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What is Barrett’s Esophagus?

By on June 8, 2012 in Diseases, Health, Prevention with 0 Comments


What is Barrett’s esophagus?

The esophagus is a tube that goes from the throat to the stomach. When swallowing, food moves through this channel into the stomach. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called GERD, for short) is a health problem that occurs when stomach acid up the esophagus. If this occurs during a prolonged period, the acid may generate changes in the lining of the esophagus. This condition is called Barrett’s esophagus. In some cases, it may cause cancer.

What are the symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus and when should I consult my doctor?

You should ask your doctor about Barrett’s esophagus if you have heartburn 3 or more times per week, or if you have had heartburn for many years. You should also consult your doctor if you have trouble swallowing, painful swallowing, unexplained weight loss, blood in vomit or stool, or stools that look like black tar.

Who can have Barrett’s esophagus?

People who have had GERD for a long time have a higher risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus. This problem is much more common in Hispanic men and whites. Smokers and people who are obese are also at higher risk. Barrett’s esophagus is more common in people over 50 years. For most people with Barrett’s esophagus diagnosed after age 60.

How is Barrett’s esophagus treated?

Barrett’s esophagus is usually with drugs called inhibitors, proton pump. These medications reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. In some cases, surgery is used to prevent stomach acid into the esophagus. Your doctor may recommend that you make some changes in lifestyle, like quitting smoking if you smoke, exercise, lose weight and avoid foods that aggravate heartburn.

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