Coping and supportBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you've been diagnosed with Barrett's esophagus, you may worry about your risk of esophageal cancer. You may experience anxiety and worry with each new sign or symptom. With time, you'll discover ways of coping with a Barrett's esophagus diagnosis. Until then, consider trying to:
- Go to all of your appointments. Your doctor may recommend follow-up endoscopy exams to monitor your condition. Before each exam, you may worry about whether your Barrett's esophagus has worsened. Don't let this stop you from going to your appointments. Instead, expect to have some anxiety, and find ways to cope with your feelings. Try relaxing activities, such as exercise, listening to music and writing in a journal to express your feelings.
- Make healthy lifestyle choices. Stay healthy by making healthy lifestyle choices each day. For instance, choose a diet full of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Maintain a healthy weight. Exercise most days of the week. Get enough sleep so that you wake feeling rested. Making healthy changes increases the chance that you'll be healthy enough for Barrett's esophagus treatment should you need it.
- Be alert to new symptoms. Ask your doctor what signs and symptoms should prompt you to make an appointment. This way you may spend less time worrying that your condition is worsening.
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- Updated guidelines 2008 for the diagnosis, surveillance and therapy of Barrett's esophagus. Bethesda, Md.: American College of Gastroenterology. http://www.acg.gi.org/physicians/guidelines/BarrettsEsophagus08.pdf. Accessed March 25, 2011.
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- Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux (GER), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd/index.htm. Accessed March 28, 2011.
- Greenwald BD, et al. Cryotherapy for Barrett's esophagus and esophageal cancer. Current Opinion in Gastroenterology. In press. Accessed May 23, 2011.