Acid reflux, weight loss and fatigue after flu could it have been masking something more sinister?

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Had the flu a month back, the cough cleared, but is this off balance feeling and weakness always that hits me at some point during the day. Also I've had pain in my sternum when I move and acid reflux. I don't think I'm having difficulty swallowing but I'm been losing weight (78kg - 74kg) which is worrying.

I have also been feeling the following symptoms:

Pains in joints

Sternum buzzing

Loss of appetite

Tests I've done over the past few years:

Echocardiogram (while back)

Endoscopy (last year)

Colonoscopy(last year)

X rays (recent)

ECGs (while back)

Blood tests (recent)

MRI (last year)

All have come back normal. I'm worried about coming sinister in my body that has been missed, I just have no idea how to go about this, and the doctors are running out of ideas. I'm worried about some hidden cancer ( esopushgus, bone you name it).

As you can tell I've been under a great deal of distress but it's the symptoms causing it.

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  • Posted

    You have had a series of tests and they, especially the endoscopy, should have revealed any oesophageal tumour.

    What you may have is heartburn caused by reflux, but it is speculation, perhaps unsafe speculation on my part.

    Did the endoscopy report mention any sign of Barrett's oesophagus?

    Are you on medication to relieve the reflux?

    If you take Gaviscon, do you find relief for a while?

    Reflux sometimes comes in the form of bile rather than acid which in some very specific circumstances explain why proton pump inhibitors that switch off stomach acid (eg Omeprazole) do not work; indeed there are a proportion of acid refluxers for whom PPIs do not work.

    I am not medically qualified, but in your position I would try Gaviscon, perhaps in liberal dosage (it is available over the counter) to see if that has any effect. If it makes a difference it tends to suggest reflux.

    Then get tested as to whether it is acid or bile (you can get testing kits from pharmacists but they need help with interpretation.

    If various kinds of medication against reflux do not work, ask to be considered for a surgical device like Linx, a metal bracelet that re-creates the valve effect of your lower oesophageal sphincter.

    Sometimes it takes a long time, much longer than a month, to recover from a virus like 'flu.

    I hope you feel better soon.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. Answers are in bold.

      You have had a series of tests and they, especially the endoscopy, should have revealed any oesophageal tumour.

      What you may have is heartburn caused by reflux, but it is speculation, perhaps unsafe speculation on my part.

      ****So even if the endoscopy was last year it would have revealed something if it was present?

      Did the endoscopy report mention any sign of Barrett's oesophagus?

      Are you on medication to relieve the reflux?

      If you take Gaviscon, do you find relief for a while?

      ****No it did not,to be honest the acid reflux is not as regular as the fatigue that is the most worrying as it's like always heavy.

      I am not medically qualified, but in your position I would try Gaviscon, perhaps in liberal dosage (it is available over the counter) to see if that has any effect. If it makes a difference it tends to suggest reflux.

      Then get tested as to whether it is acid or bile (you can get testing kits from pharmacists but they need help with interpretation.

      If various kinds of medication against reflux do not work, ask to be considered for a surgical device like Linx, a metal bracelet that re-creates the valve effect of your lower oesophageal sphincter.

      Sometimes it takes a long time, much longer than a month, to recover from a virus like 'flu.

      I hope you feel better soon.

      Thanks a lot for the advice.

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    • Posted

      Realised it didn't bold my answer so here it is again:

      So even if the endoscopy was last year it would have revealed something if it was present?

      I did not reveal any barret's to be honest the acid reflux is not as regular as the fatigue that is the most worrying as it's like always heavy. Right now I'm getting a cold and I'm worried It's due to a compromised immune system.

      My arms and legs feel like lead at the moment

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    • Posted

      The endoscopy should indeed have revealed anything sinister and I think they would start from a position of reluctance to repeat it so soon, but it would all depend on what is in the endoscopy report. Barrett's Oesophagus is normally a long term thing that takes ages before developing into anything more sinister.

      Perhaps you might consider whether you might have become a bit anaemic or suffering from reduced vitamins or minerals that could account for being fatigued?

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    • Posted

      One development that might help is the new Rapid Diagnostic centres that cancer Alliances are introducing. They are designed for symptoms that might potentially be cancer, but where there are no specific issues that can be investigated by specific tests. Whether this is feasible or not would be an issue for your GP. It sounds like they have reviewed your situation in the past. perhaps it is time to do so again?

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