Mombu 2009-05-12 10:43:44
I have Barrett’s and I am 27 years old. My heartburn seems to be
under control thanks to PPIs, but I do get the bad night time heart
burn every couple of days or so. I used to be an avid weightlifter and
then stopped once I was diagnosed with barrett’s 6 months ago.
I want to get back into some kind of exercise routine, but I have NO
IDEA where to start or even what to do now that it seems any type of
pressure on my abdomen may induce acid and propel my Barrett’s. At
what point do you rule out a certain exercise? Can I do pullups? I
guess I can’t do situps…so what the heck do you do for abdominals?
I’ve talked to one personal trainer, but I felt he didn’t have a good
grasp on my situation.
Does anyone have any experience with this and/or may know of any
websites that have more information? Thanks.
Vanny 2009-05-12 10:43:50
Well, I am only a GERD patient, but I did do a modicum of weight training
prior to diagnosis – I stopped due to other health issues. I suggest, if you
can afford it, that you consult a sports doctor for the weight training
issue. Ask first if the doc has experience with weight lifters.
For the abdos I have always read that even tiny movements, that do not put a
great deal of pressure on the abdos, suffice to build the muscles up, so you
don’t have to do bench pullups or curls or whatever to keep those muscles
There are plenty of sports that don’t put as much pressure on the abdomen,
such as swimming, jogging/running and cycling. Sports that involve a lot of
swinging and turning around, such as tennis and squash might exacerbate your
GERD, but I think it would also depend on the individual. Try it and see.
For nighttime reflux, discuss taking half of your PPI dose an hour prior to
breakfast and the other half an hour prior to your evening meal with your
doctor and make sure that you have implemented all of the GERD lifestyle
changes – that is the only way to manage the disease successfully.
We had a patient here who reported a ‘curing’ of his Barretts because his
doctor excised all the tissue in a series of endoscopies. She reported this
at some gastrointestinal conference so your doctor should be able to find
this referenced in the literature. The patient was obviously very pleased
about this. The risk of cancer ranges from 0.5 to 3% of Barretts’ cases
depending which article you read.
Chris baxter 2009-05-12 10:43:54
I’ve heard of people exercising their abs while sitting in a chair with feet
flat on the floor and raising the feet off the floor with the knees bent.
Don’t know if that would cause you to reflux. I can’t feel my reflux
because it is non-acid so I can’t test it to see if it would work or not. I
do think going to a sports medicine specialist would be a great idea if you
can afford it, but only one who actually deals with weight lifters and I’d
ask if any of them have reflux.
I also try very hard to never hold my breath at all while lifting. I
actually try to breathe out or blow out my breath during the forceful part
of the lift to try to prevent abdominal pressures from building up during
the lifting phase. -Chris
Mombu 2009-05-12 10:44:00
Thanks for the information. So I need to look for a “sports doctor”.
Is that what they are called? And, will it be difficult finding
someone who knows about barrett’s? Where would I start looking for
more information? Is there a directory online?
Vanny 2009-05-12 10:44:03
Ring your local athletics/sports/football association, perhaps they will be
able to help you. http://www.sportsdoctor.com/articles/doctor.html
I am in Germany so I suspect that it will be a bit of a trek to my sports
doctor for you.
In the meantime read up on GERD and lifestyle changes required in addition
to the medication to manage the disease successfully
Chris baxter 2009-05-12 10:44:06
There are companies that specialize in doing the light treatments for
Barretts. Maybe if you do a search using barrett’s esophagus treatment as
the search words you will find them. They might have a list of doctors in
your area who offer the treatment.
As far as the sports medicine doctors, if they have patients that lift
weights and also have reflux, they might be able to help design a program
for you or tell you if you just can’t tolerate lifting at all. A physical
therapist might also be able to help you also if they are familiar with both
weight lifting and reflux.
I have my suspicions that weight lifting can contribute to reflux or make it
worse. I’ve kept my weights at a steady amount for years without increasing
the weight I lift because I didn’t want to make things worse for myself but
I wanted to maintain my fitness level and health. -Chris
Howard mccolli 2009-05-12 15:44:13
Hard for me to imagine a Sports Medicine physician that has the vaguest clue
about reflux. Likewise, those concepts are far outside the training and
knowledge base of a physicial therapist. I’d start with an occupational