Barrett’s esophagus is a health condition that develops when acid reflux damages the esophagus, which is the pink tube connecting the stomach to the mouth. This damage causes the lining of the esophagus to grow thicker and redden in color.
Barrett’s esophagus often develops because of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, which involves symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation of food. Barrett’s esophagus is the result of GERD symptoms leading to changes in the cells that line the lower portion of the esophagus.
Men and people with certain risk factors are more likely to develop Barrett’s esophagus. Those who have GERD or who believe they may be at risk of this condition should consult with a doctor, as Barrett’s esophagus can lead to esophageal cancer in rare cases.