> Barretts Esophagus Treatments

Barretts Esophagus
Treatments
Natural Remedies


Barretts esophagus treatments that work. Simple, natural remedies from your health food store. Tested, effective conventional remedies for advanced conditions.

What is Barretts Esophagus?

Barretts esophagus, also known as Barretts Disease or Barretts Syndrome, is a severe erosion of the lining of the lower esophagus.

Most doctors will say that an excess of stomach acid is the culprit, but others believe that the problem is caused by the lower esophageal sphincter not functioning properly. If there is a reflux of even small amounts of stomach acid into the esophagus, there is trauma, since the esophagus is not built to handle acid. If the reflux is continual, there can be accumulated injury to the esophagus, which is Barretts esophagus.


Before reading any further,
see our medical disclaimer.


Natural remedies for Barretts Esophagus

In Barretts esophagus treatments, reducing the production of stomach acid is often recommended, but that method can cause other illnesses.

DGL licorice as Barretts esophagus treatment

Those looking for info on how to heal Barretts esophagus naturally might want to try DGL licorice for Barretts esophagus treatment: On an empty stomach, chew and swallow deglycyrrhizinated licorice, 760 mg as chewable tablets before each meal. This is not the familiar licorice candy, which will do no good. You want DGL, which you can get at your health food store.

Licorice extracts have been shown to support the health of the stomach lining and combat H. pylori – bacterium that can cause ulcers. This may convey benefits to those suffering from GERD, since recent evidence indicates that H. pylori eradication appears to improve GERD symptoms. 

Aloe vera

Aloe vera for Barret's esophagus treatment: Take aloe vera gel (make sure it's preservative free) several times daily, also on an empty stomach.

Slippery Elm

Slippery Elm contains mucilage, a substance that becomes a slick gel when mixed with water. It is used to soothe mucous membranes, especially in the gastrointestinal tract.

Slippery Elm for Barretts esophagus treatment coats and soothes the mouth, throat, stomach, and intestines. It also contains antioxidants that help relieve inflammatory bowel conditions. Slippery elm causes stimulation of nerve endings in the gastrointestinal tract, leading to increased mucus secretion. The increased mucus production may support and protect the gastrointestinal tract against ulcers and excess acidity.

Chamomile tea

Drink as much chamomile tea as you can hold. It's a tasty Barretts esophagus natural treatment, so it's not hard to take. If you like it sweetened, it's delicious with a drop or two of stevia. (Note: I like SweetLeaf brand whole leaf stevia concentrate, a brown liquid in a dropper bottle, which is unrefined and minimally processed.)

Barretts esophagus treatments: Supplements

Melatonin

Melatonin inhibits stomach acid secretion and increases peristalsis, that is, the movement of food through the esophagus into the stomach.

A study of 351 patients with GERD compared a 6 mg melatonin/multi-nutrient combination to 20 mg omeprazole (like Prilosec, Nexium). (BE SURE TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE SELF-MEDICATING WITH THAT MUCH MELATONIN.)

See details on this study.

90% of the melatonin group and 66% of the omeprazole group experienced symptom relief after 7 days.

100% of melatonin group and 66% of the omeprazole group experienced symptom relief after 40 days.

Relief was reached faster in the melatonin group (7 days) vs. the omeprazole group (9 days), with a much lower incidence of side effects.

The only reported adverse effect was increased drowsiness/sleepiness, which occurred in 159 of the 176 patients taking melatonin.

More Barretts research and study

A different study of 60 patients with GERD compared melatonin versus omeprazole, with melatonin AND omeprazole

Heartburn and abdominal pain was decreased after 4 weeks and completely resolved after 8 weeks in all three groups

Only the two melatonin groups experienced improvements in lower esophageal sphincter function.

Note that in this and the other study described above, there was no placebo group, so there is no way to know if part of the success rate was due to a placebo effect.

Raft-forming agents for Barretts esophagus treatment

Raft-forming agents are combinations of gel-forming fiber (for example, alginate or pectin) with an antacid buffer (commonly sodium or potassium bicarbonate). When the combination reaches the stomach, it forms carbon dioxide bubbles, which become trapped in the gelled fiber, forming a foam that floats on the surface of the stomach contents, like a "raft."

Several studies have demonstrated that rafts reduce GERD symptoms by moving into the esophagus ahead of the stomach contents during reflux (protecting it from exposure) or by acting as a barrier to reflux itself. A recent study of patients with mild to moderate GERD symptoms showed that an alginate-based raft-forming agent was as effective as omeprazole at reaching a heartburn-free period and reducing reflux pain.

Stiffer gels can be formed through the addition of calcium salts to the raft-forming agent. Raft-formers are most effective when taken after the heaviest meal of the day.

One example of a raft-forming product is Life Extension's Esophageal Guardian, and there are other products available at your health food store or online.

Here's a very informative page on raft formers, from Life Extension magazine.

~~~

Jonathan Wright, M.D., says that "sometimes, a combination of choline, 1 gram three times daily; pantothenic acid, 1 gram daily; thiamine, 250 milligrams daily; and manganese, 25 to 50 milligrams daily, will induce enough acetylcholine production to restore LES (lower esophagus sphincter) function" to produce an effective Barretts esophagus treatment.

This can be a serious condition,
with cumulative harm,
so be sure to consult your doctor.

If you are looking for a doctor skilled in alternative medicine to consult about how to heal Barretts esophagus naturally, try contacting the American College for Advancement in Medicine at (800)532-3688 or acam.org, or the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians at (703)610-9037 for a referral to an alternative physician near you.

Source: Nutrition and Healing E-Tips from Dr. Jonathan Wright. To subscribe, go to wrightnewsletter.com. For more about Dr. Wright, see tahoma-clinic.com.

Barretts Esophagus Diet

A study found that a healthy diet decreases risk of getting Barretts esophagus. If that's true, perhaps the same healthy diet would limit the progression of the disease, and maybe more. The healthy diet consisted of high amounts of fruits, vegetables, and non-fried fish, which reduced the risk of contracting Barretts by 65% over those who ate a regular diet with a lot of meat and fast food. Source: Am J Epidemiol 08; Jan 23.

Avoid:

  • Eating 1-2 big meals per day (opposed to 3-4 smaller meals per day)
  • Eating one big meal in the evening
    Foods high in fat
  • Fried foods
  • Sour foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Sweets
  • Tomatoes and tomato products
  • Allium family (onions, garlic, scallions, shallots, etc.)
  • Chocolate and chocolate products
  • Citrus fruits and juices
  • Peppermint tea (daily consumption)
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Caffeine-containing products
  • Alcohol

For more details on a good diet for Barrett's esophagus, see this article from Life Extension magazine. Scroll to the bottom of the page and read the yellow box.

Note: This condition is often misspelled: "barrets disease, barrets esophogus, barrets syndrome, barret esophagus." I'm adding this so that people who do misspell it can find this information.

Lifestyle changes as Barretts esophagus treatment

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Avoid clothes that fit tightly over your abdomen, which can aggravate reflux.
  • Eliminate foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn.
  • Avoid stooping or bending, especially soon after eating.
  • Avoid lying down after eating. Wait at least three hours after eating to lie down or go to bed.
  • Place blocks under the head of your bed to elevate your head six to eight inches. Raising your head by using only pillows doesn't work at well, if at all.
  • Stop smoking

Barretts cure? Reverse Barretts?

Notice that I have NOT used the words "cure" or "reverse" in talking about Barretts. Once the esophageal cells are damaged enough to call your condition "Barretts," here is what is likely to happen, according to the Mayo Clinic:

If your condition is mild, you will be monitored by endoscopy to make sure it doesn't get worse. You will have the same Barretts esophagus treatments as for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), like those above.

If you have "high-grade dysplasia" (presence of abnormal cells), the goal is to remove the abnormal tissue. This can be done by:

  • Endoscopic resection, which uses an endoscope to       remove damaged cells. There's good news about this technique.

  • Radiofrequency ablation, which uses heat to remove the abnormal tissue. Clinical evaluations have shown that people with low-grade dysplasia who receive RFA have an over 90% likelihood of removing dysplastic precancerous tissue from the esophagus. See video images of RFA, what you can expect from this Barretts esophagus treatment.

  • Cryotherapy for Barretts esophagus treatment, in which a cold liquid or gas is applied to the abnormal cells. The cells are allowed to warm up and then frozen again. The freezing and thawing damages the abnormal cells, which allows them to slough off. See this study: The Use of Cryotherapy for Treatment of Barrett Esophagus, which contains this statement: "The effectiveness of cryotherapy appears to be approximately 80% for eradication of high-grade dysplasia, 75% for eradication of all dysplasia..." 

    See this study about the success of cryotherapy for Barretts esophagus. Scroll down to the relevant part, which begins: "A retrospective study by Dr Nicholas Shaheen and colleagues of the treatment of high-grade dysplasia in patients with Barrett esophagus reported complete eradication of high-grade dysplasia in 97% of Barrett esophagus patients, complete eradication of low-grade dysplasia in 87%..."

  • Photodynamic therapy, which destroys abnormal cells by making them sensitive to light. Here is a long, scientific article about PDT: Photodynamic Therapy for Barretts Esophagus... "This is rarely used anymore due to the cost, side effects, and problematic long term results," says the Cleveland Clinic. Ask your doctor.

  • Surgery in which the damaged part of your esophagus is removed and the remaining portion is attached to your stomach.

You might also want to take a look at this book:


Prayer

"Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28.

A number of studies have linked prayer to healing, and although the results have been inconclusive, what could it hurt to talk to the omnipotent creator of the universe? A prayer for healing might go something like this:

"Dear Lord, please hear me now as I pray for your help with (name your problem). I pray you’ll cleanse my body and heal me completely. In Jesus’ name I pray; Amen."

Curious about the Christian religion? What is Christianity?
What is a Christian? What is Christian faith?
To see the answers and find out how to become a Christian,
check out this Web site.


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