Barrett’s Esophagus

Below you will find more information about Barrett’s Esophagus from Medigest. If you believe that you are suffering from any of the symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus it is important that you obtain an accurate diagnosis from a medical professional to ensure that you obtain the correct medication or treatment for your condition. There are medical conditions that carry similar symptoms associated with Barrett’s Esophagus and therefore the information provided by Medigest is offered as a guideline only and should never be used in preference to seeking professional medical advice. The information relating to Barrett’s Esophagus comes from a third party source and Medigest will not be held liable for any inaccuracies relating to the information shown.

Definition

Barrett's Esophagus is a condition marked by the changes in color and composition of the cells lining the lower esophagus due to repeated stomach acid exposure often due to long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Diagnosis

Endoscopy involves inserting an endoscope with a camera on tip to search for precancerous cell changes when Barrett's esophagus is suspected. Tissue samples of abnormal areas are examined under the microscope to detect goblet-shaped cells that are not usually seen on the esophagus to confirm diagnosis. Repeat endoscopy one year after diagnosis to screen for cell changes that can indicate progression of the disease.

Treatment

Lifestyle modifications and taking self-care steps are the initial steps in treating Barrett's esophagus. Proton pump inhibiting medications to block production of acid and irritated tissue relief. H-2-receptor blockers are often prescribed because they are less expensive than PPI medications. Esophagectomy is the surgical removal of esophagus is proven effective treatment for Barrett's esophagus but with some significant health risks. Electrocautery and laser therapy is aimed at burning away Barrett's cells.

Symptoms and Signs

The normal pink color of the tissue lining the lower esophagus changes into salmon color. Difficulty in swallowing is often experienced due to narrowing of the esophagus. Bleeding is indicated through red-tinged vomit, blood that looks like ground coffee; black-colored or blood-tinged stool. An unexpected drop in weight can be expected.

Causes

While the exact cause is not known, but this condition is usually observed in individuals who have GERD.

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