Barrett’s esophagus : I’m having a terrible time... - PMRGCAuk


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Barrett’s esophagus


I’m having a terrible time with acid reflux. I don’t feel that bad but my esophagus is not doing well. Tried PPI’s but the side effects were awful. I was then changed to Famotidine but having side effects with this too. I’ve researched diet and know I have to make some changes. Giving up my nightly wine will be the hardest. I keep seeing articles about the use of apple cider vinegar to quiet acid in the stomach. I have some apple cider capsules but I don’t know if they will interfere with prednisone. Any thoughts about using this?

79 Replies

You could try this............a tip from another patient.

Acid Reflux: A natural remedy.

Unwaxed Lemon, 1 minute in microwave (gives three times more juice), squeeze lemon, divide juice into three, take with water three times per day.

BTW I had to give up Red wine when diagnosed with problem with white at all.

Blackcatlover in reply to jinasc

Thanks for the interesting tip. Everything I read says stay away from citrus. I’ll try anything to see if it helps. 🥴

123-go in reply to Blackcatlover

I had to give up wine when I started Leflunomide. I missed it for the first couple of evenings but now barely give it a thought. Thinking about it was harder than doing it. 🙂

Blackcatlover in reply to 123-go

Thanks. When I was on Methotrexate I gave up wine but missed sitting down at the end of the day with my hubby and just chillin. I can do it again.

123-go in reply to Blackcatlover

Yes, you can 🤞🏼🙂

Grammy80 in reply to jinasc

.....three cheers for white wine~! 🥂🥂 💖

I have had very painful heartburn and I have modified my diet to a low acid/high alkaline one. I have stuck to this for 8 weeks and up till this morning had 10 consecutive days pain free although I could still feel it lurking. It may not work for everyone, but I am going to continue trying .

Thanks. That’s what my diet changes will be too. I just had a turkey sandwich and I really missed the tomatoes on it. I’m determined to beat this. Good luck.

Thank you, I have been cutting right down on meat as it’s acidic. I would like to have asked to be referred to a dietitian but in these times of Covid I haven’t asked.I hope we can both find an answer Blackcatlover, the best of luck to you too.


I've just given up wine for Lent! Always used to but had lapsed in recent years. It hasn't been as bad as I expected ...I do celebrate festivals with a piccolo of prosecco on Sundays - not that dedicated ;)

Have you had an endoscopy to diagnose Barretts? And many people find cutting carbs also helps reflux - after all, anything is worth a try ...

Blackcatlover in reply to PMRpro

I’ve had many an endoscopy over the last ten years. My esophagus lisn’t looking good but no dysphasia yet. I like your Sunday routine. If we can every eat at a restaurant again, I think I will have a glass when we go out. When you mentioned lent it made me remember one of my favorite stories from teaching second grade. On Ash Wednesday I arrived at school with my ashes and didn’t think much about it. As I was working with a group of children, I heard two little boys talking. One asked the other why I had dirt on my forehead and the other little one replied,” I don’t know why but once a year they mark all the Catholics so you know who they are”.😂

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blackcatlover

Hahahahaha - true though!!!

We used to go for a walk around the village and a couple of times a week would stop at the cafe/bar/restaurant/pizzeria to sit outside in the sun and have a Birdie (aperol spritz) - but on a Sunday it was always prosecco, which is cheaper ;)

Luciejc in reply to PMRpro

Ah, Aperol Spritz!!💕

Carbs, especially : cake, bread, biscuits, pasta, pizza. Milk and milky products can cause - if a lover of yogurt, try chevre, goat, and sheep yogurt instead of cow's milk, and of course keep to avoiding those items already in yr diet. Apple Cider Vinegar, ensure organic, with the 'mother'. Best of.

Blackcatlover in reply to Ruadh

Thanks so much. Do you take apple cider vinegar.? Your yogurt suggestion is great.

FLSurfing_Dad in reply to Ruadh

I agree on the apple cider with mothers. I did the same and went gluten-free with the pizza and switched to almond milk. I take a shot of apple cider vinegar “ with Mother’s” and chase it with a glass of cold water. You can dilute it if you want as well that helped out well. You can also try some slight elevation to your head/shoulders with a pillow as long as it doesn’t bother any neck injury history. Hope it helps you in some way.

Ruadh in reply to FLSurfing_Dad

I would raise the head of the bed itself. A 'block' or Blocks of wood' under the legs or base (whatever) at the head of the bed. When mine hits, Achalasia - I have to sit up, or even get out and stand up...a glass of cool water sometimes helps, not dead cold, but cool.

Coffeebeans in reply to Ruadh

Ooh not often come across achalasia. Sorry you have have this - my dad has suffered for years and has just had an awful few days because something got stuck. He knows what to avoid now but still struggles at times. He does the blocks of wood under the bed too.

Ruadh in reply to Coffeebeans

I was glad to find it had a name...blasted condition. Also have an enlarged uvula, a tad too long, as well. Always swallowing on a 'lump'. Used to really bug me as a youngster, so good to know what that one was all about - only waited over 70 years to find out !!

Coffeebeans in reply to Ruadh

That's the trouble.wpth these very rare things isn't it. Finding someone who knows what it is and how best to manage it.

Thanks FLSurfing_Dad. I have capsules that say they have the Mother in them. Going to give it a try. I raised the head of my bed and that really helps.

Yes, I have it to hand, to take as and when. Your findings re wine were interesting. I can cope with a good white wine - not sweet stuff - and often make a spritzer, which is refreshing. But red wine, not so much now. Quite like gin, which I used to detest...!! A good gin, and the Fever-Tree tonic water is pleasant, though a tad sweet for me. Lots of ice. Whisky can upset ! So have basically stepped away from red wine and whisky. Carbs also join the red wine and whisky :)

Blackcatlover in reply to Ruadh

I hate to admit but I had two glasses of wine a night- Pinot Grigio. It’s a nice white wine, not too sweet but at 5:00 sat down with hubby before dinner and had the second glass relaxing after supper. Read alcohol relaxes the muscle at the top of the stomach which allows acid to back up. I’m going to Mass General to see a group of specialist but due to Covid it’s a bit of a wait. There’s a surgery where they put magnets around your esophagus and they keep it closed until you swallow. Talked to a friend who had this done and once you get used to it, he eats and drinks anything. I’m not getting any younger so who love some normalcy. Cheers!

I used to get oesophageal spasms. The first one was so dramatic and painful that my husband called an ambulance. They took me to hospital for heart tests, nothing was found. They became infrequent and much milder as I reduced Prednisalone. I found that ordinary indigestion remedies such as Rennes or Gaviscon were a help, as was sips of cool water. Also not panicking, that definitely makes them worse.I am hardly bothered by them now. I am wondering about Diverticulitis though as I have a nagging pain in my left abdomen radiating round to the back that is sore when pressed. I think I have definitely developed sensitivity in my digestive system. I am back up to 10 mgs of Prednisalone and Actemra weekly injections, due to GCA/LVV diagnosis 8 months ago.

So sorry to hear you’re going through a rough patch. Looks like you’re handling it well. Good luck.

Mine would be a good Chardonnay ! At the moment it is a Gin&T - <LOL> Cheers -

Sorry to hear of your discomfort. Just before my dx gca I was dx with esophageal dysmotility, los angelos grade C esophagitis, reflux, hiatel hernia and over past 2 years worsening dysphagia. I was on omoeprazole for years but didn't help much. I've been on Dexilant for 2+ years which has been helpful. Also, because of swallowing problems I'm on minced/pureed diet only. I think a contributing factor was lots of coca-cola for years. Guess I should have been a wine drinker. Lol Also think it's a weak link in the genes. My mom had serious reflux and my daughter has barrett's syndrome.

I tried apple cider vinegar once and it burned so bad I'll never try that. I think diet is critical. What you eat, how much you eat in each setting, and when you eat. Barrett's can turn into serious disease so keep searching for remedy. I'm very careful to take prednisone with food. I get IV every 3 months of Boniva for osteoporosis. Just need to take each thing and figure out how to take the pill, eat the food, reduce the risks. Dexilant is very expensive but Takeda Pharmaceutical has a generous "helping hand" program. Best wishes to you.

Thanks so much for your reply. I guess as we age we have to deal with all kinds of new challenges. Good luck with yours.

Presumably you’re on coated prednisolone? I developed similar issues after being on pred for 3 years, was then prescribed a high dose of PPIs but didn’t tolerate them well and since ive been off both pred and PPIs my system has dramatically improved.

Blackcatlover in reply to Casia

So glad for you. I don’t think I will ever be off prednisone but I’ll learn to cope. I had stomach problems before pred and they’ve become worse over time.

Eating in the late afternoon and evening is not a good idea. Besides that keep your diet whole foods, no processed foods and kick out alcohol and carbs (even the good carbs are bad). A keto diet (high fat very low carb) or a zero carb diet (carnivore) and your issues disappear overnight for good. On top you will loose weight, have more energy and live longer healthy.

Blackcatlover in reply to GertG

Thanks Gert. Keto won’t work for me. My biggest trigger is high fat. I don’t do any processed foods but eat what I think is a healthy diet. Obviously my body doesn’t like something I’m doing. Cutting out wine will be a good start.

Hi there. I've always had some issues with indigestion and reflux throughout my life but since being prescribed steroids and knowing they could cause further problems, I made a concerted effort to find out as much as I could to avoid further problems. So far, and almost 2years down the line, I've been able to manage this issue reasonably successfully. I've not had to take a PPI and I eat mostly what I want.

My steroid tablets are always gastro-resistant and I always take them after I've eaten a good breakfast (porridge made with skimmed milk and sprinkled with blueberries and raspberries and then a chopped up orange sprinkled with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, puffed quinoa, tsp of local honey and some live, natural yogurt.)

I avoid sugary foods and foods high in saturated fat, such as pastry, cakes, sweets, crisps, chips and other fried foods, cream, too much spicy food, alcohol, fizzy drinks .......all the things I know will irritate my gut and cause me problems.

I do however eat lots of fresh vegetables, salad foods, chicken and fish, wholegrains, eggs, nuts & seeds some dairy (organic milk, cheese, yogurt) and a daily treat of some dark chocolate (85%cocoa solids)

I know that eliminating certain unhealthy or processed foods and increasing the natural, unprocessed foods definitely allows the healthy gut bacteria to thrive. Healthy gut bacteria contributes massively to an overall healthy gut and the reduction in reflux-related problems.

I also make sure I eat at regular times and sit upright at a table rather than slouch on the sofa to aid motility of food through the digestive tract.

All these things in combination seem to help me avoid the problems caused by reflux ....and acid indigestion.

I know the problem is far more advanced for some of you than for me, and appreciate that more remediation is required, but all the above will definitely impact on the state of your digestive tract and therefore contribute to improving the issues experienced.

Thank you for your wonderful detailed post. I’m impressed. I too eat lots of fruits, vegetables and fish. Will just have to try to keep track of triggers. So glad you are doing well.

Seeing my GP for sane thing tomorrow. I gave up red wine, in fact all alcohol, in May 2020 ad am not having any withdrawals physical or emotional. Let you know if anything usefull comes up.Cheers,


Thanks so much. Good luck. Look forward to hearing about your appointment.

I had a lot of trouble with acid, but since I switched to gastric coated pred a couple of years ago I rarely have a problem, if I do a dose of Gaviscon sorts it out. The cider vinegar made it worse and I found drinking the lemon very difficult but try it if you can. Thanks jinsac for the lemon trick, it works a treat!

Thanks Omanain. Just got a lemon yesterday and I’m going to try it today.

jinasc in reply to Omanain

No problem and I will be chatting to the person today who had both GCA and PMR and other health problems and will tell her another one whom it has helped.

The list of Tips and Tricks from patients grow.

Have you tried taking pred with porridge or drinking mint tea?

I always take my prednisone with food. I think my problem is more than the pred. I was told not to do mint because it relaxes the muscle at the base of the esophagus. Thanks for replying.

Hello as is indicated by any of the responses here - almost any food can apparently trigger reflux and the range of suggested 'cures' also indicate a great deal of variation in more or less successful outcomes. If you have had all the tests to eliminate various causes like a hiatus hernia for example or having the 'architecture' which more easily precipitates reflux and considered dietary triggers, and tried various medications then this is a tough one.

I have taken PPIs for years (even prior to having to take Pred) and have had no apparent side effects - although I take 60mg a day which is double a 'normal' dose. I am careful to never take Pred on an empty stomach always eating a couple of tablespoons of greek yoghurt to line my stomach. It is interesting several people here have had success with acidic treatments - any of which wouldn't work for me - in fact they are actually 'triggers'. The only other thing I have personally found significant is timing of meals . If I leave too many hours between meals my stomach becomes acidic and if I eat too late before sleeping - especially say a dessert after an earlier meal that isn't good either. Also anything which creates a 'gassy' stomach for you could trigger reflux as this literally 'pushes' stomach contents 'up' your oesophagus. None of these observations may be of help - but I hope you get some as it is a very NASTY thing to have.

Best wishes


Blackcatlover in reply to Rimmy

Thanks Rimmy. Gas is definitely one of the worst of the side effects. My system just doesn’t handle any kind of medication well. Allergic to penicillin, the pneumonia shot, PPIs and many other things. I’m trying to start back at square one and thru trial and error- see what works. Glad you are doing well.

Rimmy in reply to Blackcatlover

All the very best - hope things improve really soon !

I find that eating no food in the evening helps. ( Just a small camomile tea or similar) My oesophagus and stomach appreciate 12 hours for rest and recovery each night.

Blackcatlover in reply to Cjcc

Thanks. I find not eating bothers my stomach too. I’m doing smaller meals and eating supper earlier. The tea is on my list.

Sorry to here that blackcatlover,I must have cast iron insides,no problems the thought of giving up the wine breaks my heart even the thought,take care x

Thanks Harrywogan. It breaks my heart too. If I get some semblance of relief, I may try adding a glass back.

It is vital to stop reflux. Normally lansoprazole 30mg is very effective but you must also eat nothing three hours before you go to bed and not drink more than a small glass of wine much earlier, sleep with the top of the bed raised by about 10 inches to a foot, and avoid bending over or slumping when sitting. Avoid very large meals. A bottle of Gaviston by the bed can be useful in the night on occasion but if you do the above you should be OK. Acid reflux will destroy your esophagus and there is little cure.

Thanks Kailaconweb. I’m afraid my esophagus is already in trouble. I have had the head of my bed raised for the last three years. It does help. I’m going to restrict my diet big time now.

I have had Barretts for the past 15+ years and have been on omeprazole for all that time with no side effects (sound effect - a person touching wood!).

I am also Type 2 diabetic and apple cider vinegar is often touted on forums as a pre meal drink to keep blood sugar spikes from the meal down.

Thanks Theziggy. Love your sound effect. I’m going to try the apple cider vinegar.

Oh yes its awful, the tablets that the doctor was giving me for heartburn made it even worse, now I don't take any thing & have no trouble!

Oh my. I am at such a dark place with this. I had surgery for reflux in 1999. Done by bad surgeon. It failed. Redone in 2002 by the best in the country (US). All went well for many years. Been on prednisone for 7 to 10 years for PMR/GCA, off and on.

Last June endoscopy showed severe gastritis with bleeding stomach. I was better over fall, but Last november SED shot way up. Did high dose prednisone, which destroyed stomach.

Now am on IV Actemra with goal of getting off prednisone. In mean time strongly suspect some sort of hernia where surgery for reflux is. Problem with blood pressure. Shoots up to 170s over 110s when I lie in a prone position. Better when I sleep propped up. Strongly suspect something in there is pressing on heart or nerve that controls BP. BP goes down when upright, shoots up when I lie down prone. Also goes up a bit after I eat. Weird, right!

I also can only eat small amounts of food. No appetite except for nibbling. Never mind low carb. Throughout the day nibbling on crackers is bests I can do. I strongly suspect a hiatal hernia coming up through the previous surgery. If so, they need to find it. I am spiraling down, losing a lot of weight. Oh, and actual physical exertion brings on symptoms also, severe gastritis, burning, pain, and a pulling sensation. A lot of nausea, queasy stomach, etc.

My stomach doctor had a phone visit with me last week. She put me on 80mg of pepcid. I can't do PPIs. In one week I report back. If I am still having symptoms she is doing an endoscopy to try to get figured out.

It is my opinion from over 20 years of reflux that it is mostly a mechanical issue. In this case prednisone seems to have caused so much damaged that the structures in place to prevent reflux have been damaged and weakened, I hate prednisone. I hate reflux. Those who do not have reflux can not understand the impact it has on your life.

I once read where a person with reflux has a lower quality of life than a person with heart or kidney failure.

To all of you out there suffering with this, seeking answers, you have my total empathy.

So sorry to hear what you’re going through. I too nibble on crackers all day. Until I can finally get to a specialist in Boston, I just have to deal with this problem day by day. Hoping you find some relief soon.

Still hanging in there. Will report back results if I get endoscopy . Fairly certain I will. Pepcid not helping much. I can actually feel boluses of stomach fluids coming up at night, even propped up on pillows. So, am probably dealing with a mechanical failure of some type. Good luck on the visit with a specialist. In my experience this is a mechanical failure that begs a mechanical solution. I have had two nissen procedures done. Now they have a new metal ring they can put in called a LINX. You may want to research that.

I already have researched the Linx and that is what my consultation will be about. I have a friend who had it done and can now eat and drink anything. Good luck. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

Other than a change in diet, I have found aloe vera juice to work the best for me. Apple cider vinegar flared my esophagus really bad. Had a friend who drank the apple cider vinegar and ended up in hospital for esophagus and stomach distress. So, be careful with that.Good Luck

Blackcatlover in reply to Linny3

Thanks Linny3. Aloe is supposed to be very healing. I will look into that.

PMR only patient

I’ve had GERD for over 20 years Omeprozole (Prilosec) 40mg 2x/d taken just before meal works best of all the other meds my Gastroenterologist tried with me. After starting MTX had to switch me to Famotidine, it made my acid reflux worse than it had ever been. I dropped the MTX and went back to Prilosec. I’m fine. Also I’m back to 5mg Pred/d from a recent flare. Lowest I’ve been was 4.5mg/d, 4mg triggered the flare.

Additionally, I put the head part of the bed frame legs on 6 x 6 x 8” blocks and I sleep on my left side.

Don’t eat after 8 pm except drinking water.

Limit my intake of sweets and when I do have them I only have 1 mini dark chocolate candy bar or not more a cookie or two. I’m also ok as long as I stay with not more than 1 serving per day of spicy food (e.g.., Chi Chi’s Hot Salsa with Tostitos Scoops). Dairy doesn’t bother me at all.

I also am ok with having 1 drink (Amaretto, or Whiskey sour, Margarita, etc) per week but I keep the alcohol to 1 oz and I have the drink 3 hours before / after meds and if outside that I just forego the drink🤷🏼‍♂️ As to wine I’m a Ruffino Moscato D’Asti fan. Really difficult for me to limit it to 1 oz so cheat sometimes and pay for it after.😖

I’m 6 ft and felt best when I got down to 175 lbs in Jan ‘19. I got lax and I’m back at 200 lbs and I’ve found with the weight gain I’m more prone to acid-reflux if I get a little hog-ish or eat more spicy food than normal or cheat.

Thanks for your reply Boss302Fan. It’s the Famotidine now that’s causing me problems. Muscle aches, headaches and fatigue. I thought I was have a flare. Stopped the Famotidine and felt better. Like you I tried going from 4mg of Prednisone to 3.5 using the DSNS method but my body said no. I’m back to 5mg and plan on staying there until warmer weather. I’m in no hurry to go lower. I agree about the weight. I’ve just lost twelve pounds and feel so much better. Good luck with your taper.

If you have been positively diagnosed with B OE work with your Consultant. This is not a minor ailment that can be dealt with by antacids or 'home' remedies. I'm surprised you refer to side effects of PPIs, this is unusual. Regular checks and Endoscopy are critical. Good luck (we have two cases in family)

Thanks Beachcomber2. I am under the care of a specialist but we can’t seem to find something that works and doesn’t make me sick. I am going to Mass General Hospital in Boston but have to wait for things to turn around in regards to the pandemic.

I have been taking Losec (Omiprizole) 20mg, since it came out maybe 25 years ago. To me it is a miricle drug. I never get heart heartburn at all-ever. I can even take one every other day if I want to. It now comes in a 10 mg pill. And I used to eat Tums and Rolaids all day, even baking soda in water. I can eat anything at all now.

Reflux runs in my family. All of my 5 siblings except one have reflux. One has Barrett’s. My mother died from an experimental operation she was having for hers. She never should have let the doctor talk her into it. Back in 1993 the doctor called her Barret’s “pre-cancer’ and said that it could turn to cancer and then would be too late.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to kewl1

Have you had dexascans to see how your bone density is?

Blackcatlover in reply to PMRpro

Just had one. Spine and neck are fine in the positive zone. Hip and femur were -1.0 putting it in the osteopenia range.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Blackcatlover

I meant the question for kewi1 - after 20 years of a PPI!!!!!

Stretching it to describe -1.0 as osteopenia - it is the borderline from normal!! -1 and above is considered normal, -1 and below is osteopenia!!!

kewl1 in reply to PMRpro

No I haven't. No bone problems that I am aware of. I have regular CT scans and MRIs for cancer. In fact I have one of each next month. I don't know if bone problems would show or not.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to kewl1

I don't think low bone density shows on them - OH had had both but it took a dexascan to show he has osteoporosis.

They are very keen on blaming pred for low bone density - PPIs are also culprits.

kewl1 in reply to PMRpro

Now that you mention it I did read some time ago that it could affect bone density. I can't imagine living without it. For a couple of years that is what made me cut it to one 20 mg every other day. When I told one of the specialists (this one cured my HEP C) she said "Why don't you just take it every day?" so I figured maybe it's not a big issue. At the time we did not have the smaller 10mg pills in Canada but I believe we do now. I may have also heard that the government does not pay for 10 mg here in Canada so it would be OTC and I would have to pay instead of having my script paid for. I've never taken pred and know nothing about it.

My wife was put on Losec and it did not work for her so she takes something else. I laughed the other day when my sister told me that her vet ut the dog on 10 mg Losec. I wonder how the dog told the vet that he had heartburn.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to kewl1

Almost all patients on this forum are on steroids to manage their PMR/GCA. Many doctors try to rush us off it or at least to reduce the dose very quickly because of the osteoporosis risk - but they happily throw PPIs at us like sweeties whether we need it or not because they think pred causes gastric problems. It does for some - but I think they are in the minority ...

kewl1 in reply to PMRpro

Thanks, PMRpro. I am in a handful of forums since having cancer and all the stuff that came along with it like chemo, ileostomy, reversal, neuropathy, etc. and I guess it must be this one where everyone is on this Pred and most are women. So I don't know anything about it. My wife had osteoporosis and has been on a shot of Prolia every six months for about 8 years. The bone specialist calls that one a miracle drug and says that she has done so well that she should be the poster child.

Telian in reply to PMRpro

I can’t find the other post where we were talking about me going for the camera down due to severe acid reflux. You mentioned another tablet at the time. Well good news is no cancer but took 4 biopsies of polyps. They also recommend taking additional tablet - the one you said. So long term Omeprazole caused the polyps? They said they don’t turn cancerous but took biopsies to be sure. I’m on Lansoprazole and stomach settling but have to watch diet. Hiatus hernia still tiny. Waiting to have conversation with GP.

PMRproAmbassador in reply to Telian

I think I have seen that polyps are a common effect of omeprazole. If they don't turn cancerous, why are they so keen to monitor them? Because they do.

Blackcatlover in reply to kewl1

Thanks kewl1. My other three siblings also have reflux but I’m the only one with Barrett’s. Wish I could take a PPI but I get deathly sick. Tried three different ones.

kewl1 in reply to Blackcatlover

Sounds like it can run in families for sure.

Hi there. Not sure if your symptoms match, but try researching Helicobacter pylori. I have had treatment for this twice, having tested positive for it both times. My symptoms were chronic reflux, and doubling my Lanoprazole to 30mg didn’t help a bit, so I asked my doctor to be tested for H. pylori and bingo, I had it, was treated, and problem solved (until I got it again!)

Blackcatlover in reply to AliD23

When I have my endoscopy they test for that. I was negative both times. Thanks for replying.

Telian in reply to AliD23

That’s interesting. If you read my comments above I’m now on Lansoprazole - 60mg which I understand is the top dose - the reflux is settling following not taking PPI I in the run up to camera down. I will read up on H. Pylori though. Thanks.

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