Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Barrett's Esophagus Overview

What is Barrett's esophagus?
Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the lower portion of the esophagus changes, due to the chronic effects of stomach acid splashing back into the esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that carries food and saliva from the mouth to the stomach.

What are the symptoms of Barrett's esophagus?
Common symptoms of Barrett's esophagus include recurrent heartburn. Barrett's may cause no symptoms at all, but a small number (less than 1%) of people with Barrett's can develop esophageal cancer.

How does the doctor treat Barrett's esophagus?
Treatment for Barrett's esophagus involves controlling acid reflux. Measures include weight reduction, exercise, stopping smoking, and avoiding foods that trigger heartburn. Medications may include antacids and other drugs that decrease acid in the stomach, such as H2 antagonists, and proton pump inhibitors. Surgery may be an option for those who fail to control symptoms with medications.

Continue to Barrett's Esophagus Symptoms

Last Updated: Apr 16, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Barrett's Esophagus References
  1. Shaheen NJ. Advances in Barrett's esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Gastroenterology. 2005 May;128(6):1554-66. [15887151]
  2. Sharma P, Sidorenko EI. Are screening and surveillance for Barrett's oesophagus really worthwhile? Gut. 2005 Mar;54 Suppl 1:i27-32. [15711005]
  3. Souza RF, Spechler SJ. Concepts in the prevention of adenocarcinoma of the distal esophagus and proximal stomach. CA Cancer J Clin. 2005 Nov-Dec;55(6):334-51: [16282279]
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