Barrett's Esophagus --- Causes and Top
10 Natural Remedies
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Last updated January 27, 2017 (originally publish April 7, 2013)

By Louise Carr,  Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

Barrett’s esophagus may not be a household name but the
condition is important since it affects your risk of getting

People who suffer from Barrett’s esophagus, a condition
affecting the tissue lining your esophagus, are at greater
risk of suffering a rare cancer called "esophageal

Barrett’s esophagus is a serious complication arising out of
gastroesophageal reflux disease, usually known as "

With Barrett’s esophagus, a phenomenon that sounds
eerily like science fiction occurs, the tissue lining the
muscular tube that carries all the food you eat and liquids
you drink from your mouth to your stomach is replaced ---
replaced --- by new tissue which is similar to the
tissue lining your intestine and stomach.  Strange, but true.

Is there anything you can do to prevent Barrett's
esophagus and the related cancer from occurring in the
first place? Are there any natural remedies that help to
manage Barrett's esophagus once you have it?

A Little History of Barrett's Esophagus

Barrett’s esophagus is named for Dr. Norman Rupert
Barrett , an Australian physician who practiced in the UK.
Dr. Barrett first identified the condition in 1950. Barrett's
esophagus affects between 1.6 and 6.8 percent of
Americans, according to a 2011 study from Oregon Health
Sciences University.

Barrett's esophagus is not an equal opportunity affliction.
It affects white men 8 to 10 times more frequently than
white women. And Barrett's affects white men 5 times
more often than Black men.

Barrett's Esophagus Predicts Your Risk for Throat Cancer?

The risk of contracting esophageal adenocarcinoma if you
have Barrett’s esophagus is 0.5 percent every year,
according to the National Digestive Diseases Information

Esophageal adenocarcinoma may be rare but incidence has
increased rapidly – from 4 to 23 cases per million between
1975 and 2001, according to 2005 research from The VA
Outcomes Group and the Center for the Evaluative Clinical
Sciences, Dartmouth Medical School.

Moreover, Barrett's esophagus can progress to something
far more deadly. After it progresses to the cancerous stage,
sufferers have a 85% mortality within 1 to 2 years.


In 2016, scientists from Arizona State University's
Biodesign Institute discovered a way to better pinpoint
which people with Barrett's esophagus go on to develop
cancer. The scientists discovered that only those people
with certain genetic diversity of the cells in their esophagus
go on to develop the cancer.]

What Causes Barrett’s Esophagus?

The main culprit behind Barrett’s esophagus is GERD -
gastroesophageal reflux disease – although not everyone
with GERD will get Barrett’s esophagus (between five and
10 percent of people, according to the National Digestive
Diseases Information Clearinghouse.)

With GERD, the contents of your stomach often flow the
wrong way up the esophagus into the throat in a process
known as reflux or acid reflux.

If you suffer from acid reflux over a long period of time the
cells lining your esophagus may be replaced with cells that
are normally found in the intestine, causing Barrett’s
esophagus. Other risk factors for developing Barrett’s
esophagus include obesity and a history of smoking.

What Are the Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus?

Barrett’s esophagus doesn’t have any specific symptoms
although sufferers will probably experience the symptoms
of GERD. These include heartburn, a sour or burning
sensation in the back of the throat, and perhaps nausea,
laryngitis or a
chronic cough.

Barrett’s esophagus is not a cause for despair -- in most
cases, those who have it do not develop cancer.  But
Barrett's is a "pre-malignant" condition, and thus  you will
need to closely monitor your condition and avoid doing
anything to worsen your odds of getting cancer.

That means, you should avoid acid reflux especially. It is
better if the acid reflux is controlled, slowing the
development of the condition, and there are different
lifestyle changes you can make to achieve this. For
example, you can avoid lying down straight after eating,
avoid tight-fitting clothes around the waist, raise the head
of your bed while sleeping, and cut down on foods that
aggravate reflux.

We looked at the available scientific literature to find the
best remedies for preventing and controlling Barrett’s

Top 10 Natural Remedies for Barrett's Esophagus

1. Eating Plenty of Fruit and Vegetables Helps Prevent
Barrett’s Esophagus

If you eat a diet high in fruit and vegetables you have a
lower risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus, according to
experts, including those at the University of Washington
and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle in

This study compared the vegetable and fruit intake of 170
people with Barrett’s esophagus against 182 controls.

Those who consumed the most vegetables and fruit had a
lower risk of the condition than those who consumed the
least, according to the study.

Several other important studies that pre-date the 2009
study and that came after the 2009 study echo the result.

For example, in 2002 a study led by Dr. Chainani-Wu of the
University of California at San Francisco found that eating
vegetables --and particularly green vegetables, cruciferous
vegetables and yellow vegetables as well as yellow fruit --
seem to protect against the risk of esophageal cancer.

Don’t Smoke if You Suffer from Acid Reflux

Sounds like simple common sense, true, but the advice
against smoking when you also have acid reflux is backed
up by science.

Smoking can increase levels of stomach acid, making
worse and contributing to a greater risk of Barrett’s

According to a 2012 study from the National Cancer
Institute, Bethesda, Maryland cigarette smoking raises the
risk of developing Barrett’s esophagus. The review looked
at data from five studies and found people with Barrett’s
esophagus were significantly more likely to have smoked
cigarettes than the control group – the more years the
people smoked, the greater the risk.

Licorice Can Help Control Barrett’s Esophagus

A special extract of licorice, known as "deglycyrrhizinated
licorice", is thought to treat and control GERD and acid
reflux, according to a 1990 study at the University Hospital
of South Manchester among others.

The study looked at 80 patients with GERD and results
were good, although the licorice extract was combined with
other ingredients including antacids which are traditionally
used for treating acid conditions.

Watch Your Waist Size to Prevent Barrett’s Esophagus

Maintaining a trim waistline is important for many reasons
and can help prevent the development of Barrett’s
esophagus, according to experts.

Obesity in the abdomen area is a risk factor for the
condition, according to a 2007 study from the Division of
Research, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland.

There was an association between people with Barrett’s
esophagus and a larger waist measurement, which
mattered more than Body Mass Index overall.

Scientists concluded that abdominal obesity contributed to
GERD, which in turn increased the risk of Barrett’s
esophagus. (Read more about
normal waist size for women
and men.)

Does Drinking Alcohol Affect Barrett’s Esophagus?

The association between drinking alcohol and Barrett’s
esophagus is difficult to pin down. A 2009 study from
Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland found
consuming alcohol in early adulthood (around the age of
21) may lead to the development of GERD although recent
alcohol consumption didn’t seem to matter.  Drinking wine
may even reduce the risk of GERD and Barrett’s esophagus.

And, a 2009 study from the Division of Research, Kaiser
Permanente, Oakland showed total alcohol consumption
was not linked to a risk of Barrett’s esophagus, although
wine drinkers were less likely to suffer the condition.
However, wine drinking was associated with a higher
economic status and regular consumption of vitamin
supplements, which could affect the outcome. Further
research is needed.

Multivitamins Can Help Barrett's Esophagus

Continue reading  page 1  page 2

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mixed vegetables
Eating plenty of vegetables such as this zucchini, onion
and carrot mix, can help prevent Barrett's esophagus.

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