Diseases & Conditions

Barrett’s Esophagus

The normal cells in the lower part of their esophagus are replaced by a different type of cell. This has the potential to turn into pre-cancer or cancer of the esophagus.

Barrett’s esophagus is a condition caused by chronic acid reflux. In Barrett’s esophagus, the normal lining of the esophagus changes in response to the chronic irritation from acid reflux. This new lining has been shown to be a risk factor for developing esophageal cancer later on. It is important to realize that even with Barrett’s esophagus the chance of developing esophageal cancer is low. However, the risk of cancer is increased and therefore current guidelines recommend surveillance endoscopies to ensure more serious changes do not develop over time. Limiting acid reflux is also a very important component of preventing worsening changes of the lining of the esophagus. Acid reflux control may include diet and lifestyle modifications, medication and sometimes acid reflux surgery.

Barrett’s esophagus is diagnosed by performing an upper endoscopy and taking biopsies of the portion of the esophagus that appears to be injured from chronic acid reflux, typically the portion of the esophagus near the stomach. The biopsies are then evaluated under a microscope to determine if changes of Barrett’s esophagus are present.

For more information on Barrett’s esophagus, please visit one of the websites listed in our Gastroenterology and Hepatology Resources section.

Symptoms of Barret’s Esophagus

Symptoms are caused by acid reflux.

Foods that can trigger heartburn include:

Caffeinated Drinks
Fatty Foods

If you have any questions, or would like to schedule an appointment, please call (877) 891-ENDO (3636), or fill out our online contact form here.