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The Scoop on Barrets Esophagus and Difficulty Swallowing Possibilities
through the eyes of a friendly Nurse

What is Barretts esophagus? Barrets esophagus is a term that describes the area of the esophagus (swallowing tube) just above the stomach that becomes damaged by acid reflux from stomach acid regurgitating/flowing back and damaging the esophageal membrane (lining of the esophagus), in the lower throat way down where it connects with the stomach.

Some people search about Barrett esophagus or Barretts disease and spell Barretts esophagus as Barrets with one ‘t’, or Baretts with one ‘r’ but the correct spelling and pronunciation is B-a-r-r-e-t-t-s esophagus. The British Enlish spelling is spelled with an 'o' in front oesophagus, and is also called the 'gullet'. Esophagus is spelled with an 'a' after the 'ph' instead of an 'o' like esophogus.

Barretts esophagus is the condition of the change in the cells of the esophagus, caused by chronic acid reflux disease.

It occurs through complications of GERD with damage done to the delicate tissue in the swallowing tube from long periods of chronic acid reflux (stomach acid backing up into the esophagus from the stomach). The normal cells or tissue, change to a rougher state more like the cells of the intestinal tract.

This condition may have symptoms like GERD Symptoms, burning in the stomach or difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). Trouble swallowing can be very scarry as if something got stuck in your throat with a choking feeling. A test/procedure of the esophagus is ESM (esophageal motility study) or Esophageal Manometry that can test to see if your swallowing is effective.

Barrets esophagus is classified as one of the digestive tract diseases or digestive system diseases from the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease. If the cells change they are sometimes described using the medical term (high grade dysplasia).

That means the cell structure of the lower lining of the esophagus has changed causing esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) and may develop esophageal adenocarcinoma. Esophogitis is spelled esophagitis, and preceeds cancer due to acid reflux. Chances are slim but Barretts esophagus and cancer are becoming more common due to lifestyle, stress and inadequate nutrition.

An esophagus ulcer or esophageal cancer may possibly come about from the inflamed esophagus or esophagitis. Diagnosis is made by lab results, endoscopy, upper G.I. and barium swallow, radio stonography and ultasound as well as lab test.

Some people may have an esophageal stricture which is narrowing of the esophagus (swallowing tube) and have difficulty swallowing. (dysphagia). Pain when swallowing is referred to as (odynophagia).

There are temporary treatments by a Dr. that include dilating the esophagus with the patient under light anesthesia. Usually they put an amnesiac (no memory drug) in the I.V. so you don't remember any part of the procedure. 

Water or other kinds of liquid drink can help the food move down the throat to the stomach for temporary relief. Water and acid reflux are a quick fix and quite effective.

A diagnosis can be made by your Doctor performing a procedure called an endoscopy where they look down your throat and esophagus with a skinny long tube with a camera and light at the end of it so they can see what's going on down there. The Doctor can also take a little bit of tissue (biopsy) and have it checked by a Pathologist (Doctor who studies disease) to see if the tissue is normal or changing into a high grade dysplasia, or changed to cancer of the esophagus.

The esophageal endoscopy procedure does not hurt because the patient is relaxed from medication put into the I.V. To help you understand the term endoscopy click here.

An endoscopic ultrasound may also be done to help with diagnosis. The Dr. uses an endoscope combined with an ultrasound instrument that bounces sound waves off the lining of the  esophagus and the sound waves basically draw a picture on a graph for the Dr. to 'read'. He can understand by 'reading' the picture if the cells and tissue are normal so he can make a diagnosis.

There are different medical treatments for Barrets Esophagus discomfort ranging from acid reflux prescription medications to esophageal cancer surgery depending on the severity of the condition.

Another very promising treatment procedure for Barretts esophagus is Radio Frequency Ablation.

The Good News: individuals have found there is a natural remedy for acid reflux which can also be a home remedy for acid reflux and not just one, but several. These remedies are good for Barrets Esophagus, GERD and Acid Reflux, since combined they are all different stages of the dis-ease.

They have everything to do with what we eat and drink, just like the quality of fuel you put in your car or truck.

The stomach needs enzymes to digest and break down food to maintain a healthy acidity. A burning stomach can be asking for some live alkaline foods with water to help relieve it.

The enzymes come from different alkaline foods that are full of live enzymes, minerals and vitamins that heal the body. There are other certain acidic foods that trigger acid reflux and by avoiding those foods and eating the healthier foods the amazing body starts to heal itself.

That doesn’t mean you can’t eat some of your favorite ‘bad’ foods once in a while, but as you are on the way to healing yourself it may be better to just eat the ‘good’ foods.

It probably took you years to develop Barrets (Barretts) esophagus and it will take a while to get better. Foods to combat acid reflux and Barrets esophagus are mostly an alkaline diet that are plentiful in live digestive enzymes and very high in nutrition.

A list of alkaline foods for a acid alkaline diet for Barrett esophagus  will help you start feeling much better. You might be surprised how fast you'll feel better.


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