Chronic Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a concerning health condition because it can cause more serious diseases just like the Barrett’s esophagus. If this happens, the esophagus’ tissues become changed into those that form the intestine lining. This increases the possibility of esophageal adenocarcinoma or fatal type of cancer that can develop in the esophagus. While not all GERD can eventually lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, as well as Barrett’s Esophagus may not turn into the fatal esophageal adenocarcinoma, it is highly recommended that people with recurring GERD should immediately seek the expert help and advice of a specialist – specifically gastroenterologist.
Risk factors of Barrett’s Esophagus are high with white males over 50, with hiatal hernia, overweight, and with long standing or recurring case of GERD. Stakes are also high with GERD sufferers back in their tender age as well as those who are or have history of smoking. To diagnose, the use of biopsy and upper endoscopy are necessary. The gastroenterologist may also require continued procedures even if no precancerous cells are found during biopsy procedures.
Complication of Barrett’s Esophagus
Continued neglect of GERD that led to Barrett’s Esophagus can eventually turn to cancer of esophagus or esophageal adenocarcinoma. At the first sign of this burning sensation or reflux, it is therefore imperative that the advice or help of a gastroenterologist is employed.
Prevention of Barrett’s Esophagus
As in any other health condition, prevention is always better than cure. Below are some of the most common prevention for Barrett’s Esophagus:
- Eat healthy. If you are one of the very many who loves caffeine, chocolates, fatty foods, peppermint, and spicy foods, then you need to change your eating habits. All these foods can aggravate acid reflux or heartburn. This is the beginning of GERD which when neglected will eventually lead to Barrett’s Esophagus.
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating. Allow at least more than three hours after a meal before you take a nap, sleep, or lie down. Immediately lying down after eating only increase the risk of acid reflux or GERD.
- Stop drinking or smoking. Alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco are all triggers of acid reflux or GERD so it is best to stop or do not indulge in any of these bad and even addicting habits.
- Lose some weight. Carrying more weight in the middle section of the body only increases the risk of getting GERD and eventually Barrett’s Esophagus.
- Sleep on pillows. Doing so elevates the head and thus helps in preventing acid reflux or flow of acid from stomach back to the esophagus.
- Drink lots of water. Water is the natural replenishing agent of the body so it is important that everyone drink enough or even more water if necessary to ensure that replenishment of fluids is done fast. More importantly, it flushes all toxins out of the body through urination and perspiration.
- To treat GERD, and prevent Barrett’s Esophagus, proton pump inhibitors, antacids, H2 blockers, and pro-motility agents may be advised by your doctor.