The treatment for Barrett’s Esophagus is similar to treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The following treatments may be recommended.
- If you are overweight, talk with your healthcare provider about losing weight.
- If you smoke, giving up smoking is important. Your healthcare provider will have ideas to help you quit.
- Limit citrus and tomato products, strong spices, caffeinated drinks, carbonated drinks, fatty foods, chocolate, mint and alcohol to decrease acid exposure of the esophagus.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than three large ones.
- Avoid food or liquids for 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches, by placing blocks under the legs of the head of the bed.
- Avoid bending forward at the waist.
- Avoid wearing tight fitting clothing.
Medications that may be prescribed to help treat Barrett's Esophagus include proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), H2 antagonists and a promotility agent.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)
Acid-suppressing medicines that are used most commonly for patients with symptomatic GERD
- Prilosec® (omeprazole)
- Nexium® (esomeprazole)
- Prevacid® (lansoprazole)
- Protonix® (pantoprazole)
- Aciphex® (rabeprazole)
- Dexilant C® (dexansprazole
Acid-suppressing medicines that are used to treat mild GERD
- Tagamet® (cimetadine)
- Zantac® (ranitidine)
- Pepcid® (famotidine)
- Axid® (nizatidine)
Medicine that moves the food through the stomach more quickly
Occasionally, surgery may be recommended to help strengthen the valve between the esophagus and stomach. This is called a fundoplication. If cancer is found, surgery is often recommended to remove the lower portion of the esophagus.
When a person is diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, regular monitoring is important. Monitoring often includes endoscopy exams with a biopsy. The frequency will vary based on the biopsy results.