Beyond Heartburn – Barrett’s Esophagus

March 11, 2016 01:00 PM

Many people experience heartburn or acid indigestion from time to time. Maybe it was that chili dog from the food truck at the corner, or a little too much red wine at your BFF’s birthday party. For some folks, even a small piece of chocolate, or a few cucumber slices in a salad can provoke an attack. You know the symptoms: a bitter taste and a burning pain in the back of your mouth and down into your throat. Occasional heartburn is not serious. It can be relieved with over-the-counter medications and avoided by not eating trigger foods.

However, if your heartburn occurs more than two to three times a week, or if the antacid tablets you’re chewing no longer take away the symptoms, you could be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Untreated, GERD damages the esophagus and leads to a serious condition known as Barrett’s Esophagus. This condition is characterized by bleeding, scarring, and causes changes to the lining of the esophagus. Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus include those of heartburn but are accompanied by trouble swallowing, a dry cough, and even weight loss. Barrett’s Esophagus can even lead to cancer of the esophagus.

If you have frequent heartburn, it’s time to see one of our board-certified gastroenterologists who can prescribe treatment and help you get back on a healthy diet.

Call for an appointment at an office near you: 855.385.HEAL (4325).

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