Barretts Disease Symptoms
by N J Howell
This is part two of a four-part health report on a health challenge called Barrett's Esophagus, also known as Barretts Disease. In part one, the question was what is barrett's esophagus?. Please read part one for a better understanding.
What are the symptoms of Barrett's Esophagus?
Though some with this condition do not exhibit symptoms at first, or may just think symptoms are because of GERD or acid reflux, one of the most common symptoms is persistent, chronic heartburn, that is heartburn that happens more than three times a week for an extended period of time. Other symptoms might include having difficulty swallowing, experiencing pain when trying to swallow.
Still others, and this was the case with the husband of my friend, feel their food is getting stuck when they try to swallow it. This choking feeling when trying to swallow food is a symptom that there may be a serious health problem in the esophagus and requires immediate testing and investigation.
Not everyone who develops this condition goes on to develop cancer. Testing includes determining the degree of dysplasia (or abnormality) to the damaged, irritated lining cells and those with high grade dysplasia are most at risk for having cancer.
Very serious symptoms may include vomiting blood or passing black-looking stool. If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical testing and evaluation immediately. If the esophagus is severely irritated, it can produce heartburn so severe that it might be mistaken for a heart attack.
Even though obesity is considered a risk factor in developing this condition, it is actually unexpected weight loss that may signal a warning about it. This is due to the discomfort experienced when trying to eat.
In cases where esophageal cancer has eaten through the esophagus and into the trachea, a person may experience coughing and horseness. They may also notice feeling uncomfortable when they breath, with each breath.
continue.....are you at higher risk for barretts disease?
Health Disclaimer: Because this health condition can progress to a life-threatening situation, it is vital to pay attention to all symptoms, even though some of those symptoms could be attributed to other things.