Welcome to Barrett’s Esophagus! While you may not have heard much about this condition, you really should learn more about how to identify the symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus as more and more people are suffering from this ailment without realizing it. And if not treated, the consequences can be severe. With this website, I hope to spread greater awareness and understanding of Barrett’s Esophagus, the symptoms and related conditions which may lead to it.
Barrett’s Esophagus and My Father
After my father was diagnosed with it, I scoured the Internet to learn as much as I could about Barrett’s Esophagus. I learned that as many as millions go undiagnosed and untreated until it is too late. So this site will represent the culmination of my studies presented in a comprehensive yet accessible manner. While it may sound like a bold ambition, I hope this site will change hundreds if not thousands of lives for the better.
It is important to determine whether you’re experiencing stomach cancer symptoms, stomach ulcer symptoms, GERD Symptoms (like heartburn) or Barrett’s Esophagus symptoms. While they can overlap both in symptoms and in their core medical origins, assuming your symptoms fulfill one diagnosis and not investigating the other ailments can be dangerous.
It is also important to recognize and appreciate how even if you are diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, you can still live a long and healthy life, so don’t become despondent. In fact knowing you have Barrett’s esophagus and getting regular check ups to monitor it can help you avoid developing other Barrett’s esophagus related conditions including esophageal cancer.
Family History And The Gender Gap
Although doctors don’t yet know why, men appear to be three times more likely to develop Barrett’s Esophagus than women. It is also a disease which seems to have genetic traces, so if a family member experiences cancer of any part of the digestion system, you should let your doctor know.
The Relation Between Barrett’s Esophagus And GERD
If you experience consistent and long-lasting GERD symptoms, you should consider discussing Barrett’s Esophagus with your physician. With gastric reflux — formally known as GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (hence, G.E.R.D.) — liquid from your stomach regurgitates into your lower esophagus, leaving a wash of acid to damage the lining of your esophagus. This regular exposure to stomach acid in time leads to the development of mutant, intestinal-like tissue in the esophagus. This occurring over time is precisely what researchers believe leads to Barrett’s Esophagus… and in time can lead to esophageal cancer.
New research discussed in Science Daily, however, discusses a slightly different possible cause of Barrett’s esophagus. Some researchers suspect this esophageal condition may be caused by previously overlooked leftover embryonic cells that sit in the junction between the stomach and the esophagus. Regular exposure to stomach acid, caused by GERD or chronic heartburn, damages the esophagus, giving these cells a chance to take over and cause problems.
Since Barrett’s Esophagus is a known precursor to esophageal cancer (or esophageal adenocarcinoma) — which is a very difficult cancer to fight if not treated early enough — you need to take any family or diet risks you’ve developed very seriously.
Barrett’s Esophagus Symptoms
Many people who have Barrett’s esophagus don’t exhibit any signs or symptoms. But the most common symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus are similar to the signs and symptoms of acid reflux. They can include:
- Frequent bouts of heartburn
- Pain in the upper abdomen
- Chest pain
- Trouble swallowing
- Dry cough
- Sore throat
- Feeling like something is stuck in the throat
History of Barrett’s Esophagus
Barrett’s Esophagus is named for Dr. Norman Barrett, an Australian-born British surgeon who first defined and described Barrett’s Esophagus in 1957.
Do not try diagnosing Barrett’s Esophagus on your own. While it is reasonable to begin some basic treatment of heartburn, proper and accurate diagnosis requires viewing the esophagus internally with an endoscope and extracting a sample of the esophagus tissue to examine it for Barrett’s esophagus. This procedure is called an esophagoscopy with biopsy, or if you like really big words, esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD).
I hope my site helps people realize the importance of treating gastric reflux (GERD) symptoms early and receiving a proper medical diagnosis to avoid developing these serious, life-threatening conditions. Join me on my quest to inform people about Barrett’s Esophagus and help prevent its untreated development.
Thank you for visiting, please return again soon as I grow and refine my website… and please, take care of yourself!