February 4, 2023

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What is gastroesophageal reflux and why it’s not just heartburn, according to a Mayo Clinic expert

Gastroesophageal reflux causes heartburn and other symptoms that should be addressed if they persist (Ketti).

Speaking of gastroesophageal reflux, We mention one of them Digestive disorders Very common in the world. When does it happen? when Acid reflux of Stomach Return often esophagus, It connects the mouth Stomach This regression, sustained over time, can irritation The lining of this muscular tube causes the above disease.

Most patients can control this pathology with lifestyle changes and, if necessary, medications prescribed by a specialist. In turn, others may need one Surgery to relieve symptoms, but this is rare.

From the renowned British Health Centre Mayo Clinic Delving into this pathology, he warned that it is not just a feeling of acidity. “Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when acid and chemicals damage the lining of the esophagus. “Some people with this condition may feel a lump in the throat, have difficulty swallowing, chest pain, cough, or worsening asthma symptoms,” James East, one of the company’s gastroenterologists, said in a statement.

Second, East added: “Complications of reflux disease include esophagitis and inflammation of the lower esophagus. If this continues, the person may develop scarring and narrowing or narrowing of the esophagus. If this continues and heals, the lining of the esophagus can become acid-resistant, known as Barrett’s esophagus.” Known, this is the most common complication of reflux disease.”

The esophagus, which connects the mouth to the stomach, can be irritated by certain acids or chemicals, the Mayo Clinic (Getty) explains.
The esophagus, which connects the mouth to the stomach, can be irritated by certain acids or chemicals, the Mayo Clinic (Getty) explains.

Barrett’s esophagus, also known as East, is a condition in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by reflux of gastric acid. This causes the lining to thicken and become red. Over time, the valve between the esophagus and stomach can begin to malfunction, allowing acid and chemicals to damage the lining of this muscular tube. “In some people, this condition can cause changes in the cells in the lower part of the esophagus, causing Barrett’s esophagus,” they said from the Mayo Clinic.

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Although heartburn is one of the symptoms, many people with Barrett’s esophagus have no symptoms. As they present in their report, those who present the greatest risk of suffering from this pathology are white men over the age of 50; People with a family history of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer; Smokers; People with excess abdominal fat; and sufferers of reflux symptoms for more than five years.

“If a person has these three risk factors, they should have a screening endoscopy to rule out Barrett’s esophagus,” East added. Testing for this condition involves inserting a thin tube with a camera called an endoscope down the throat to look for signs of changes in the tissue of the esophagus. Then, a biopsy of the removed tissue is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to clarify that a positive result in these tests does not mean that the risk is developing Cancer Esophagus.

People with Barrett's esophagus should have frequent medical consultations (Getty).
People with Barrett’s esophagus should have frequent medical consultations (Getty).

“Even though the risk of cancer is low, it’s important for people with Barrett’s esophagus to have regular checkups to check for precancerous cells,” East said. He added: “Barrett’s esophagus affects 10% to 15% of people with reflux disease: 1 in 200 patients with Barrett’s esophagus will develop adenocarcinoma (cancer) of the esophagus each year.”

As explained by a gastroenterologist, “The stomach is designed to deal with high acidity. However, the esophagus is not designed to handle acid. So when the acid comes back up, that acid reflux damages the cells and replaces the cells that are more resistant to the acid that causes Barrett’s esophagus.”

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Finally, the expert noted, “There are new treatments and medications for reflux disease, such as proton pump inhibitors.” In principle, stimulants such as coffee, alcohol and smoking should be avoided. And if someone has severe or frequent reflux disease, they should see a doctor.

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