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Barrett's esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition affecting the lining of the esophagus, the swallowing tube that carries foods and liquids from the mouth to the stomach.
Stomach acid backs up into the esophagus from acid reflux or GERD, causing injury to the esophageal lining.
How Does Barrett's Esophagus Develop?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a disorder in which stomach acid and enzymes cause injury to the esophageal lining, producing symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, and chest pain. In some patients with GERD, the normal esophagus cells are damaged. Over time, this damage can result in inflammation and genetic changes that cause the cells to become altered. The tissue takes on a different appearance and microscopically is no longer esophagus tissue, but rather becomes intestinal tissue. This is called "intestinal metaplasia" or Barrett's esophagus. If a patient has GERD symptoms more than 3 times per week, they should consult their physician.
Content Courtesy of BÂRRX Medical, Inc. See study references.
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