Barret’s esophagus describes a condition where the lower lining of the esophagus sustains damage due to inflammation produced by acid reflux. The condition typically affects overweight or obese men who suffer from long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease, (GERD.)
People who are suffering from GERD experience a constant regurgitation of stomach acids into the lower portion of the esophagus. As a result, the tissue around this region begins to turn into the same type found in your intestinal lining. The development of this tissue occurs to protect the lining of the esophagus from further inflammation.
It’s important to note that Barret’s esophagus is a rare disorder, affecting only a small fraction of people living with the symptoms of GERD. For those individuals that do develop the condition, they have a chance of developing esophageal cancer. Individuals with the disease require regular checkups for precancerous cells, also known as dysplasia. Here are eight symptoms of Barret’s esophagus.
1. Risk Factors
Individuals experiencing long-term symptoms of Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known by the acronym, GERD, are the highest-risk group for developing Barrett’s esophagus. However, it’s important to note that symptoms of GERD don’t automatically mean that you are destined to develop Barrett’s esophagus.
GERD, if left untreated, is an uncomfortable condition that can affect a person’s ability to eat, as well as digestive issues after eating. These individuals often experience intense bouts of gastrointestinal reflux that cause a burning sensation in the lower esophagus that feels a lot like heartburn.
It’s possible to treat the symptoms of GERD using OTC and prescribed medications that reduce the inflammation around the lower esophagus and limit the symptoms of GERD.
Other risk factors for the development of Barrett’s esophagus include white men over the age of 40-years old, as well as obese or overweight persons. People who smoke cigarettes are also prone to developing the condition.