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Thread: Effects of Lupus on Throat/Esophagus

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    Default Effects of Lupus on Throat/Esophagus

    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!

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