What are the dietary recommendations for people with Barrett esophagus?
People with Barrett esophagus are typically counseled to eat a diet that eases the signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause further damage to the esophagus. For example, it is often recommended that affected people avoid foods and beverages that may trigger their symptoms. For many people, these include:
Spicy, fried or fatty foods
Full-fat dairy products
Citrus fruits or juices
Tomatoes and tomato sauce
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
People with Barrett esophagus may also need to decrease the size of portions at mealtime, avoid eating three hours prior to bedtime, and lose weight (if overweight).
Last updated: 7/13/2015
How might Barrett esophagus be treated?
The treatment of Barrett esophagus largely depends on the severity of the condition as determined by the level of dysplasia seen on biopsy. In people with no dysplasia or low-grade dysplasia, treatment is often focused on easing the signs and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause further damage to the esophagus. This may include certain medications and lifestyle modifications such as avoiding smoking; eliminating food and drinks that trigger heartburn; raising the head of the bed while sleeping; and/or avoiding late night snacking. Periodic endoscopy may also be recommended to monitor Barrett esophagus as other treatments may be indicated if the condition advances.
Because high-grade dysplasia is thought to be the final step before cells change into esophageal cancer, more aggressive treatments are typically recommended. These may include:[
Endoscopic resection - an endoscope is used to remove damaged cells
Endoscopic ablative therapies - different techniques such as photodynamic therapy or radiofrequency ablation are used to destroy the dysplasia in the esophagus. In photodynamic therapy, abnormal cells are destroyed by making them sensitive to light, while radiofrequency ablation uses heat to remove abnormal esophagus tissue.
Surgery - the damaged part of the esophagus is removed and the remaining portion is attached to the stomach