Living With Barrett's Esophagus

A Natural Approach To Health

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Living With Barrett’s Esophagus

I had a question the other day about Barrett’s esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus is a serious complication of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).

In Barrett’s esophagus, normal tissue lining your esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach) changes to tissue that resembles the lining of your intestine.

About 10% of people with chronic symptoms of GERD develop Barrett’s esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus doesn’t have any specific symptoms, although people with Barrett’s esophagus may have symptoms related to GERD.

It does, though, increase your risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma, which is a serious, potentially fatal cancer of the esophagus.

Although the risk of this cancer is higher in people with Barrett’s esophagus, the disease is still rare.

Less than 1% of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop this particular cancer.

Nevertheless, if you’ve been diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, it’s important to have routine examinations of your esophagus.

With routine examination, precancerous and cancer cells can be found early, before they spread and when it’s easier to treat.

When you swallow food or liquid, it automatically passes through your esophagus.

The lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle at the end of your esophagus where it joins your stomach, keeps stomach contents from rising up into your esophagus.

The stomach produces acid in order to digest food, but it’s also protected from the acid it produces.

With GERD, stomach contents flow backward into your esophagus.

This is known as reflux.

Most people with acid reflux don’t develop Barrett’s esophagus.

But in people with frequent acid reflux, the normal cells in your esophagus may eventually be replaced by cells that are similar to cells in your intestine to become Barrett’s esophagus.

Not everyone with GERD develops Barrett’s esophagus.

And not everyone with Barrett’s esophagus had GERD.

But long-term GERD is the primary risk factor.

Anyone can develop Barrett’s esophagus, but white males who have had long-term GERD are more likely than others to develop it.

Other risk factors include the onset of GERD at a younger age and a history of current or past smoking.

One of the primary goals of treatment is to prevent or slow the development of Barrett’s esophagus by treating and controlling acid reflux.

This can be done with lifestyle changes.

To deal with Barrett’s esophagus it’s beneficial to:

*Try not to chew with your mouth open, talk while chewing, or eat too fast.  This causes you to swallow too much air, which can aggravate indigestion.

*Drink fluids after rather than during meals.

*Avoid late-night eating.

*Try to relax after meals.

*Avoid spicy foods.

*Stop smoking; smoking irritates the lining of your esophagus.

*Avoid alcoholic beverages.

*Avoid the foods and situations that seem to cause indigestion.

*Eat small meals so your stomach doesn’t have to work as hard or as long.

*Reduce or avoid foods and beverages that contain caffeine.

*If stress is a trigger for your GERD, reevaluating your lifestyle may help reduce stress.  Learn new methods for managing stress, like relaxation and biofeedback techniques.

*Avoid wearing tight-fitting garments because they compress your stomach, which can cause the contents to enter your esophagus.

*Don’t lie down right after eating.

*Wait at least 3 hours after your last meal of the day before you go to bed.

*Raise the head of your bed so your head and chest are higher than your feet.

*Drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily to hydrate and flush your system away from food.

*Eat lots of life-giving, enzyme and nutrient-rich, fresh, raw fruits and veggies daily (organic whenever possible).

*Eat some RAW vegetables with every meal.

*Consider a liver, gallbladder, and/or colon cleanse.

*Consider peppermint, anise, fennel, chamomile, and/or ginger teas.

*Try fresh pineapple or papaya because they are rich in digestive enzymes.

*Decrease or eliminate acid-forming foods and drinks (coffee, soda pop, dairy, red meat, sugar, processed foods, white flour products).

Recommendations:

It is essential to use:  Vita-Lea, Protein, EZ-Gest, Stomach Soothing Complex, Optiflora, Alfalfa, Herb-Lax.

It is important to use:  DTX, B-Complex, Fiber, Vitamin C, Glucose Regulating Complex.

It is beneficial to use:  Garlic, Lecithin, OmegaGuard, VitalMag (may help cramping), Vitamin D, Vivix.

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email:  lenayphillipps@gmail.com

PS:  If you have any questions about Barrett’s esophagus, and would like to know how supplements can help, give us a call at 715-431-0657.  We’re here to help.


 

1 Comment

  • m88

    Reply Reply July 17, 2014

    Whoa all kinds of superb knowledge.

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