A different way to think of Barrett's

My friend Barry

I have this friend who never leaves me.

No-one ever sees him but he is not imaginary and I have to be wary as people tell me he isn’t to be trusted.

He lives inside me and stops me digesting myself. The acid and bile that help break up foods in my stomach could do the same to my oesophagus if it weren’t for him. And he reduces any pain that acid reflux could cause.

Unfortunately, if I continue to throw concentrated acid over him, there’s a very small chance he could get nasty and want to kill me, so every few years, I get someone to take a look at him with a camera down my throat to check he’s still behaving himself.

I’m lucky I know he’s there and am able to keep an eye open for any mischief he may cause. If he does show any changes, I can get rid of him. But there are many people who have their own version of Barry inside them and don’t know; theirs just might decide to kill them and their hosts won’t know until it’s too late.

That’s why our principal aim is to reduce deaths to oesophageal cancer by raising awareness of its precursor, Barrett's Oesophagus.

A Hungarian paper produced May 2017 suggests:

" In Barrett's esophagus, which can be unambigously considered as a complication of gastroesophageal reflux disease, reflux symptoms ruining the quality of life may significantly improve, since the metaplastic Barrett epithelium is much more resistent to gastric acid, than the normal epithelial lining of the esophagus. Furthermore, the motility disorders (hypertensive lower esophageal sphincter, achalasia, cricopharyngeal achalasia) and structural changes (Schatzki's ring, esophageal stricture, subglottic trachea stenosis), which develop as a complication of reflux may help to prevent aspiration that can cause new complaints and may lead to further complications. "