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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Barrett esophagus is a condition that is also called intestinal metaplasia. Cells that line your esophagus change into cells that are like intestine cells. The change increases your risk for esophageal cancer.
Call your local emergency number (911 in the US) if:
- You have severe chest pain and shortness of breath.
Seek care immediately if:
- Your bowel movements are black, bloody, or tarry.
- Your vomit looks like coffee grounds or has blood in it.
Call your doctor or gastroenterologist if:
- Your symptoms do not improve with treatment.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
- Anti-reflux medicines may be needed to help decrease the stomach acid that can irritate your esophagus and stomach. These medicines may include proton pump inhibitors (PPI) and histamine type-2 receptor (H2) blockers. You may also be given medicines to stop vomiting.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Do not eat foods that make your symptoms worse. Examples are chocolate, garlic, onions, spicy or fatty foods, citrus fruits (oranges), and tomato-based foods (spaghetti sauce). Do not drink alcohol, drinks that contain caffeine, or carbonated drinks, such as soda. Ask your healthcare provider if there are other foods and drinks you should not have.
Maintain a healthy weight:
If you are overweight, weight loss may help relieve symptoms. Ask your healthcare provider about safe ways to lose weight.
Do not smoke:
If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking may worsen acid reflux. Ask your healthcare provider for information if you need help quitting.
For support and more information:
- American Cancer Society
250 Williams Street
Atlanta , GA 30303
Phone: 1- 800 - 227-2345
Web Address: http://www.cancer.org
Follow up with your doctor or gastroenterologist as directed:
He or she may need to repeat your endoscopy and biopsy. These tests help look for early signs of esophageal cancer. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
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