Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that affects people with chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which the normal tissue lining the esophagus changes and look more like small intestine cells (intestinal metaplasia). Barrett’s esophagus is a precursor to esophageal cancer. About 10% of people with chronic symptoms of GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus. There are no specific symptoms related to Barrett’s esophagus – aside from the normal symptoms of GERD. The condition does increase the risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma – a serious and potentially fatal cancer of the esophagus.
Since there are often no specific symptoms associated with Barrett’s esophagus, an upper endoscopy and biopsies are required to diagnose the condition. People with chronic heartburn should be screened for the presence of Barrett’s esophagus.
The best way to treat Barrett’s esophagus is to control acid reflux, via lifestyle change and medication. Lifestyle change includes:
If you have already visited Dr. Ari Nowain, you can get in touch with him at the Center for GI Health through Patient Fusion website. Here you can ask questions and be in direct contact with Dr. Ari Nowain!