Barrett’s esophagus is a rare condition in which the tissue lining in the esophagus changes color and composition as a result of long-term exposure to stomach acid. While most patients with Barrett’s esophagus do not experience any symptoms, this condition most often affects patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, and as a result may have symptoms such as heartburn, chest pain and difficulty swallowing food. Patients with this condition may have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Treatment for Barrett’s esophagus depends on the severity of the condition and the overall health of the patient, but may include simply monitoring the condition through regular endoscopies, or surgery to remove the esophagus or the damaged cells. Removing damaged cells can often be done using minimally invasive techniques, such as an endoscopy or photodynamic therapy. Your doctor will help decide which treatment option is best for your individual condition.
Bleeding of Digestive Tract
Bleeding in the digestive tract is a symptom that can be indicative of several different diseases, some of which are life-threatening. Many cases of bleeding are a result of ulcers or hemorrhoids, which can be cured easily, but still require prompt treatment. The digestive tract includes the esophagus, stomach, intestines, rectum and anus, and bleeding can occur in any of these areas. Depending on the location of the bleeding, some people may not even notice it, while others may experience bloody stools or vomit, as well as dizziness, faintness, shortness of breath or cramping. Other symptoms may be present as well depending on the underlying cause. Digestive bleeding can be caused by a number of different conditions, some of which include:
- Inflammation of the esophagus
- Esophageal tears
- Irritable bowel disease
- Crohn's disease or Ulcerative colitis
It is important to locate the site of the bleeding in order to properly treat this condition. Your doctor can diagnose digestive tract bleeding through a complete medical history and an endoscopy. This diagnostic procedure can often determine the location and cause of the bleeding. Other tests, such as a colonoscopy, anoscopy or barium x-rays, may be performed as well. Treatment for digestive bleeding depends on the underlying cause and whether the condition is acute or chronic. Treatment options can range from simple life changes, to medication, to tumor resection. Chemicals can also be injected during a diagnostic endoscopy to help control the bleeding before further action is taken. It is important to take the proper measures to diagnose digestive bleeding in order to effectively treat the underlying conditions.