Oesophageal Patients Association
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Do Gastric issues heal themselves?

My diagnosis is; Gasstric Oesophageal Reflux Disease, Gastritis, Hiatal Hernia and Oesophagitis to name a few. I am trying to find out if these conditions heal themselves as I have been offered no treatment at all for any.

The acid burns my throat and I have a great deal of trouble eating, at times choking even with fluids. Literally after the first mouthful I am belching and with liquids and soft food I have terrible reflux.

I am never hungry but use the strategy that every time I have a cup of tea I have to pop something into my mouth otherwise I would never eat. I keep a diary of what I eat and symptoms but I know whatever i am getting in me is not enough as I lost 5 stone in 6 months and have been fighting not to lose any more for the past 2 years. I put 1lb on in 6 months, but lost it again :-(

Should I be on some kind of treatment or WILL it heal itself one day?

My first diagnosis was 4th June 2010. I have been referred to a Gastroenterologist again (Aug 20th but heard nothing yet) because I have been bleeding since March of this year and the Doctor said he thinks a Colonoscopy in order after having 10 Adenomatous Polyps removed May 2010.

He suggested I took previous paperwork with me and they might do an Endoscopy as well (Another Doc at the Surgerysaid I could not be referred for an Endoscopy, so this might be a sneaky way for me to get one I think)

Does anyone have any thoughts on this situation please?? Thanks.

11 Replies

The answer is that an endoscopy is the best way of finding out what is happening. It is a miniature camera put down your throat. I recommend that you have a sedative with it - it will mean that you have to have somebody to accompany you home, but the chances are that you may not feel any pain or discomfort at all.

There are NICE guidelines that say that referral for an endoscopy for those under 55 years is not necessary in the absence of alarm symptoms, which we happen to think is crazy. So please bring to attention the symptoms like bleeding, unexplained weight loss, difficulty in swallowing, persistent burping/belching and so on. Plus your history.

Another tactic that might work is to tell your doctor that you have just seen the Department of Health's pilot campaign on earlier diagnosis of oesophageal cancer. It may not operate in your area, but you might still have run across the materials. cancerresearchuk.org/cancer...

So try and get an endoscopy as a priority and try and chase up your appointment, perhaps through your GP as it does sound as if this should be taking place as soon as possible.

Gastric juices are acid by definition and they are meant to be that way because otherwise our digestive system would not work properly. Our stomach lining has cells that can cope with the acid, but the oesophagus does not. There is a valve between the oesophagus and the stomach that should stop the acid rising, and this is linked to the diaphragm. With a hiatus hernia, part of your stomach is coming up above the diaphragm and the valve won't work in the same way. So if the hiatus hernia is the cause of the oesophageal cells becoming inflamed/irritated by the acid, one possible way of 'curing' the situation would be to have the hiatus hernia repaired, if that is possible.

Other approaches would be for medication to reduce the stomach acid. These come in different forms (eg omeprazole) but it is likely that you would be taken off these so that a biopsy with the endoscopy can be more effective at diagnosing what might be wrong.

Some over-the-counter medications like gaviscon are alginates - they create a protective raft for a few hours and may help if your doctor has not prescribed anything, or even as an addition. But the important thing is to have an endoscopy to sort out any underlying causes.

If you have persistent acid reflux for many months, you might be at risk of developing Barrett's Oesophagus, which is when the cells start to change. There is more information about Barrett's Oeosophagus at actionagainstheartburn.org.uk and the Barrett's Oesophagus Campaign barrettscampaign.org.uk/

We do wish you well in trying to get this sorted out quickly.


Hope this gets through, Runtime errors stop it, but thank you Alan. The links will be looked at with interest. Not sureb if it is good or bad news, but I got an appointment today, 24th December...so looking like next year before anything happens.

Calling Consultants Secretary first thing tomorrow to offer the mandatory £150 for a Private half hour appointment at the Nuffield if he can fit me in. Just feel I have waited long enough, but at least I know it will be my 3rd 'none xmas'. Really was hoping to have something done by the end of the year but at least i have my foot in the door. Will let you know how it goes. Thanks again for info.


Hi rubynolegs,

As usual Alans diagnosis is spot on. You need an endoscopy asap. Badger your GP to get you referred. Let us know how you get on.

Best Wishes


Thank you Racy. See above, at least that is a start.



I want to echo what Alan says.

You want to have this properly investigated before it's too late.

It may just be oesophagitis but I know how painful that can be - and for me it was the prelude to developing Barrett's Oesophagus - which in a very small number of cases can progress to cancer.

So ask for that scope and be sure.



Seems to me Chris that patients are the only ones to take this seriously but with all the other things it tells a simpleton like me that something needs doing. Every aspect of my life has changed with the weight loss etc and feeling as tired, fatigued and weak and all i want is to get a little bit better.

My dad was taken to hospital unwell and died a few days later...Oesphageal Cancer, age 64, and my sister was listened to too late and they opened her stomach and closed her up again, few days later we lost her too, age 55. Now there are 3 generations with Bowel problems, myself, direct family above me and one of my daughters.

As the Gastrict tract runs from mouth to the rear, I really thought someone would have put this all together. Hope I get treated soon and my faith in my Medical Providers restored. Thanks for your reply.


As there has now been a genetic link established, eurekalert.org/pub_releases... there's even more reason for you to be taken seriously.


Its just gone 2am so i am going off but just saw this Chris, thanks for posting it. Will look after a nap. I know about FAP and am trying to get someone to listen to me there but it is hard to feild it as not everyone wants to upport me but i worry about the grand children and it could avoid misery later..

I will have a quick look now then again later. My sleep pattern has gone out of the window so i cat nap when i can...stress perhaps??


Thanks, will read properly later...not seen that before. Big help, night.



Please do badger your GP for an endoscopy referal asap, it is the only way to find out what is going on.


Thank you Dave, Please see above. Hope tomorrow gets me an earlier appointment or this one will not be wrapping pressies up....;-)


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