Barrett’s esophagus is a medical condition where the cells of your lower esophagus become more like those of your intestine. People with the condition are at a higher risk of oesophageal cancer.
Causes of Barrett’s esophagus
The exact cause of Barrett’s oesopagus is not known however Acid Reflux caused by poor lifestyle factors or by an infection in the stomach of a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori can set up the symptom as can certain drugs like the joint use of Tramadol and Cocodamol.
GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. The long term flow of acid up into the lower parts of the esophagus is seen as the primary reason for the condition.
The condition is more common in:
- People who smoke
- People who regularly consume alcohol
- People who are overweight
- People with an hereditary factor
- Caucasian males over 50
- High intake Coffee drinkers
- People who eat spicy foods
- People who eat high saturated fat diets
Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus
Initial changes do not cause symptoms.
More developed cases are linked to:
- Frequent reflux
- Frequent heartburn
- Trouble swallowing
- A Hoarse voice, or a change in pitch
- Mucus in throat
Diagnosis of Barrett’s Oesophagus
This is usually done via an endoscopy – using a tube with a camera down your food pipe. Changes in colour and texture of cells can be easily seen.
If you are found to have this condition you will be given regular check ups, advised on diet and may be give a proton pump inhibitor – a PPI – such as omeprazole.
If you do have precancerous cells (dysplasia), your doctor may recommend treatment using ablation, cryoablation, photodynamic therapy or surgery.
Barrett’s Oesophageal Cancer symptoms
- Pain in the chest
- Difficulty swallowing
- Vomit, sometimes containing blood
- Stools, black and/or containing blood
- Hoarse voice
- Feeling tired
- Persistent, small, niggly cough
- Coughing up mucus
If you have any of these symptoms you should contact your doctor immediately.
Managing Barrett’s Oesophagus Naturally
Natural Treatment options start with avoiding acid reflux:
- Stop smoking
- Stop drinking alcohol
- Raise the head of your bed 6 inches
- Do not go to bed within two hours of eating
- Do not be overweight
- Cut down on coffee
- Avoid citrus fruit and tomatoes
- Avoid saturated fats
- Avoid fried food
- Eat more oats, more fruits and vegetables, fish and lean meats especially in the evening meal
- Drink lemon or lime in water
- Take 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider vinegar per day