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Printed From: Barrett's Support Forum
Category: Barrett's Support Forum
Forum Name: Barrett's Oesophagus
Forum Discription: Your Questions about Barrett's Oesophagus
Printed Date: 14 Apr 2021 at 8:25am

Posted By: Mary-Annx
Date Posted: 11 May 2012 at 8:04pm
I was given my diagnosis of Barrett's Oesophagus yesterday so am still a little stunned by it all.
I have not been given any info yet so need some advice about what foods/drinks I can eat/drink and what is best avoided to reduce more damage to the lining of my Oesophagus?
Thank you.

Posted By: LazyLout
Date Posted: 12 May 2012 at 6:16pm
Hi Mary-Annx,

Sorry to read about your diagnosis and hope that you get some reassurance from your fellow sufferers on this site.

Diet advice is very dependent on the individual. What may work for me may not work for you. So I'm afraid it is a question of trial and error. This link may prove to be a good starting point for you while we await others to chip in with their advice.

Good luck.


Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 12 May 2012 at 9:07pm
Hi Mary Ann and welcome,

Lazy has provided a good link and good advice.

We are all different and what works for one doesn't necessarily work for another. It may be to do with sub conscious conditioning as we grow up?
For instance, when anticipating acidic or spicy foods, it can be we may produce less acid than normal as the stomach recognises it doesn't need as much.

It's not necessarily the acidity of the food we eat either but more the "acid ash" acidity level after food that is important.

It is recommended you keep a food diary and discover which are your particular trigger foods. For me it was always pastry but I can manage the hottest curries and red wine.

However, common trigger foods may be coffee, chocolate, spicy foods, alcohol, tomatoes, citrus fruits, onion.

You may also encounter some "old wive's tales". For instance it is suggested that drinking milk will calm an acid stomach. However milk is a food that can produce an excess of acid.

All the best


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Posted By: bobgil
Date Posted: 13 May 2012 at 11:20am
What seems to work for me is the Mediterranean diet, plenty of olives, olive oil, greens, black grapes, poultry, fish etc (plus the odd glass of red wine).
I have cut out all fried foods, curries and anything spicy.

Posted By: Mary-Annx
Date Posted: 13 May 2012 at 7:35pm
Thank you Lazy, Chris and bobgil for replying to my Post.
I am a little confused now as to why we are changing our diet.  Is it to reduce the heartburn - as the Omeprazole stops my heartburn brilliantly - or is it to stop further damage to the Oesopegus?  I do burp after everything I eat or drink (even water) and they are not little burps either embarrasingly - is this normal?  I also have constant uncomfortableness in the left side of my abdomen and round the back (which was what they were investigating when they found the Barrett's) - could this be due to acid too?
Sorry to ask so many questions but it is so good to talk to others with Barrett's because, until the other day, I had never even heard of it.
Thank you.

Posted By: bobby
Date Posted: 13 May 2012 at 11:41pm
I have not changed anything in my diet, other than I can't take either orange juice or oranges. What I have done though is change the amount I eat in a portion, a little curry is better than no curry, if you see what I mean.
For me the best thing was to try different styles of cooking, I now do a lot of dry frying using the natural fat in the food to cook it or use a little water to start the process off. I also have added more veg to my diet, especially green veg, the digestive system does get used to it!
I measure all my food (and my wife's!) I take no more than 5oz of meat in any dish, if I am cooking pasta I measure out 60g per portion. Whilst that system may look a bit regimented or draconian for me it's the best thing I have done, I have gone from 17 stones to just over 13 stones and have dropped from a 42" waist to a 34" waist. My good lady has also seen the benefit as she has dropped two dress sizes without even trying!!
Don't be afraid to experiment it won't be long before you find the food that doesn't agree with you and it won't be long before you find the food that does.

Posted By: jcombs99
Date Posted: 14 May 2012 at 12:35am
   What you want to do is get to your proper weight which will reduce your HH like it did mine . As far as your diet make it so you don't get heartburn(I've tossed out dinners)... PPi's are a great thing BUT if you reduce your heartburn causes you can take them longer and at a reduced dose .PPI's can't be taken FOREVER .


Posted By: bobgil
Date Posted: 14 May 2012 at 7:06am
Sounds like you have got a number of things going on. Burping is usually a sign of a sliding hiatal hernia. The pain in the left side could be problems with the gall bladder. These are all common symptoms, associated with acid reflux. The main thing you can do is take a high dose of your PPI's and possibly ask for a CT  scan to check for any secondary inflammation, in things like the gall bladder. Sliding hiatal hernia, usually does not cause significant problems, apart from the symptoms you describe. I have changed to a Mediterranean diet, because I want to give the tablets the best possible chance of working and not to do anything that creates heartburn.

Posted By: Irisheyes
Date Posted: 02 Feb 2019 at 7:43pm
I find trying to find your trigger difficult as I have never knowingly had acid reflux, rarely burp and don't, as far as I know, have an HH. I'm still extremely surprised at my diagnosis I have cut out all the typical stuff ie chocolate etc, and am trying to have smaller meals during the day and eat before 5.00pm.

Posted By: Irisheyes
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 1:20pm
Like you I was recently diagnosed with this disease and was totally surprised as I have never had acid reflux or heartburn. The fact that I have never suffered digestive problems, like others on this website, makes it very difficult to know which foods to cut out of my diet. Since knowing about my diagnosis and reading up on the common triggers I have cut out all of them and have fortunately lost 5 lbs so far. Knowing that losing weight is helpful and a plus, but now I have to find out my triggers when I dont in fact have AR or HB. Does anyone else have this dilemma? Irisheyes

Posted By: chrisrob
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 4:17pm
Hi Irish & welcome to the forum.

Most people haven't heard of Barrett's before they're diagnosed but there could be as many as 3 million in UK with it, though only 100,000 diagnosed.
Although it requires reflux of acid to trigger the formation of the protective cells, about 40% report never having experienced the pain of heartburn. We don't really know why but one theory is it has something to do with oestrogen providing a protection - which would make sense as women will be prone to reflux during pregnancy. (And the majority of those who say they've never felt the acid reflux, are women.)

Trigger foods are very subjective and "banned foods" lists propagate mythology which has been largely superceded.
We know so much more about acid reflux now. Previously, everyone immediately assumed it was the food (and acidity thereof) that caused acid reflux. Doctors compiled lists of what patients said bothered them. These lists have proliferated (and lined the pockets of many selling acid reduction diet books).

The acidity of the stomach is controlled and regulated by acetylcholine, histamine and simatostatin - as described here .
Even the most acidic of foods won't make the stomach more acidic and alkaline drinks won't reduce the acidity either.
When people say a certain food causes them heartburn, it's not that food that's at fault but how it interacts with any existing inflammation:
Pour lemon juice over the back of your hand and it just feels wet. However, if you have scaring from a burn and pour lemon juice over it, it will burn.
Strong stomach acid refluxing can cause scaring to the lower oesophagus ( = oesophagitis). Lemon juice passing over this may produce a burning sensation, but it's not the lemon juice that caused the problem.

The other myth is that acid causes reflux. Reflux is caused by a malfunctioning lower oesophageal sphincter, most frequently occasioned by a hiatus hernia, - as described here . Acid suppressant medication (eg omeprazole) will reduce the stomach's ability to make acid and therefore make any reflux less damaging. However, - medication does not reduce the reflux itself which has to be managed by - lifestyle or - surgery .

So. Bottom Line. Only avoid foods that you find affect you. - How we eat is more important than what we eat when it comes to reflux.

There is a small risk that Barrett's cells may mutate to cancer but those of us diagnosed are the lucky ones. The acid suppressant medication reduces that risk and regular surveillance scopes every few years will check it's behaving itself. If any dysplastic changes towards possible development of cancer are ever seen, we can have it - ablated to obviate that risk.

Lastly, be very careful how you use Dr Google. There are far too many charlatans and snake-oil salesmen out there. The - Barrett's UK directory has links to all Barrett's specific support groups in UK and links to reputable sources of information.

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Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: 27 Mar 2019 at 5:58pm
Chrisrob - thank you for that post, it is very helpful. My husband is still at the stage of being told “probable” Barrett’s so we still don’t know exactly what we are dealing with. But ever since the word was mentioned and I googled it, I’ve been keeping a food diary for my husband and it’s been really frustrating as the only trigger so far has been tomato (which he is soo ragin about as he does like baked beans, and pizza occasionally!) His daily fluid intake rarely strays from fizzy juice and milk and neither of these cause him problems. Curry/spicy foods cause him no bother either. He has been told he has a hiatus hernia, and I do wonder if he has had this from birth, as we met as teenagers and he had been suffering from heartburn already. He is carrying weight now and so I think this is the main thing we need to work on, rather than eliminating food from a very fussy eater if the “bad” foods aren’t actually causing triggers.

Posted By: nasdaq
Date Posted: 29 Apr 2019 at 8:34am
Nearly same situation ... doesn´t matter which food I eat - I feel no regurgitation nor heartburn. I have 3-4 controlled burps after a meal and sometimes clearing my throat. But those symptoms disappear after max. 20min. and are very low - fellow man don´t realize this.
My cough which leads me to a GI last year also disappeared (Short Barrett, about 3cm HH - 20mg PPI).

"My Problem" is that I don´t feel anything pain or symptoms that I can find out which food trigger my reflux... I can eat all and have no problems.
(The only thing which I take serious is no alkohol, raising my head when I sleep and eat no meal 4-5 hours before sleep).

This is my dilemma - I don´t know how I can find the right way managing my Barrett/Reflux.
Yes - I like to have two cups of coffee over a day or have a chocolate or eating a steak - I can do this without getting problem - but I have always a guilty conscience doing that - also not a good situation.

Maybe somebody experience the same situation or can give me an advice.

Best Michael

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