Barrett’s Esophagus Causes and Symptoms
Many individuals are confused that whether there is any relationship between acid reflux and Barrett’s esophagus! The answer to them is resounding yes, according to some medical studies.
GERD, also called as gastro esophageal reflux disease is a condition when the valve created by muscles and the esophagus is not able to close properly. This results to content of stomach lacking back and finally acid reflux.
Barrett’s Esophagus is a health consequence which arises in case when GERD has been left untreated. According to a survey, this consequence occurs to almost 5% to 15% of individuals who are undertaking medical care for GERD. Such a situation can arise among children, infants, pregnant ladies and even people who are obese, have a high alcohol intake or smoking a lot.
Causes of Barrett’s Esophagus
Although researchers have not been able to conclude comprehensively the actual cause of this ailment, but without a doubt GERD, acid reflux is a major risk factor in its occurrence. Such a situation occurs due to continuous long years of chronic symptoms like heartburns etc.
In the instance of GERD, the acidic juice is washed back into stomach. Our swallowing tube also called the esophagus comes in contact with such acidic substance or bile juice, and so increases the chances of causing injury to the squamous lining of esophagus. This further leads to inflammatory injury in esophagus which is known as esophagitis.
Continuous occurring of such an injury does not allow the thin, damaged squamous lining to repair its self. Instead it leads to build up of a new abnormal lining which is totally and unfit for body and is called as Barrett’s esophagus.
There are still no strong medical proofs or reasons of developing such an abnormal layer, but it is for sure that built up of this layer causes a lot of critical problems. The amount of mucous produced by this layer is higher which makes it difficult to cure it. It is however, not necessary that every individual suffering from such a disease is going to have heartburn problems. Some might have, while others might not.
Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus
There is also a relation between symptoms and signs of acid reflux and Barrett’s Esophagus. These symptoms are as follows:
- Long standing and frequently occurring heartburn.
- Problems in swallowing food, also known as dysphagia.
- Having blood in vomit.
- Continuous pain under the area of breastbone. It is that area where the stomach comes in connection with esophagus.
- Since eating becomes painful for individuals, so there is an unintentional loss of weight seen in patients suffering from this problem.
- Diagnosis and Treatments
The diagnosis process of this ailment involves carrying of an examination called as EGD or upper endoscopy. Both the condition of the esophagus and tissues around it are checked thoroughly in order to know the level of dysplasia. A low grade dysplasia is therefore more easily treated.
Barrett’s Esophagus, GERD and acid reflux are inter-related, and Individuals suffering from the conditions or show signs of the related acid reflux symptoms must seek professional medical advice at the earliest possible opportunity to prevent them developing a more serious and sometimes life threatening illness.
Control acid reflux and you reduce the health risks long-term.