial nephs and has done more robotically than anyone else in the world.

Very sore and very tired..more so than I expected.  Recovery stage now.
620923 tn?1452919248

  Thank you for the update, so happy to hear all went so well !

Rest up and allow yourself to recover.....and do let us know how your recovery goes.

Prayers to you for a smooth recovery.
Avatar universal
Just thought I would give an update.

Physically feeling very good now.  Pretty much back to normal.  

It was indeed Renal Cell Carcinoma (cancer).  It was Chromophobe subtype which is very rare, but also very non-aggressive and slow growing.  Chances of it returning are very slim (single digits).  Pathology revealed clear margins cut which means all of it was removed.

Incisions are still a little sore and a little pain still in kidney area, but better.

I did some moderately heavy lifting the other day- my abdominal muscles were very sore.  I was surprised, but I haven't worked out in a while - lost strength but will resume training in a couple of weeks or so lightly.

Will need a follow-up scan in Dec, then once a year for five years - pretty standard protocol and just to be safe.

Kidney functioning looks just as normal as it did before the surgery. I was able to keep 80% of the kidney.

Second opinions DO matter.

Great surgeon.
620923 tn?1452919248

  So very happy to get this update from you....everything sounds great !!

Our bodies are great in that they tell us what we can or can not do....take it slow getting back to lifting and I am sure your body will allow it....all in due time.

Do keep us posted on your recovery and when you get back to your weight lifting....just remember....listen to your body and take it slow.
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