Oesophagal disorders are the issues that obstruct the digestion process. The oesophagus is a long tube-like structure that helps travel food from the mouth to the stomach for further digestion. A problem in this procedure leads to improper digestion and various other health issues. An individual affected by any form of oesophagal disorder may experience symptoms such as heartburn, acid reflux, burning sensation in the throat and stomach, vomiting, and multiple other health problems.
Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition where the normal lining of the oesophagus is replaced by specialised cells due to chronic irritation, often caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This change increases the risk of oesophagal adenocarcinoma, a form of cancer. Although not all cases progress to cancer, regular monitoring through endoscopic procedures is crucial. Managing GERD and early detection of precancerous or cancerous changes are vital for reducing the risk and addressing Barrett’s oesophagus.
In this oesophagal disorder, the lining of the oesophagus thickens and reddens due to chronic acid reflux. The oesophagus cannot perform its functions, leading to multiple digestion disorders. The medical condition also damages the lower oesophagal sphincter, leading to chemical changes in the oesophagus and stomach.
Such issues also give rise to another form of oesophagal disorder known as GERD. One can experience symptoms such as regurgitation, acid reflux, heartburn, vomiting, and other similar issues. This issue can lead to changes in the lower lining of the pipe-like structure, causing Barrett’s Oesophagus. If the mentioned symptoms are ignored and treatment is procrastinated for longer, the chances of oesophagal cancer increase.
Regular checkups, timely treatment and medications, and other required healing options should not be ignored to avoid the symptoms of fatal disease-causing tumours. Regular checkups also help to eliminate precancerous cells.
Types of Esophageal Disorders
Mentioned below are some types of oesophagal disorders that obstruct the digestion procedure:
- Barrett’s Oesophagus
- Eosinophilic Esophagitis
- Esophageal Cancer
Symptoms of Barrett’s Oesophagus
Mentioned below are a few Barrett’s Oesophagus symptoms that help to identify the disease at the right time and allow one to begin the medication:
- Long-Standing GERD– GERD is an oesophagal disorder due to chronic acid reflux and heartburn. Long-standing GERD is one of the primary symptoms of the disease and should be treated immediately to avoid worsening the situation. Timely medications and proper treatment help lower acid reflux and improve digestion.
- Heartburn– Frequent heartburn is another symptom of the disease. It is a medical condition characterised by pain and burning sensation in the chest due to acid moving from the Oesophagus to the stomach. The phenomenon is also felt in the upper abdomen after a meal or lying on a flat surface.
- The situation makes it difficult for the food to digest and leads to acid reflux in the Oesophagus, making the affected individual feel a burning pain in the chest. Chronic acid reflux damages the lining of the Oesophagus, leading to Barrett’s Disease.
- Regurgitation– This is a scenario in which the digestive fluids and undigested foods travel back from the oesophagus to the mouth. It is an indicating sign of improper digestion, acid reflux, and GERD. Chronic acid reflux damages the lining of the Oesophagus, further damaging the upper portion of the abdomen, lower oesophagal sphincter, and nearby tissues if not treated at the right time. Medications and lifestyle changes play a vital role in calming down the symptoms.
- Non-Cardiac Chest Pain– Chest pain is another identifiable symptom of the oesophagal disorder. The pain happens due to acid reflux observed in the Oesophagus due to the stomach. In such scenarios, it is advised to consult a doctor to lower the symptoms and avoid worsening the disease.
- Difficulty Swallowing- Known as dysphagia, it may occur if scarring narrows the oesophagus.
- Chronic Cough- A persistent cough, often at night, can be caused by stomach acid irritating the throat.
Causes of Barrett’s Oesophagus
- Silent Reflux- This is a scenario in which the acid reflux is not accompanied by other oesophagal disorders such as GERD. The reflux damages the oesophagus’s lower lining, thickening the lining. Acid reflux also triggers various other digestive disorders, known as silent reflux. Therefore, it is considered one of the major causes of the disease.
- Family History of the Disease– A family history of any disease is also a significant cause of the disorder. Studies have shown that a family history of Barrett’s Oesophagus increases the chances of other family members getting affected. Males are at a higher risk of getting affected by it. People with a family history of the disease are suggested to maintain a healthy lifestyle to avoid the symptoms of it.
- Smoking– Smoking is also a significant cause of the oesophagal disorder. The nicotine in cigarettes damages the lining of the Oesophagus, causing multiple disorders and digestion problems. Chain smokers or people who smoke excessively daily are at a higher risk of getting affected by the issue.
- Hiatal Hernia– A condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest through the diaphragm, increasing the likelihood of acid reflux.
- Obesity- Excess body weight, especially in the abdominal area, can increase pressure on the stomach and promote reflux.
- Long-Term NSAID Use- Regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can contribute to oesophagal irritation.
When to Consult a Doctor
You can also get in touch with the expert Gastroenterology doctors at Narayana Healthcare based in your city to get immediate attention and medical support during injuries, health disorders or any other health concern.
Barrette’s Oesophagus is a medical condition in which the lower lining of the Oesophagus gets damaged due to multiple health issues. The disorder can be treated with the help of medications and surgery. Lifestyle changes bring a significant difference to lower the damaging symptoms.
What is Barrette’s Oesophagus disorder?
It is a disorder of the Oesophagus in which the lining of the tube-like structure gets damaged due to different health issues and practices.
What are the major causes of Barette’s Oesophagus?
The primary cause of Barrett’s oesophagus is chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Other factors include hiatal hernia, obesity, smoking, long-term NSAID use, and genetics.
How is Barette’s oesophagus treated?
Barrett’s oesophagus is managed by treating underlying GERD with lifestyle changes, medications to reduce acid reflux, and endoscopic surveillance. In some cases, surgery or ablation therapy may be recommended.
What are the symptoms of Barrette’s Disease?
Heartburn, chronic acid reflux, and pain in the chest are some of the symptoms of the disease.