- 23 October 2017
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Understanding Barrett’s Oesophagus
No, Barrett’s oesophagus isn’t a delicious dish. It’s a condition which doesn’t allow you eat delicious dishes in peace. As the name implies, this disease concerns your oesophagus (the food tube). Under this condition, the food tube will malfunction and if left unchecked it will become cancerous. Before you start panicking, know this: Barrett’s oesophagus doesn’t always lead to cancer. The cases of Barrett’s oesophagus cancer are fortunately uncommon. However, it is a serious condition that one has to watch out for as the this disease is asymptomatic. Without wasting anymore time, let’s understand Barrett’s oesophagus to continue grubbing in peace.
What’s Barrett’s Oesophagus?
The food we consume is acidic and basic in nature. When we consume it, it reaches the stomach via the oesophagus. To make sure one doesn’t encounter any discomfort, the oesophagus is thickly lined to tolerate the acidic and basic elements.
At the lower part of the tube, there is a mechanism which automatically closes after the food and liquids have gone into the stomach. This mechanism doesn’t allow the food to travel back up. This mechanism doesn’t exist in buffaloes and snakes. Due to this absence, animals regurgitate the contents of the stomach and chew their half-digested food in their downtime. Fortunately, we cannot regurgitate for that thought itself is stomach churning.
However, should the lower oesophagus not close, the acids of the stomach will seep into the tube and will erode away the thick lining. Due to the erosion and repeated contact with digestion acids, a new cellular growth takes place in the tube. This unwanted cell growth is called as Barrett’s Oesophagus.
How do you realise you have this disease?
When we are born, most of us are blessed with a body which is flawless. But, we go ahead and take our health for granted. Smoking, boozing and eating junk food will lead to this problem. That is the reason why people say ‘you are what you eat’. Due to the unhealthy health habits, the food tube will obviously malfunction.
Self-diagnosis of this problem is not possible. However, if you are a chain smoker who boozes and eats spicy food daily, you may get acquainted with this disease. As Barrett’s Oesophagus symptoms seldom exist, you should maintain a weather’s eye for any anomalies. The only symptoms which are associated to this condition are indigestion and heartburn. However, not everyone encounter these symptoms. Hence, if you are a person with unhealthy habits, consider yourself eligible for this disease.
What to do when you have Barrett’s Oesophagus?
As this condition is difficult to diagnose, a physical inspection of the lower oesophagus is required. In most cases, Endoscopy is performed to ascertain whether you have this disease. If the surgeons perceive that you are plagued by this disease, a sample of your oesophagus is sent for biopsy. A biopsy will reveal whether you have Barrett’s oesophagus cancer.
Once you are diagnosed, the doctor will ask you to kiss goodbye to your unhealthy habits. Also, you will be required to consume antacids and many other pharmaceuticals in the same category. In critical cases, a surgery called fundoplication is performed. Unlike its name, this surgery is no fun. By wrapping and stitching the top portion of your stomach around your oesophagus, the surgeon will aim to relieve you of this problem.
If the infection has become cancerous, the surgeons will actively consider removing the affected area. Through surgeries, you will be rid of the cancerous growth. However, one has to get routine check-ups as cancer is known to recur. Given how damaging the problem it is important to receive the best healthcare. At Sunshine Hospitals, we look forward to restore your body to its full functionality. With our intensive and undivided attention, you will be pampered with the best Barrett’s oesophagus treatment. Blessing you with our healing touch, you will be able to eat in peace once again.
About Sunshine Hospitals
A Multi-Super Speciality Institution, 500+ bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.