First Symptoms

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Hello, I’ve been a lurker here for a few weeks, unsure whether to post. I‘m 43 and have had silent reflux for many, many years, I think it may go back as far as me being a child. As it didn’t manifest as “typical” GERD symptoms, it went mostly undiagnosed until my mid 30’s. I was initially on Ranitadine until it was removed and I now take Esomeprazole every day. My symptoms usually present as a chest infection without any cough, sore throat and it sometimes affects my voice.

I recently suffered from a cold at the end of February which developed in to a very severe cough and Pleurisy. I could feel the acid reflux in my throat due to the cold. After several weeks the cough was not resolving and would not lift with steroids, inhalers or antibiotics. My doctor now thinks the cough is to do with my acid reflux. Also when breathing my chest would continually rattle when breathing out. An xray has been done, no issues with my lungs, blood tests all came back normal and showing no infection. The cough has resolved a bit, it’s not as violent or as frequent but my chest still rattles several times a day, when I cough it clears it. I was bringing up white phlegm before but this has reduced to only sometimes now. The doctor has prescribed me Famitadine to take along with the esomeprazole. Also, when I cough I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe afterwards and I need to burp several times before I can take a breath again.

My fear is that I have had acid reflux for so long and I’ve never had an endoscopy I’m really concerned about the damage that has been done and if this sudden severe change could be cancer. My doctor does not want to refer me for an endoscopy and wants me to trial the new medication first for 3 weeks. Then if it is not working then I’ve to come off the esomeprazole for 2 weeks so they can do a H Pylori test. Then she would think about sending me for an endoscopy. To me it is such a long wait.

I’m posting here to ask if anyone had any first symptoms similar to mine please? I’ve had no other symptoms other than feeling really tired.

Thank you and sending best wishes to you and your families.

  • I was diagnosed with acid reflux and a hiatal hernia 3 years ago but honestly l have never taken medication only Gaviscon when needed,  only  issue l had was a  dry cough every so often.  Never even went to the doctors after being diagnosed  Long story I was diagnosed with breast cancer 2023 went through all the treatment chemotherapy and radiotherapy the acid reflux started to play up and l was put on omeprazole and all the doctors  thought it was from my treatment , finished all treatment December 2023 , January 2024 it got worse I could manage to eat but the pain in my chest was horrendous, I went to the Doctors and they said to leave it  and see how I got on.  I  paid for a endoscopy luckily enough I could afford to pay and to be honest I knew that something was not right.  and the results have shown oesophageal cancer it came as a shock to me ,starting treatment in a few weeks. It you are not happy go back 

  • Hi JaneyM1, thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear about the time that you have had and I wish you all the best with your ongoing treatment.

    I definitely think I will take your advice and go back.

  • Hi and thanks for posting. I was like you with the reflux. Had it over many years, to the point I'd be up all night with it. My advice would be to go back to the doctor and insist on them checking it out properly. Tbh I was absolutely dreading the endoscopy as my gag reflex is awful but it was fine as they're checking your esophagus NOT your trachea so there's no pain and no choking sensation at all!

    Let me know how you get on, wishing you all the very best 


  • Hi JaneyM1,

    Like yourself, I paid for my endoscopy as my GP informed me that I could be waiting 6 weeks for one on the NHS (even with a red flag) and my swallowing was getting quite difficult by this stage. Could be the best money I ever spent….

  • That's terrible! I saw the doctor on the Monday and had the endoscopy on the Friday! They should make sure you're seen within a maximum of two weeks after the referral 

  • Hi Anthony, thanks for your reply. I will definitely go back to the doctors and ask them to refer me. It’s the rattling breathing sound that is quite unusual and new for me. I’m very never had it before. I too have a really bad gag reflex so was dreading the endoscopy. What you’ve said eases my mind about it a bit, thanks.

  • That is terrible to have to have to wait so long. I went to the GP on the Friday and had endoscopy the following Tuesday. They saw the tumour and so I had CT scan the Saturday of the same week. My chemo started not too long afterwards. This was in West London, Charing Cross Hospital. They don't hang around.

  • Honestly I promise you it's absolutely fine. I pleaded with them to give me a Barium meal instead but as they pointed out if that showed anything I'd have to have the endoscopy anyway! You have the option of either being sedated or just have the numbing throat spray. I chose the spray with an option to sedate if I couldn't cope! Five minutes later it was all done, the worst part was the taste of the spray tbh! 

  • That's uber fast! They're under an obligation to start treatment within 62 days of the initial referral. I'll be starting my treatment around 48-50 days after mine. Mind you it would have been faster if I wasn't going to Spain tomorrow! Then again the morale and mental wellbeing boost that will give me is worth it!

  • Hi Cool Blue

    best money l spent even the specialist I seen private to do the endoscope thought I didn’t need it , but I insisted and l am so glad I did, all these consultants say to me you are so healthy walking everyday , your weight is good , your blood test are excellent you are really fit,  believe me it’s not true I think sometimes the healthy you are it backs the symptoms