What are the causes of Barretts Esophagus?
- Barrrett’s esophagus causes damage to the lower esophagus.
- The exposure to stomach acid causes the damage.
- A burning sensation in the heart can be experienced by patients.
- Men and white people are at higher risk.
What is Barrett's Esophagus?
The condition in which the lower esophagus is damaged due to exposure to stomach acid is known as Barrett's esophagus. This damage leads to a colour and composition change of the esophagus cells.
People who have been suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) for a long time are at a risk of condition. GERD is a chronic regurgitation of acid from stomach to the lower esophagus. However, very less people suffering from GERD are diagnosed with the condition.
What are the Symptoms?
The symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus are usually related to acid reflux and the signs may include:
- A burning sensation in the heart which occurs frequently.
- Inability to swallow food comfortably.
- Pain in the chest
- Pain in upper abdomen
- Dry cough
People suffering from the condition experience these symptoms but, there are people who experience no symptoms at all.
What Leads to the Condition?
Although the main cause of Barreett’s esophagus is yet to be discovered but, people suffering from the condition are always diagnosed with long term GERD. It is believed that that it is because of GERD that the stomach contents get wash back into esophagus causing the damage.
Who is at Risk?
There are few factors which can increase the risk of Barreett’s esophagus. Factors like:
- Chronic heartburn and acid reflux
- White people
- Older adults
Image courtesy: Getty Images
Read more on Barretts Esophagus.
Source: Onlymyhealth editorial team Jun 24, 2014
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