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Barrett’s Esophagus

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Barrett’s Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that affects the  esophagus .The normal cells in the lower part of the esophagus are replaced by different type of cell, which are  similar to cells found in the small intestine and are called “specialized intestinal metaplasia.”

Barrett’s esophagus is usually caused by Acid reflux. If you have  acid reflux for a long time it is important to know if you also have Barrett’s esophagus because Barrett’s esophagus can later turn into pre cancer or cancer of the esophagus.

Symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus:

Barrett’s esophagus does not cause any symptoms , but people usually have symptoms from their acid reflux such as burning in the chest, burning in the throat or acid  taste in the throat , vomiting after eating and trouble swallowing.

Test for Barrett’s esophagus:

An upper endoscopy is the test done to check for Barrett’s esophagus. Your doctor might consider an upper Endoscopy if you had acid reflux for more than 5 years. During the procedure he will examine the walls of the esophagus and might take a small sample of it and send it to the laboratory for further evaluation and to help confirmation of the diagnosis. Normally the lining should appear pale and glossy; in a person with Barrett’s esophagus the lining appears pink or red or velvety.

Treatment:

Barrett’s esophagus is treated by reducing or getting rid of person’s acid reflux . Traetment does not cure Barrett’s esophagus , but it keeps it from getting worse. You might  be prescribed medications to stop your stomach from making acid. Some recommendations include:

  • Avoiding caffeine drinks, alcohol, chocolate , peppermint and fatty foods which can make acid reflux worse .
  • Avoid eating before going to bed , eating large meals or lying down after eating
  • Raise the head of bed by 6-8 inches by putting wood blocks under the 2 legs of the bed to prevent back flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus during sleep.

If you are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, your doctor will recommend that you have periodic upper endoscopy for monitoring for precancerous changes.

 

Do you need treatment for Barrett’s esophagus? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!


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