View Full Version : Effects of Lupus on Throat/Esophagus

02-02-2010, 11:58 AM
So I've been studying on this more and found this...


SLE can involve many other systems in the body, with the gastrointestinal tract being a common site for problems.

One part of the gastrointestinal tract that SLE frequently affects is the esophagus, usually leading to difficulty in swallowing. This symptom occurs because inflammation and weakness of the esophageal muscle leads to poor contraction. Thus, food does not easily pass down the esophagus into the stomach, producing the sensation of food being stuck in the esophagus. SLE can also lead to heartburn and regurgitation, as well as ulcerations of the esophageal lining. These symptoms are treated as they would be in any person who suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

In any chronic inflammation and ulceration of the esophagus, whether associated with SLE or typical GERD, there is a potential for the healing process to result in Barrett's esophagus. In Barrett's esophagus, the cells that normally line the esophagus are replaced by cells that resemble those that line the intestine. Over time, cancer can arise in this unusual tissue. Thus, a diagnosis of Barrett's must be followed by periodic biopsies to check for any changes that may signal early cancer.

Whether treatment of Barrett's can actually reduce the risk of cancer is a matter of debate. There have been conflicting reports from studies regarding whether medications or surgery for GERD can help to reverse Barrett's. At this time, the best advice for someone with SLE-related esophageal inflammation is to have close follow-up with a gastroenterologist to determine further therapeutic options.


What I bolded above is what concerns me. Anyone have more insight about this? It would seem that if someone were suffering with this problem long enough, that maybe they should be screened for these cells like...what?...maybe every six months to a year? I don't know how concerned I should be about it. I've had the dyshpagia for about 4 yrs now. The GI doc I saw last year that did the EGD and said he took a biopsy isn't what I would call a good and thorough doctor.

Crap! I detest this nasty, vile, evil disease!

02-02-2010, 01:48 PM
Leslie thanks so much for posting this link. I have this problem. I need to go back and have a endoscopy but putting it off. This is very helpful.

02-02-2010, 04:25 PM
That is very good information and I am so glad that you posted it. I have no more in-depth information to add to what you posted:no:. I am just glad that you provided for us to learn from.

Peace and Blessings

02-02-2010, 05:25 PM
thanks for this information i suffer from this a lot and had to see therapist who put me on soft food diet because i was choking am having troubles at the moment and am having to be careful thanks again kim l

02-02-2010, 06:09 PM
I thought small intestines and colon is most effected, good post though!

02-03-2010, 03:10 AM
I have a very narrow esophagus and have alot of trouble swallowing food. I also have GERD, and sometimes, if I eat something like bread and then follow with a drink of soda, it will trigger a spasming of the esophagus and I have to just stop everything and let it calm down...it takes several seconds for the spasming to stop before I can continue eating. I always thought this was just something with me (& my mother, she has it too). Interesting how many different things lupus can affect. Thanks for posting this interesting article. I will watch for any sort of further problems, and mention this to my doc.

02-04-2010, 03:17 PM
I'm so sorry we all have this in common. The short term medrol injection the rheumy gave me last month gave me the first relief I've had from that problem. I wasn't expecting relief from that so it really surprised me. For three days I could swallow like I used to. I can't wait to talk to the rheumy about it tomorrow, among other things! And more about this new concern. I haven't found anything else about this subject in particular. I'm guessing that the GERD could make a person more at risk for Barrett's?

02-06-2010, 12:12 PM
I talked to my rheumy about this yesterday. She said that it is mostly the healing from GERD that creates the possibility of Barrett's and if you have problems with esophageal motility, it is a good idea to be regularly screened by a good GI. Also to make sure the acid is being treated to prevent any complications.

However, she thinks with my problem, and with RNP antibodies found, we may be dealing with scleroderma.

02-07-2010, 03:57 PM
I have had barrots esophagus for years before i was diagnosised with lupus and myositis. I have been a regular patient of a gastroentologist with many endoscopys done. That is why all of these meds we are put on affect us in so many ways. I know i have a chance of getting cancer from this but i cannot change it. Bonita

02-12-2010, 12:36 PM
Awesome post abba!! Very interesting and informative!!

02-13-2010, 11:23 AM
(((((Hugs))))) Bonita. I didn't know you have Barrett's.