About Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s esophagus is a serious complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that is caused by the repeated exposure of stomach acid to the esophagus. It is most often diagnosed in people with long-term GERD. Barret’s esophagus can cause the cells lining the esophagus to mutate and resemble the cells lining the intestines. These changes can progress to a precancerous condition that, when left untreated, can become cancerous.
Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s esophagus itself doesn’t cause symptoms.
Treatment of Barrett’s Esophagus
It’s important than you seek treatment for Barret’s esophagus from a specially-trained gastroenterologist. Treatments can include medical monitoring, over-the-counter and prescription heartburn medication, and in some cases, endoscopic ablation or surgery. Changes to your diet, such as eliminating fatty foods, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods, will help limit symptoms.
Did You Know?
- Barrett’s esophagus affects more than 3 million people in the United States.
- It most commonly occurs in those aged 40 to 60 years old.
- The condition is named after British thoracic surgeon Norman Barrett, who described it in 1950.