Most people experience heartburn but never realize it can be a serious problem if not treated. The discomfort it causes may warrant you to seek medication. It occurs due to the stomach acid that digests food going up to the esophagus. This can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease that can become cancerous if left untreated. Getting a good Barrett’s Esophagus Austin specialist may be daunting. However, at Lone Star Gastroenterology, you have a team experienced in treating this problem, ensuring you are safe from future severe problems. They will diagnose and formulate a proper treatment plan that suits your needs. Learn more about Barrett’s esophagus before booking your appointment.
Barrett’s esophagus can cause cancer
People with Barrett’s esophagus are at a risk of developing esophageal cancer. This develops if Barrett’s esophagus is left untreated. The cancerous cells develop in Barrett tissues, but this may take time. The cancerous cells that develop are called dysplasia, which multiplies and develops into cancer. It is important to seek treatment when you realize you have persistent heartburn to avoid escalating this problem to deadly cancer.
Barrett’s esophagus risk factors
Various factors increase the chances of one developing Barrett’s esophagus. Some of the factors include,
Age-Barrett’s esophagus is common in middle-aged and older adults. Children below the age of 5 have lower chances of developing this problem. People above 50 years are likely to be diagnosed with this condition.
Gender-Barrett’s esophagus is more common in men than women
Lifestyle– smokers are likely to develop Barrett’s esophagus due to the intake of nicotine which weakens their immune
Obesity-People with high-fat content are prone to this condition since fat builds up in the abdomen, increasing the chances
Family history-People with a history of Barrett’s esophagus have a high chance of having the condition
Diagnosing Barrett’s esophagus
The doctor can suspect the presence of Barrett’s esophagus based on the symptoms you present. However, they can also use endoscopy to view the esophageal lining and confirm its appearance. The doctor will view the appearance of the red or pink lining of a person with Barrett’s esophagus. The doctor may also perform a lining biopsy to check for more signs before commencing treatment.
Who should be screened for Barrett’s esophagus
No specific person or gender should be screened for Barrett’s esophagus. However, anyone who has had a heartburn problem for years should get a screening to identify the problem. It is recommended to screen people above 50 years who experience heartburn or who have had heartburn medications for some time. Though the condition is rare, it is important to confirm and rule out the presence of this condition.
You may have experienced the discomfort that occurs due to heartburn. Many people struggle with the problem but still ignore it, thinking it is normal. Others have had medications to control heartburn for years. If you are a heartburn victim, you are a good candidate for Barrett’s esophagus treatment. At Lone Star Gastroenterology, the team will diagnose and offer a treatment plan to help you recover from this problem. Do not ignore your heartburn as it may be a sign of a more serious problem. You can start by scheduling an online consultation or calling their office today.