He is one of the best gastroenterology doctors I have ever visited. Took my uncle for stomach pain, the doctor did endoscopy & colonoscopy, diagnosed the problem as large intestine cancer, the doctor asked a...
The doctor is extremely professional and polite. He explains the problem patiently and does not prescribe unnecessary medication. He gives priority to the patient's well-being over everything. I Will definitely recommend him
I have referred/recommended a couple of my relatives and friends to this Dr (Dr. Srujan Kumar Dasyam). I say that the diagnosis and treatment are good and also Dr listens patiently in understanding the patient's...
Apoorva Reddy Panyala
Table Of Contents
- What is Barrett’s Esophagus?
- What Causes Barrett’s Esophagus?
- What are the Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus?
- How is Barrett’s Esophagus Diagnosed?
- What are the Complications of Barrett’s Esophagus?
- What is the Treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus?
What is Barrett’s Esophagus?
The esophagus is a tube or passage through which food goes down to our stomach. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition in which there is an abnormal change in the cellular lining of the lower part of the esophagus, which resembles that of the small intestine. It is often associated with Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as it causes severe damage to the esophageal lining.
What Causes Barrett’s Esophagus?
There can be many reasons that can damage the esophageal lining, but the most common cause remains GERD. The lower esophageal sphincter protects the food reflux from the stomach. But, in some cases, this sphincter does not function properly, resulting in reflux of food to the esophagus. This is also called acid reflux, as the stomach secretes acids to digest food. This results in irritation of the esophageal lining, causing it to thicken and turn red, further triggering changes at the cellular level.
What are the Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus in itself is a symptomless condition. However, there are symptoms of the illnesses it’s linked to, the most important being heartburn and acid regurgitation. It is not always essential for this condition to be associated with GERD, so there can be other symptoms too;
- Difficulty in swallowing
- A feeling of food getting stuck in the esophagus
- Sore throat
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Unpleasant taste
- Blood in stool
- Weight loss
How is Barrett’s Esophagus Diagnosed?
Endoscopy is the only way to diagnose this condition. During endoscopy, a small lighted tube with a camera is inserted into the mouth to locate and observe any changes, if present, in the GI tract.
To arrive at a final diagnosis, a biopsy needs to be done. The biopsy is also essential to figure out if precancerous cells are present or not.
What are the Complications of Barrett’s Esophagus?
People with this condition have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. The trouble is minor but cannot be ignored.
What is the Treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus?
Medications and changes in lifestyle form the basis of the treatment, that is, to slow down or prevent further damage to the esophagus.
Lifestyle changes include:
- Avoiding caffeine, tobacco or alcohol.
- Sleeping with head raised above the level of the body. This can be done by elevating the level of the head side of the bed.
- Avoiding fatty and spicy food.
- Drinking plenty of water
- Eating food at least 3 hours before sleeping
- Antacids to neutralize acids secreted by the stomach
- Proton pump inhibitors to reduce the number of acids secreted by the stomach
- Promotility agents to fasten the movement of food to the small intestine and reduce the time in the stomach.
If there is still no relief, surgery is prescribed to eliminate the abnormal tissue.