Barrett’s Esophagus: What to Know
Your digestive system begins from the esophagus to the colon. It involves various organs and tissues that support digestion. Proper functioning of these digestive organs and tissues is critical to enhancing food absorption into your body. Like any other part of your body, it has its health issues too, which may interfere with your digestive function and health. The Barrett’s Esophagus Austin specialist and gastroenterologist Rajesh Mehta provides comprehensive care to address your gastrointestinal health issues. This article will elaborate more on Barrett’s Esophagus at Lone Star Gastroenterology.
What is Barrett’s esophagus?
It is a condition that causes acid reflux and damages the esophageal tissue. Acid reflux is when your stomach acid moves back into the esophagus, causing discomfort.
Barrett’s esophagus affects various tissues, causing pain, redness, and thickening. Without treatment, the disease may develop into cancer.
What are the symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus?
Barrett’s esophagus causes the following symptoms.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Acid reflux
- Chest pain
- Irritation of your esophagus
- Frequent heartburn
Barrett’s esophagus promotes your risk of getting esophageal cancer. However, the risk has a low chance. It is essential to have screenings for Barrett’s esophagus if you have GERD.
What increases your chance for Barrett’s esophagus?
Usually, there is no certain cause of Barrett’s esophagus. However, the following factors may increase your chance of developing the disease.
- Chronic heartburn
- Family history of GERD
- Having GERD
- Ongoing acid reflux
- Being male
- Aged 50 and above
- Being white
You can lower your risk for Barrett’s esophagus and GERD by instilling a healthy lifestyle, including avoiding smoking, taking nutritious diets, regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight.
Diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus?
When you visit Lone Star Gastroenterology, your provider evaluates your symptoms and health history, to see whether you have Barrett’s esophagus. The team also conducts a physical exam, assesses your vital signs, and performs an endoscopy.
The endoscopy procedure involves your provider inserting a narrow tube with a camera through your throat. It helps highlight any changes in your esophageal tissues. They may also take a biopsy to check the type of precancerous changes you may have.
Your provider analyses your results after an endoscopy to advise on the best way forward.
What are the treatments for Barrett’s esophagus?
Your provider recommends the following to improve and treat your Barrett’s esophagus and GERD issue.
- Lifestyle modifications
- Watchful waiting
- Radiofrequency ablation
You may also find relief by maintaining a healthy body weight and avoiding foods that cause heartburn, such as chocolate, coffee, mint, and alcohol. In addition, quitting smoking and raising your head bed, before sleeping might also improve the effects of GERD and Barrett’s esophagus.
Regular screening during your routine check-ups may help prevent and lower the chances of the disease. Barrett’s esophagus can cause discomfort affecting your daily routine. Ensure to seek treatment when you notice some changes to prevent severe effects, including esophageal cancer.
Immediate care is necessary when you experience bloody stools, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, or sudden weight loss. Contact Lone Star Gastroenterology today to schedule your consultation or book your appointment online.