Ayurveda

Barrett’s Oesophagus Diet

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where there is an abnormality in the cells of the esophagus, the tube which connects the mouth to the stomach. Esophagus carries the food from the mouth to the stomach. Intestinal-type of lining replaces the normal lining found in the esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus affects around 1% population in the United States. Mostly 5% to 15% people who suffer from heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) also have Barrett’s esophagus. This condition usually does not occur in children.

Barrett’s esophagus symptoms

Barrett’s esophagus is caused due to the gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition damages the lining of the esophagus leading to Barrett’s esophagus. Usually, no Barrett’s esophagus symptoms are evident. However, the body might give some warning signs like:

  • Vomiting blood
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Pain in the area of the breastbone (where esophagus connects with stomach)
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Weight loss

Barrett’s esophagus diagnosis

Barrett’s esophagus is diagnosed only through endoscopy. The patient is sedated and a tube is inserted into the esophagus. This tube, called endoscope, has a small camera. Many small pieces of the tissue are removed for examination. Since no symptoms are associated with Barrett’s esophagus, the doctors recommend that people suffering from GERD for a long time should undergo biopsies or an endoscopy.

Barrett’s esophagus treatment

People with Barrett’s esophagus have a risk of developing cancer or dysplasia. The treatment used to treat cancer or dyplasia are:

Endoscopic therapies: These therapies are performed by experts to kill the cancerous cells. In some therapies, the Barrett’s lining is cut off.

Surgery: In case of severe cases major part of the esophagus is removed through surgery.

Foods to Eat

  • Fruits and vegetables are very important in diet. They improve the health of a person so that the symptoms of Barrett’s oesophagus are reduced.
  • Take 5 servings of fresh vegetables and fruits a day. This reduces the risk of tumours.
  • Take foods rich in whole grains especially whole wheat. They help to reduce nausea.
  • Fat free dairy products can be taken in your diet.
  • Meats that are low in fats such as turkey, fish and chicken can be taken.
  • Eat fruits that are rich in antioxidants such as apples, melons and blueberries.

Foods to Avoid

  • Foods rich in fat content such as processed foods and fast foods should be avoided.
  • Tomato juice and sauces should be cut down.
  • Chocolates and peppermints produce heartburn hence they are be avoided.
  • Cut down the intake of citrus fruits such as oranges, pineapples and grapes.
  • Deep fried foods fatty red meat are to be avoided. They are difficult to digest.
  • Avoid whole milk and its products.
  • Avoid carbonated drinks and sodas. They increase the irritation of esophageal lining.
  • Avoid coffee, strange flavoured teas and alcohol.
  • Quit smoking an avoid tobacco products.

Following a strict diet therefore helps in reducing the irritation of the lining of oesophagus. GERD condition prevents the development of Barrett’s oesophagus. The diet also helps in combating the condition if it is already developed.

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