English surgeon Norman Barrett first described the syndrome in which uncharacteristic epithelium cells are detected in the esophageal mucosa. This situation corresponds to the precancerous condition of the organ. Consider Barrett's esophagus: symptoms and treatment.
Barrett's esophagus - what is it?
Barrett's syndrome is a pathology that occurs when cells in the mucous membrane of the esophagus are damaged, usually due to exposure to acid from the stomach. This may be the result of years of exposure to gastroesophageal reflux, commonly known as heartburn. The lining of the esophagus changes to a state close to the type of mucous in the intestine.
Medical science believes that such a change is due to a spontaneous, but recurring, regular reflux into the esophagus of the stomach or duodenum. This occurs when the muscles in the lower part of the esophagus, which are supposed to close the passage and prevent the return of food, do not work properly. Digestive acid and other chemicals damage the normal lining of the esophagus.
Abnormal cells that are formed as a result of a change in tissue are more likely to become malignant. In fact, the risk of esophageal cancer in patients with Barrett's syndrome is significantly increased in comparison with other people.
Symptoms and treatment of the disease
Barrett's esophagus itself has no signs, and most of the symptoms that may occur are caused by gastro-esophageal reflux. If heartburn is observed for several years, then the risk of esophageal mucosal dysplasia is increased. Other symptoms include:
- inability or difficulty swallowing;
- blood in vomit;
- pain in the epigastrium - the junction of the esophagus with the stomach;
- weight loss.
Obesity in the abdomen, corresponding to men, may increase the risk of such a diagnosis. And although the cause has not yet been fully investigated, this may explain why men are more susceptible to this syndrome than women, who in most cases have peripheral obesity. It should also be noted that such a pathological condition can occur at any age, but is more common after 50 years. The disease can be diagnosed using endoscopy, as well as confirmed by biopsy.
The main goals of treatment for Barrett syndrome are:
- reduction of gastro-esophageal reflux;
- protection of the esophageal mucosa;
- improvement of the mechanism of return of contents to the stomach - esophageal clearance.
These goals can be achieved through certain general measures and specific drug therapy. The treatment controls the symptoms and inflammatory processes in the mucous membrane, but does not lead to the regression of Barrett's esophagus. Therefore, the risk of cancer is not excluded even after treatment.
In mild cases of gastro-esophageal reflux, H2-receptor antagonists blocking agents are needed, such as:
In severe cases, H2 receptor blockers are taken in higher doses. Prokinetic drugs that help move food through the gastrointestinal tract more quickly can be an alternative either alone or in combination with acid inhibition.
Proton pump inhibitors are also effective. They reduce the production of hydrochloric acid, which reduces the symptoms and reflux esophagitis. However, this therapy is supportive, and the risk of cancer is not excluded. Depending on the degree of development of dysplasia in the esophagus, radical surgical treatment methods are often required.
Barrett's esophagus: diet. What can not eat?
A change in diet and dieting remains an important measure in the treatment of the disease. From the diet should be excluded:
- sour foods;
- fatty foods;
- fruit juices;
- carbonated drinks;
- spicy food;
- gassing products;
Food should be warm, no need to overeat. Adoption of a horizontal position after eating is unacceptable, if 1-2 hours has not passed.
Basics of folk remedies
Applicable in the treatment of Barrett's esophagus is the use of folk knowledge, remedies and recipes.
Recipe number 1
This is the easiest and effective recipe for lowering acidity.
Preparation and use:
- A mixture of equal shares of freshly prepared juice of carrots and potatoes should be taken for a month before meals with 30 ml.
Recipe number 2
- watch three-leaved, the thousand-year-old, fruits of fennel - 20 g each;
- Valerian root - 5 g;
- greater celandine - 10 g.
Preparation and use:
- Mix three-leaf watch, small centaury and fennel fruits.
- To the mixture, add valerian root and greater celandine.
- Components need to grind on a coffee grinder.
- 1 tbsp. l the composition should be brewed with 500 ml of boiling water, insist and decant for 3 hours.
- Take the broth to be heated 3 times a day for 2/3 tbsp. 30 minutes before meals or 2 hours after.
Recipe number 3
- chamomile flowers;
Preparation and use:
- Crush and mix an equal amount of calendula, chamomile flowers and sage.
- 1 dessert spoon of the composition must be brewed with 500 ml of boiling water and infused for 5 hours.
- Drain the mixture and store it in the refrigerator.
- Take the broth warmed up 30 minutes before meals 3 times a day.
In conclusion, we add that the normalization of weight, a moderate increase in the height of that part of the bed where you lie with your head, the elimination of the load on the abdominals and work in a tilted state will help in the fight against reflux. But remember that no self-treatment should be applied. All appointments are made and monitored by the doctor after the examination. This applies primarily to folk remedies. Independently, you can stop smoking. Health to you!