Barrett’s esophagus is a disease marked by a change in esophageal lining cells from squamous to glandular. Usually this alteration results from repeated exposure to stomach acid. And esophageal cell conversion is almost always limited to your lower esophagus area.
The major health concern in relation to having Barrett’s esophagus is it can lead to adenocarcinoma of the esophagus, a form of esophageal cancer. Although the risk of cancer from this esophageal disease is low, routine monitoring for precancerous cells will forever be necessary.
One of the major risks for Barrett’s esophagus is years of suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) because of its irritation to your esophagus lining via backed-up stomach acid. Thus, these potential ongoing GERD symptoms need to be addressed whenever they strike:
Medications to relieve symptoms and control gastroesophageal reflux include:
- pro motility agents
- H2 receptor blockers
- proton pump inhibitors
You may also be able to improve your GERD symptoms, thus reducing adenocarcinoma of esophagus opportunity, by:
- raising head of your bed
- maintaining a healthy weight
- never lie down just after eating
- eat smaller, more frequent meals
- no stooping, bending for long periods
- take medications with plenty of water
- don’t wear tight fitting clothes around your waist
- avoid certain foods ~ fatty, fried, spicy, acidic, alcohol, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion, caffeine
If precancerous cells caused by Barrett’s esophagus are discovered, they can be treated with surgical removal or photo dynamic therapy to prevent adenocarcinoma esophageal cancer.