GERD and Barrett's Esophagus
New advanced treatment now available for precancerous Barrett's esophagus
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
That burning sensation in your chest may be more than indigestion. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic heartburn condition in which stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, causing a burning feeling. Approximately one out of every ten GERD sufferers develops complications, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus.
The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. Barrett’s esophagus occurs when constant exposure to stomach acid causes cells in the esophagus lining to change. These abnormal cells, a hybrid between esophageal cells and small intestine cells, can lead to esophageal cancer. People with Barrett’s esophagus typically require medication and close monitoring by their gastroenterologist to check for signs of cancer.
Affinity Health System now offers an advanced new treatment option for patients with Barrett’s esophagus, called Barrx (pronounced Bar-x). Barrx can dramatically reduce the risk of developing esophageal cancer. The procedure works by heating damaged or diseased tissue in the esophagus with HALO ablation technology, safely removing it without damaging the healthy underlying tissue.
If you think Barrx treatment may be right for you, talk with your primary care doctor about a referral to the Affinity Health System Gastroenterology department.
Prevent and Relieve Heartburn Symptoms
Several factors may contribute to gastroesophageal reflux chest pain, including:
• alcohol consumption
• being overweight
To help alleviate the problem, avoid lying down for three hours after eating, and make these important lifestyle modifications:
• Stop smoking.
• Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Avoid overeating.
• Avoid fatty or fried foods.
• Avoid spicy or tomato-based foods, such as spaghetti sauce, chili and pizza.
• Avoid or reduce caffeine and alcohol consumption.
• Try to avoid eating within three hours of bedtime.
Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter antacids, as well as histamine blockers such as Pepcid AC and Zantac, which impede acid production.