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What are the Different Barrett's Esophagus Symptoms?

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  • Written By: Nat Robinson
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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Barrett's esophagus is a medical condition where normal tissue in the esophagus's lining changes to a type of tissue generally found in intestinal lining. The esophagus is a long tube which extends from the throat into the stomach and transports food from the mouth into the organ for digestion. There is no particular scientific cause of Barrett's esophagus, although, it is believed that long-term gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a dominant cause of the problem. It is also known that the condition affects more men than women. In general, Barrett's esophagus symptoms can affect individuals in diverse ways.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is believed to be one of the main causes of Barrett's esophagus because most people with the condition have had GERD for a long time. GERD causes stomach acids and contents to flow backward into the esophagus. This can not only severely irritate the esophagus, but it may cause esophageal tissues to change their composition as well. Since it is so strongly believed that GERD is a leading contributor to this esophageal problem, Barrett's esophagus symptoms commonly mimic those of GERD.

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One of the most typical Barrett's esophagus symptoms is acid reflux. This is the name of the process that takes place when acids or sour liquids and foods from the stomach wash back up into the esophagus. Generally, the regurgitation will leave a poignant bitter taste in the mouth. The longer a person has acid reflux, the harder it may be to get rid of the taste. This process can significantly damage the esophagus in a number of ways.

Heartburn can be another symptom. Mainly, heartburn causes a sensation of burning and sometimes pain in the chest. The feeling may radiate up into the throat. Sometimes, heartburn can cause the stomach to hurt or burn, and the sensation can last for several hours. People commonly get heartburn a short time after eating and the symptoms may intensify at night, by stooping or from lying down.

Other symptoms can include a sore throat, hiccups, coughing and hoarseness. There may also be dark or tarry colored stools. Although not often, some people with this condition may vomit blood. Another problem may be trouble swallowing or feeling as if food is being trapped in the throat. Nonetheless, some people have minimal or are without any particular Barrett's esophagus symptoms altogether.

If an individual starts to experience an intensity in any Barrett's esophagus symptoms, medical attention should quickly be sought. Examples of intense symptoms can include vomiting a large amount of blood or passing extremely dark or bloody stools. If severe chest pains develop, that are more intense than those commonly experienced with heartburn, this is cause for emergency medical intervention. Experiencing symptoms of this nature may indicate a more serious event, such as a heart attack.

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