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Questions for Dr. Kennedy
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Barrett's Esophagus
Posted by: landg
Date: May 18, 2008 7:01 PM

I have been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus and it is recommended that I take Prevacid. I'm not certain this is the best course of treatment for me after everything I have read. I have begun to take digestive enzymes, aloe vera concentrate and DGL as well as a good quality probiotic, but am not certain these are sufficient to reverse this condition. What would your recommendations be please, and given that I don't eat fast or fatty foods what changes to my diet would you recommend?

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at May 18, 2008 7:48 PM by Dr. Kennedy.

Re: Barrett's Esophagus
Posted by: drron
Date: May 18, 2008 7:47 PM

Barrett's esophagus is a precancerous condition. GI doctors recommend endoscopy and biopsy every 12 months to detect cancer if it develops. In the interim, proton pump inhibitors are administered. The insurance companies hold the position that all proton pump inhibitors are equal, but that is only a ploy to save money since the best one (Nexium) is expensive. As to diet, in addition to what you mentioned, avoid anything that provokes excess acid, especially spicy foods. This is not advice for you, but I will say that in your place I would opt for surgery. In such a situation, the GI doc might try to talk me out of it, but my personal approach to precancerous conditions is to remove them.

Re: Barrett's Esophagus
Posted by: drron
Date: May 18, 2008 11:36 PM

I am not saying surgery is a standard option for Barrett's esophagus. I am saying that in your place I would explore the possibility of removing precancerous cells anyway. The surgery you are thinking of is termed Nissen fundoplication in which the stomach is detached from the duodenum, turned 360 degrees at the gastroesophageal junction and reattached to the duodenum. This creates a "kink" at the GE junction forming a valve-like structure to replace the failed GE valve (which is the cause of GERD in the first place).

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