What is Barrett's oesophagus and what are its symptoms?
For those with this condition, the normal cells in the lower part of their oesophagus (tube connecting mouth to the stomach) are replaced with a different type of cells.
This condition is usually the result of acid reflux, which is when acid from the stomach enters the oesophagus. It’s important to note, however, that not all those who suffer from acid reflux develop Barrett's oesophagus. If left untreated, this condition can turn into pre-cancer or cancer of the oesophagus.
For those with this conditions, symptoms are only those that are the result of acid reflux. These include:
- Burning sensation or acid taste in the throat
- Vomiting after meals
- Difficult swallowing
What are the tests and treatments for this condition?
In terms of confirming your diagnosis, your doctor will resort to an upper endoscopy to check for Barrett’s Oesophagus.
How do you keep Barrett’s oesophagus from progressing?
This condition’s progress can be slowed down by controlling acid reflux. Using antacids and proton pump blockers, the acidity of the stomach can be reduced, preventing Barrett’s oesophagus from worsening.
If you experience this condition, following up with your doctor is extremely important. He or she will continue working with you to ensure that this does not turn into pre-cancer or cancer.
What are the foods to avoid when you have Barrett’s oesophagus?
Should I worry if I have Barrett’s oesophagus?
Barrett’s oesophagus is a serious medical condition that can increase the risk of oesophageal cancer. Patients with this condition should seek help from a gastrointestinal specialist for treatment.
How long can you live with Barrett’s oesophagus?
People with this condition may go on to live just as long as a person without it, given that it is treated early before it progresses to a more severe condition.
How is Barrett’s oesophagus without dysplasia treated?
There are two ways this can be treated:
Periodic endoscopies to monitor the oesophageal cells. This test will need to be performed yearly or as often as a doctor recommends.
Typical GORD treatments, such as antacids, diet changes and exercises to keep acid reflux under control.
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