endoscopy but im terrified

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi everyone ive had acid reflux for about 5/6 years now and have been take omeprazole for this time and  my GP has refered me for a endoscopy 3 times and i have cancelled all 3 times as im to scared to go, i have really bad anxiety and have trouble going in hospitals as it is let alone going to one for a endoscopy.

I really do need to have this done as there could be something really wrong with me, what could happen if i dont have one done? 

Also i think i would be okay if i was completly asleep but my gp said this is not a option i can only be sedated but ive read some horrible reviews on this where people are still awake and felt and remember everything 

Whats should i do ? please any advise would be greatly appreciated 

0 likes, 15 replies

Report / Delete

15 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi danny,

    There are plenty of people on this site who've had very good experiences, and I know they'll all come in and reassure you. I'm not going to attempt that as I'm one of the tiny minority (1 in 1,000 maybe) who had a negative experience, albeit in unusual circumstances which won't apply in your case.

    I can, however, offer a different perspective on this. You asked in your post: "What could happen if I don't have one done?"

    The answer to that one depends on whether you can learn to manage the condition yourself. I first started developing symptoms of acid reflux 40 years ago, in my mid-30s: attacks of severe pain behind the sternum and in the middle of my back, especially during the night, with episodes of acid coming up into my mouth. As a former nurse, I recognised the symptoms and decided to go after the causes.

    I started sleeping with the head of my mattress raised. I do this by slipping a rolled-up thick blanket under the mattress. Some people raise the head of the bed itself. It's better to do this rather than add extra pillows, as these cause you to bend in the middle, putting even more pressure on the stomach.

    I kept a food diary, to identify the foods that triggered my symptoms. Bread turned out to be the main culprit. (It's only recently that my GP has told me that bread is a highly acidic food. Not a lot of people know that - I certainly didn't!) I learned over the months which foods or combinations of foods I could safely eat or drink, and at what times of day. Obviously, the few hours before bedtime are when you need to take most care.

    I also learned that wearing my trousers too tight caused problems, ditto constipation. This makes sense, as both would be likely to force intestinal gas up through the stomach, bringing acid with it.

    I lost a little weight. I was slightly overweight though not obese. However, the more obese you are, the higher the risks of acid reflux. I was also a non-smoker. Smoking is another major cause. If you're serious about self-help you'll need to address these issues too if they apply to you. 

    40 years down the line, I'm still controlling my symptoms with these simple measures, and without seriously restricting my diet. I don't take omeprazole either, though I do take a single tablet of domperidone (Motilium) on the rare occasions when I wake with pain in the night. (Not to be confused with Imodium btw!) Domperidone increases gastric motility, and encourages the stomach to empty downwards rather than upwards. I have to add here that my long-suffering GP says this shouldn't work, but he obligingly prescribes 30 tablets per year anyway, which is more than I need.

    The gastroscopy was performed much later, and for entirely different reasons.

    I want to make it quite clear that I'm not advising you not to have a gastroscopy. I'm just saying that it is often possible to control acid reflux by means other than medication if you're prepared to put in the work. However, there's no actual cure - whether you're using self-help or medication - only management. This discipline has to be kept up for life, though it becomes second nature after the first few months.

    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Hi lilly thank you for this but if i could manage it myself then why are they telling me i must get it done.

      And yes im a smoker i drink alot of fizzy drink and im over weight so this probably dont help

      but the main thing that also scares me is what if i dont get it done and it causes me life threatening illnesses in the future that could have just been discovered if i had a endoscopy 

      its so annoying why i cant just do it like a normal person sad

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      Danny, every doctor always tells every patient that they must have the maximum number of investigations! Doctors have been telling me for the past 40 years that I must have it done or I'll die. Doctors don't like patients managing their own symptoms. They're afraid that if the patient's self-management goes wrong they'll sue their doctor for not having insisted on investigations. That's the way it works.

      However, in your case, given that you're a smoker and you're also addicted to fizzy drinks, I agree with the doctors. You really do need to get this investigation done and get onto the right medication, as I don't think you'll be able to make the lifestyle changes necessary to manage it yourself. It has to be one or the other - you can't just do nothing about it and hope it will go away.

      You've already been told you'll have sedation. The vast majority of those who have sedation come out of it with no memory whatever of the procedure. Among the under-65s (and I'm assuming that's you) the figure is just about 100%, because they can be given a higher dose of sedation. Look at what ffloyd has written.

      Get this thing over with so you can get on with your life.

       

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      HI Lilly thanks again yes im only 23, and well i was talking to my dad the other day who suggested, to cut all fizzy drinks and smoking and get down the gym and see what happens but then evan still

      i will be worried about anything in future i mean its been 5/6 years now and nothing has changed since i still get really bad acid reflux if i dont take my tablets, but what are they doing the test for they must think spmething is causing it right?

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      They're doing the test for the reasons I gave in my earlier post. Doctors always order tests. It's what they're there for. It doesn't automatically mean they think there is something seriously wrong. If you go to a doctor complaining of a symptom you have to expect that you'll be sent for tests.

      It sounds as if your Dad is right, but it's going to be easier said than done to cut out both smoking and fizzy drinks at the same time. And as you say, even if you manage this and your symptoms disappear, this still isn't going to reassure you.

      You really need to get this test done. Try and talk to your doctors first. They'll sometimes give a bit of extra sedation in cases where people are very nervous.

      Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      yeah i think im going to book a appointment with my GP so i can ask all the questions i want to ask and have a propper talk with him so can get all my questions & worries answered 

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Danny I just had one done a month ago went in put me to sleep done in 20 mins work up dont remember a thing and went home in an hour after recovery. I am telling you it is nothing when they put you to sleep so if i were in your shoes I would look for a Doctor that would put you to sleep and do it. Good Luck
    Report / Delete Reply
    • Posted

      That's technically true everywhere in the world, Danny. No one actually goes to sleep under procedural sedation, it's a bit more complicated than that.

      The drugs they give you have two effects. One is to make you relaxed and sleepy so you don't care about anything. The other, more importantly, is to wipe out all memory of the procedure once you come out of it. That's why people always think they've been asleep. It amounts to the same thing, doesn't it?

      Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    They sedated me. Woke up fine. Don't remember a thing

    Report / Delete Reply
  • Posted

    Hey Danny. I also have suffered acid reflux for about 6 years now. I also have severe anxiety of doctors. Even going in for basic physical I have panic attacks. I went in for my first EGD today. I was super nervous like I expected. Almost cancelled it but my girlfriend convinced me to just do it. It was super easy. I couldn't believe how fast I was in and out of there. I was there a total of about and hour and most of that time was spent waiting for the doctor, and then being sedated. I was scared to get sedated since I never have before. I was sedated and barely remember any of the procedure. Apparently it took 7 minutes. I asked after I done. I feel way better having it done and hope you can talk yourself into doing it cause my anxiety is way less now that it's over with. It's super easy and quick and painless. Hope this helps 

    Report / Delete Reply

Join this discussion or start a new one?

New discussion Reply

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the forums to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the forums are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the forums is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.

newnav-down newnav-up