Barrett's esophagus is caused when the cells in your esophagus (food pipe) change and become like the cells found in your stomach lining. These new, abnormal cells damage your esophageal tissue lining and can lead to esophageal cancer.
You are more likely to develop Barrett’s esophagus disease if you’ve been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly referred to as chronic acid reflux.
The tissue changes taking place in your esophagus due to Barrett's esophagus don’t cause any symptoms. Rather, the signs and symptoms that you may experience are generally due to GERD, which is commonly related to Barrett’s esophagus.
Some of the typical GERD symptoms include:
- Chest pain*
- Difficulty swallowing food
- Frequent heartburn or acid reflux
*Note: Seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain accompanied by shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain. These may be signs and symptoms of a heart attack, not GERD.
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