WHAT IS BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS?
Barrett’s esophagus is a permanent change in the lining of the esophagus which is usually caused by chronic reflux which can lead to esophageal cancer. There are regular flows back of contents from the stomach and small intestine into the esophagus and it leads to irritation. This frequent irritation changes the lining pattern in the esophagus which then makes it similar to the stomach and the intestine.
BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS SYMPTOMS
There are no major signs or symptoms for Barrett’s esophagus. This is as a result of the similarity between Barrett’s esophagus and Gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most times, symptoms of GERD are present in Barrett’s esophagus. This symptoms include:
Regurgitation: This is the process of bring back foods or solid liquid back to the mouth again.
Heartburn: This is a burning sensation that runs from the throat down to the center of the chest. It creates a form of burning which generates serious heat.
Trouble swallowing (Dysphagia): In ability to swallow food or liquid substance. Please if you have issues swallowing please seek medical attention.
BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS RISK FACTORS
There are many factors which can make you to be easily prone to v. base on this factors, your medical history and family background has a ;long way to play in this. Your doctor can be able to decide maybe you risk from suffering from Barrett’s esophagus through:
Age: 55 years is the average age of diagnosis. It is more common among middle-aged and aged people.
Gender: Barrett’s esophagus is more common among men which mean they have the likely chances of developing it.
Smoking: One of the damages smoking does is to expose smokers to likely development of v.
Ethnic background: Research h has shown it the white populations are at the highest risk of suffering from Barrett’s esophagus while the black and Asian people are at the lower side of suffering from it.
Chronic heartburn: People who suffer from heart burn for like five years and above are more likely to develop Barrett’s esophagus.
BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS DIAGNOSIS
One of the major ways of detecting Barrett’s esophagus is through the doctor reviewing the patient medical history and family background. To confirm the diagnosis, a test is carried out which is called an Upper Endoscopy or EGD.
Endoscopy test allow a physician to see the deep inside of a stomach and esophagus through the help of a small lightened tube.
Sometimes, the diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus is challenging due to the difference in patients symptoms.
BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS TREATMENT
The major way of treating Barrett’s esophagus is by eliminating acid reflux. The treatment does not depend on your overall health. There are some foods which can worsen reflux. They include:
Tomato based foods
Also, there are some personal behaviors that can increase acid-reflux. They include:
Going to bed immediately after food
Lying down immediately after eating
Eating too much of food
The following are lifestyle and home remedies to reduce acid-reflux. They include:
Quit smoking – smokers are liable to die young
Maintain a healthy weight
Raise the head of your bed
The mainstay of monitoring the progression of Barrett’s esophagus into esophageal cancer is by surveillance. After diagnosis with Barrett’s esophagus, you should have an Upper Endoscopy at least every 3 years. There are subtle changes called dysplasia that indicate Barrett’s esophagus is going through a change towards esophageal cancer.
Your doctor might be in the best position to prescribe medications that helps in reducing the amount of acid in your stomach. This is because most of these drugs are not sold over the counter.
BARRETT’S ESOPHAGUS COMPLICATIONS
Those with Barrett’s esophagus are at the risk of developing esophageal cancer. The risk is very small, about 1 in 100 people with Barrett’s esophagus will develop esophageal cancer. Majority of the patients with Barrett’s esophagus will not develop esophageal cancer, but compared to those without Barrett’s esophagus, the risk is much higher.