If you’re one of the 60 million or so people in the US with acid reflux, you know all too well the misery it causes.
This can go WAY beyond a 4-alarm fire in your chest and include:
- Regurgitation of food and stomach acid
- Chest pain
- Chronic cough; frequent throat-clearing
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bloating and gas
- Shortness of breath
- Sore throat
But there’s another consequence of acid reflux that is far worse than burping or sleeping propped up on pillows.
Let’s look at this sneaky and possibly deadly condition, as well as explore ways that you can keep it far away from you (or help keep it quiet if you’ve got it).
What is Barrett's esophagus?
Barrett's esophagus is a condition where the cells lining your lower esophagus change, becoming more like the inside of your intestines instead.
This is called intestinal metaplasia and is the result of repeated exposure to stomach acid -- in other words, acid reflux or GERD.
Although Barrett's esophagus symptoms are usually the same as acid reflux/GERD, it's also possible to have NO symptoms at all...
This can be especially dangerous because people with Barrett's esophagus have an increased risk of developing esophageal adenocarcinoma – one of the deadliest cancers in the US.
Barrett's esophagus and cancer
Once cancer occurs, depending on the degree of severity it can result in losing a portion of your esophagus.
The surgery is called an esophagectomy. It involves removing your esophagus and the top part of your stomach. A portion of your stomach is then pulled up into your chest and connected to the remaining un-diseased portion of your esophagus.
To say this is traumatic is a vast understatement.
The procedure has a very high mortality rate and even if you do survive, possible complications include:
- Breathing problems
- Lowered immune function
- Permanent damage to your larynx (voice box)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Frequent vomiting
Clearly, Barrett's is something to take very seriously.
So understandably, many people with Barrett’s have gotten the you-know-what frightened out of them and are desperate to do whatever they must to avoid its worst consequences.
Now, the typical suggestions for Barrett’s are the same as acid reflux/GERD--avoid spicy foods and take acid reducing drugs.
Well, let’s talk about that for a moment.
If avoiding spicy foods and taking acid reducers works so well all the time, then tell me, why have all the cases of acid reflux progressed into Barrett’s in the first place?
In addition, what many people don’t realize is that acid reducers make things worse!
Why acid reducers worsen Barrett’s esophagus
The most common treatment for acid reflux/GERD and Barrett's is acid reducing drugs -- PPIs (like Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid), or H2 Blockers (like Zantac, Pepcid or Tagamet).
These drugs are designed to reduce your stomach's acid secretions. Less acid in the stomach supposedly means less acid to slide up into your esophagus.
But it isn’t that simple.
You see, acid enzymes are needed for your body to digest proteins! So when your stomach secretes acid in response to protein, it's doing its job and should not be interfered with!
But that's precisely what acid reducers do, and as a result, your digestion can be greatly slowed and even stopped.
Now, your stomach is smart—it senses when this is happening and tries to secrete more acid to restart digestion, but eventually its efforts are stopped by the drugs again.
This cycle can go on for hours and result in a reservoir of putrefied food and acid in your stomach.
Now, guess what happens later, especially as soon as you lie down?
You guessed it--up, Up, UP it comes into your throat. This creates the very thing you were trying to avoid—the ideal environment for Barrett's esophagus to flourish.
Your misery won’t end there, by the way.
Because poor digestion can also lead to trouble further down. When your foods are not broken down like they should be before they move out of the stomach, it creates a tremendous burden on your pancreas, liver and gallbladder to try to finish digestion.
As a result, you can also experience gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea.
Those are common side effects of many acid reducing drugs and now you know why that is so.
What IS the best approach for acid reflux/GERD and Barrett’s?
If you want to help lessen your chances of developing Barrett's esophagus (or help prevent it from worsening if you already have it), the true key is to...
Make sure your digestion is efficient!
When your digestion is accomplished thoroughly and completely, there is no rotting mass of food and acid to rise into your throat.
In other words, you help eliminate a root cause of Barrett's (and acid reflux/GERD too!).
This can be accomplished in two easy steps:
1- With the right diet
Although the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) claims that, “Researchers have not found that diet and nutrition play an important role in causing or preventing Barrett’s esophagus,” all I can say is those researchers must have had their heads you-know-where.
NOTHING impacts your digestion more than your diet! So to say that one has nothing to do with the other is an extreme disservice and downright wrong.
To make a huge difference in your digestion, you must eliminate harmful acid-creating foods (processed and fast food) and smorgasbord-type meals that cause digestive disaster and replace them with some real, alkalinizing foods and meal combinations that your body can break down easier.
The Great Taste No Pain system will show you step by easy step exactly what to do.
Great Taste No Pain spells out which foods are acid-forming in your body vs. those that are alkaline. It also shows you what foods digest easier together and what combinations to avoid.
It couldn’t be simpler!
Once you start making these few modifications to your diet chances are excellent you’ll see a difference in how you feel VERY quickly—quite possibly even by the very first meal!
And that's great news to people with acid reflux/GERD and especially Barrett's!
2- With enzyme supplementation
If you've eaten typical hard to digest meals or processed or fast food for a long time (and Heaven knows that describes countless Americans), chances are excellent that your body's ability to produce adequate enzymes for digestion is reduced or impaired.
That’s why supplementation with an enzyme formula like Digestizol Max can be so helpful to so many people.
Digestizol Max contains enzymes that target any kind of food you can eat—proteins, carbs, fats, dairy, fiber, etc., plus soothing herbs to help calm an inflamed GI tract.
Digestizol Max can help give your body a much-needed boost to keep your digestion nice and smooth -- and help make acid reflux and GERD symptoms a thing of the past for you.
Other helpful suggestions
Other safe, natural measures to help soothe an inflamed GI tract and enhance digestion can include:
- Chiropractic treatment
- Quit smoking
- Chew Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
You CAN fight and WIN
If you have Barrett’s esophagus, or if you have acid reflux/GERD that you want to help PREVENT from progressing into Barrett’s, see what a HUGE difference it can make when you take safe, natural measures to help encourage sound digestion and heal inflammation in your GI tract.
To your health,