• Living With Barrett's Esophagus

    Barrett's esophagus is associated with long-standing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a common condition where stomach contents, including acid and bile, regurgitate into the esophagus. It has been suggested that Barrett's esophagus is the body's attempt to protect the esophagus from the irritating effects of acid and bile by changing to a different lining.

    What's New

    A number of experimental techniques are also being used to eliminate 's mucosa, such as photodynamic therapy (PDT), thermal ablation and endoscopic mucosal resection. However, their long-term effects are unknown and these technologies are not widely available.

    Managing Your Symptoms

    No treatment has been shown to return the lining of the esophagus to its normal state. However, most patients with Barrett's esophagus are given lifestyle advice and treated with medications to reduce stomach acid, control the symptoms of GERD and minimize ongoing damage.

    Treatment Options

    Medications to reduce stomach acid and control the symptoms of GERD include antacids, proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor antagonists.

    • Antacids work by neutralizing acid that is present in the stomach. Antacids are of value for patients who have intermittent symptoms that require quick relief. However to treat an ulcer frequent dosing is necessary and more effective medications are now present.
    • Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are the most effective medications for lowering acid and treating ulcer disease. They work by blocking proton pumps that secrete acid in the stomach and block acid the strongest.
    • H2 receptor antagonists work by blocking histamines that stimulate acid secretion in the stomach. These are prescriptions drugs but some are now available as over the counter medications that do not requires a doctor's prescription.

Enhancing lifelong health

The Canadian Digestive Health Foundation believes our ability to help establish, enrich and protect a healthy gut microbiota is the key to lifelong health