What is it?

Barrett’s esophagus (BE) is a disorder in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid. When you eat, food passes from your throat to your stomach through the esophagus. A ring of muscle fibers in the lower esophagus keeps stomach contents from moving backward. If these muscles do not close tightly, harsh stomach acid can leak up, into the esophagus. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux (GERD). It may cause tissue damage over time, and Barrett’s esophagus.
People with BE have an increased risk for cancer in the area involved. However, cancer is not common.

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Barretts esophagus with dysplasia

Signs & symptoms

BE itself does not cause symptoms. The acid reflux that causes BE often leads to symptoms of heartburn. Many people with this condition do not have any symptoms.

Diagnosis

Your doctor will perform a test called upper endoscopy (gastroscopy) in order to reach a diagnosis. Endoscopy is a way of looking inside the body using a flexible tube that has a small camera and light on the end of it.
During the exam, the doctor may take tissue samples (biopsies) from different parts of the esophagus. These samples help detect the condition.

Treatment

BE is usually treated by reducing the acid levels in the esophagus. It does not cure the disease but prevents it from getting worse.
Your doctor will prescribe medication that reduces stomach acidity, and recommend lifestyle changes such as reducing caffeine consumption, sleeping with your head raised, and avoid eating before going to sleep.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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