I finished the GI testing required for the lung transplant evaluation and all in all, everything is pretty good. The testing wasn't pleasant and there were some issues but this is what I found out:
The Hydrogen Breath test showed I have Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO) and I am now on an antibiotic for it. It should bring down bloating and reduce gas. Apparently this is common with autoimmune diseases.
The 24 Hour PH Test With Manometry was VERY unpleasant. It showed I have considerable reflux even though I am asymptomatic. Due to medication to control it, my reflux is not acidic but I need to try to elevate the head of my bed and not eat a couple of hours before bedtime to prevent aspiration into my lungs and further lung damage.
At first the doctor thought I had Barrett's esophagus from the endoscopy but the biopsy was negative. I have some inflammation but it is not bad. I do have poor motility but there was no suggestion to treat it. I do not have Celiac disease.
For the first time I wasn't all the way cleaned out for the colonoscopy. Even after trying to flush me the doctor had problems seeing things and extracted hardened pieces of vegetable. This is strange because I hadn't eaten vegetables for several days. Apparently my body doesn't digest them well and the slow motility kept food in my colon even after two days of prepping. I bled when a biopsy was taken so I have a clip in that will eliminate itself in a couple of weeks and I can't have an MRI without an x ray to see if it is still there. I don't have colitis but am waiting for a more detailed report on a biopsy for microscopic colitis. I will have to repeat the colonoscopy in two years due to the anti rejection medications I am taking and that I have had polyps in previous colonoscopies but none were seen in this one, perhaps because I wasn't all the way cleaned out.
Other than my esophagus I am doing pretty well. Since this gastroenterologist is knowledgeable about scleroderma I asked how she would rate the damage to my GI tract and she said I am doing very well and to think positively. She said "there are a lot of worse diseases than scleroderma and a lot of people would wish they had scleroderma instead of what they have."
I guess that is true but tell that to all of us, right? Now I'll have to see if the lung transplant center will still consider me as a candidate with the damage to my esophagus.