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Can you die from Barrett's esophagus disease

By Anonymous September 12, 2018 - 2:54am
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HERWriter Guide

Hello Anon

Thank you for writing!

For the benefit of our readers, Barrett’s esophagus develops when the lining of the esophagus changes to resemble the lining of the intestine. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

Barrett’s esophagus is a complication usually associated with long-term GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) with about 10-15 percent of chronic GERD sufferers developing Barrett’s esophagus.

Patients with Barrett’s esophagus are at increased risk for developing cancer of the esophagus, although even to these patients the risk is extremely rare. Esophageal cancer affects only 1 percent of people with Barrett’s.

So death from cancer is very low.

The primary goal of treatment is to prevent further damage to the esophagus, usually by treating and controlling the acid reflux. Your doctor may recommend changes to your diet including:

• Avoiding fatty foods, chocolate, spicy foods and peppermint
• Avoiding alcohol, caffeine and tobacco
• Avoiding wearing tight fitting clothes
• Avoiding stooping or bending
• Eating smaller, more frequent meals
• Losing weight
• Sleeping with your head elevated
• Not lying down within 3 hours of eating
• Drinking plenty of water when taking medications

Surgical procedures are also available including:

Photodynamic Therapy which uses a laser to kill abnormal cells in the lining of the esophagus.

Endoscopic mucosal resection (EMR) in which the abnormal lining is lifted and cut off the wall of the esophagus and the tissue removed through the endoscope, with the goal of removing precancerous or cancerous cells.

Surgery to remove most of the esophagus is also an option, but usually only reserved for severe precancerous or cancerous diagnoses.

If you have been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, it is important that you go to all of your appointments to ensure that no significant changes have occurred, make healthier lifestyle choices, and be aware and report any new symptoms. Your doctor can give you a list of symptoms to watch for that will require immediate follow-up.

I hope this helps-

September 12, 2018 - 4:24am
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