Barrett’s Esophagus: What Is It and What Can Be Done to Hopefully Reverse It

Barrett's Esophagus: What Is It and What Can Be Done to Hopefully Reverse It

Barrett’s esophagus is an abnormal change in the cells in the lower part of the esophagus. Long-term GERD, LERD, bile acid reflux, or vomiting may cause the stratified squamous epithelium cells to be replaced by simple columnar epithelium with goblet cells. 1 2

The reasoning behind this replacement of cells is that over time pepsin, bile acid, and stomach acid degrade the cells in the esophagus (chronic inflammation) to the point where the body tries to replace them with cells that secrete more mucus and bicarbonate to protect the esophagus from further damage. Even though the body is trying to adapt to protect itself from further harm, it comes at a cost. 3 4 5

This change in the cells of the esophagus increases the risk of esophageal cancer formation. The risk, however, is not as much as initially believed (.5%) and seems to be an annual risk of .12% depending on the severity of one’s disease. Esophageal adenocarcinoma has a high mortality rate. The increased risk of cancer develops from the chronic inflammation damaging cells, increasing free radical damage from refluxed gastrointestinal contents, and from cellular mutation. Certain risk factors seem to increase your chances of getting cancer if you have Barrett’s. One such risk factor is consuming alcohol if you have a mutation that leads to decreased production of aldehyde dehydrogenase such as an ALDH2 mutation. If you have this mutation and are having reflux issues, it might be best if you cease all alcohol consumption until you get it under control. 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

The tissue change in Barrett’s esophagus will reverse itself usually after the causes of the disease are remedied, and the risk of cancer then becomes reduced over time. 13 14

Signs of symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus include frequent and long-term GERD / LERD / bile reflux, dysphagia, vomiting of blood, pain under the breastbone, and possible weight loss. If your Barrett’s esophagus is caused by LERD, it may be asymptomatic. Barrett’s esophagus is more common in overweight people and affects men more than women. 15 16

Diagnosis of Barrett’s esophagus is usually made from an endoscopy. Biopsies from the endoscopy are examined under a microscope, and changes of esophageal tissue are seen in people suffering from the disease. I recommend that you get a transnasal esophagoscopy instead of an endoscopy. It appears that this test is safer, without the risk of the use of anesthesia in routine endoscopies. Someone with Barrett’s esophagus is recommended to get a transnasal esophagoscopy three years after remission of the disease to make sure the condition is in remission. 17 18 19

Barrett’s Esophagus Protocol

Follow GERD, LERD, or gallbladder protocols to remedy underlying disease to reverse Barrett’s esophagus.

Add any supplement below to see if they help if they are not in any of the above-mentioned protocols:

  • Pure Encapsulations zinc carnosine – take one capsule with a meal, twice daily.
  • DGL licorice chewable – Follow supplement recommendations on the bottle (take thirty minutes before a meal; chew very well and mix with saliva for effectiveness).
  • Georges Always Active aloe vera – Follow bottle recommendations.
  • Slippery elm lozenges– Follow tin recommendations.
  • Organic black raspberry powder – Consume one teaspoon with a glass of filtered water mixed well, once daily.
  • Magnesium glycinate – 600 mg, taken at bedtime.
  • Drink and gargle with 1/4 of a cup of naturally, alkaline water (Evamor and Mountain Valley Spring Water are recommended brands) two hours after a meal to deactivate pepsin in the larynx (from stomach contents reflux) that might cause irritation. In addition, drink and gargle with 1/4 cup of naturally alkaline water before bed.
  • Follow D-limonene protocol if no relief in ten days.

Zinc carnosine will help reduce inflammation in the stomach and improve the integrity of the LES.

DGL, aloe vera, and slippery elm will coat the esophagus and help prevent further damage.

Black raspberry powder has a high free radical content and seems to reverse Barrett’s in studies. 20 21

D-limonene protects and coats the stomach / esophagus and reduces stomach overgrowth.

  1. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  2. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  3. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  4. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265012/
  6. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  7. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3265012/
  9. http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085%2808%2902180-X/abstract/
  10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16103445
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22320964
  12. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1103042
  13. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  14. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  15. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  16. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  17. Beers, Mark. The Merck Manual, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  18. Tamparo, Carol, Lewis, Marcia. Diseases of the Human Body, F. A. Davis Company, Feb. 11, 2011.
  19. http://transnasalesophagoscopy.com/
  20. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079338/
  21. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3047236/

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