Q. What are my chances of being affected by Barrett's esophagus?

Answered by
Dr. Babu Lal Meena
and medically reviewed by Dr. Sneha Kannan
This is a premium question & answer published on Dec 30, 2015 and last reviewed on: Mar 16, 2019

Hi doctor,

I am a 27 year old female. I was going through a lot of stress and started consuming alcohol at least 3 drinks a day. For the past 5 years, I have been suffering from acid reflux along with severe regurgitation and taking tablet Prilosec. I fell sick a month ago and taught it to be a respiratory infection and avoided my medicine. Within a matter of a few weeks, I could feel that my esophagus had burnt. I started regurgitating huge amounts of partially digested food. Some of the symptoms associated along with them are, my voice has become mildly hoarse. There is pain when I tend to shout or speak loudly. Generally, I have difficulty in swallowing. When I swallow, I get a feeling that my food gets stuck halfway itself for a few hours and often I have a dry throat. The regurgitation gets worse when talking or shouting. The regurgitation consistency is not the same always. Sometimes, it is acidic, sometimes it is clear or foamy and sometimes with the presence of mucus or food in it. For about three weeks I am taking tablet Prilosec 40 mg a day. Initially, I felt better with the medicine. But still, have pain while speaking as well as swallowing. It has not shown any improvement even with medicine. I do have constipation at times because of the medicine. I would like to know, will this medicine work for a longer duration and reduce my symptoms and make me feel better? Can you let me know, what are the chances of getting affected by Barrett's esophagus or cancer? Is the difficulty of swallowing due to stricture or esophageal spasm? Please suggest ways to manage constipation associated with medicine. Thank you.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

There are many causes of reflux. Hiatus hernia is one of the conditions. It is a major concern causing lifestyle limitation. I would like to know if you are suffering from any respiratory problem.

Continuous reflux can cause stricture formation and dysphasia (difficulty in speech). After a few years, it can cause Barrett's esophagus followed by esophageal cancer which can be a serious problem. Follow these guidelines to get a better result.

  1. I would suggest you get an endoscopy, as well as barium swallow, done.
  2. Consumption of alcohol, coffee, tea, fruit juices, and soft drinks should be stopped since alcohol and coffee can stimulate reflux.
  3. Have semisolid and solid diet.

Yes, constipation is associated with this problem. Once constipation is treated, reflux can disappear. Hoarseness of voice is due to reflux of the acid causing reflux laryngitis. It will disappear once reflux is treated.

Investigations to be done:

1. Barium study of esophagus.
2. Upper gastro-intestinal endoscopy.
3. Complete blood count (CBC), erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) and Liver function test (LFT).

Treatment plan:

1. Take tablet Lansoprazole 40 mg twice a day before meal.
2. Take clear Lax 2 spoons twice a day for constipation.

Preventive measures:

1. Have semisolid and solid diet.
2. Sleep in semi- inclined position and elevate head end.
3. Avoid alcohol and liquids.
4. Do regular excercise.

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