If you have gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD), it’s necessary to be screened for Barrett’s esophagus, a condition that causes precancerous changes in your esophagus. At Lone Star Gastroenterology (affiliated with Boston Scientific) in Austin, Texas, board-certified gastroenterologist Rajesh Mehta, MD, and his skilled staff diagnose and treat Barrett’s esophagus to reduce your risk of cancer. Call the office to schedule today.
Barrett’s esophagus is marked by damaged esophageal tissue and acid reflux (when stomach acid washes back up into your esophagus). The affected tissues are often thickened and red and can be painful because of gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD). When left untreated, Barrett’s esophagus can turn into cancer.
The common symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus include:
Barrett’s esophagus can increase your risk of developing esophageal cancer, though the risk is somewhat small. If you struggle with GERD, being screened for Barrett’s esophagus is necessary.
The cause of Barrett’s esophagus isn’t clear, but things that raise your risk of it include:
The best way to reduce your chance of developing GERD and Barrett’s esophagus is to adopt healthy habits. Maintain a healthy body weight, get regular exercise, eat nutritious foods, and don’t smoke.
To determine if you have Barrett’s esophagus or be treated for it, the experts at Lone Star Gastroenterology review your symptoms and medical history. They check your vital signs and complete a physical exam and an endoscopy.
During an endoscopy, your doctor inserts a thin, lighted tube with a camera down your throat to check for changes in the esophageal tissues. They could take a tissue sample (biopsy) to determine the kind of precancerous changes you might have.
After an endoscopy, your specialist reviews the results and lets you know the next best steps to take.
Common treatments for Barrett’s esophagus and GERD include lifestyle changes, watchful waiting, medications, cryotherapy, radiofrequency ablation, and surgery. Maintain an ideal body
weight, eliminate foods that trigger heartburn (coffee, alcohol, mint, chocolate, etc.), don’t smoke, and raise the head of your bed before you go to sleep.
Call the Lone Star Gastroenterology office or schedule an appointment online today to be screened for Barrett’s esophagus.