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What is GERD and how does it relate to Barrett's esophagus?

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People with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) may experience symptoms such as heartburn, a sour, burning sensation in the back of the throat, chronic cough, laryngitis, and nausea. When you swallow food or liquid, it automatically passes through the esophagus, which is a hollow, muscular tube that runs from your throat to your stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle at the end of the esophagus where it joins the stomach, keeps stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. The stomach produces acid in order to digest food, but it is also protected from the acid it produces. With GERD, stomach contents flow backward into the esophagus. This is known as reflux. Most people with acid reflux don't develop Barrett's esophagus. But in patients with frequent acid reflux, the normal cells in the esophagus may eventually be replaced by cells that are similar to cells in the intestine to become Barrett's esophagus.

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2017

SOURCES :

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Barrett's Esophagus."

MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: "Barrett's esophagus."

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: "GERD, Barrett's Esophogus, and the Risk for Esophageal Cancer."

Smith K., et al. August 2009; vol 7: pp 840-848. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology,

National Heartburn Alliance: "What You Should Know About Heartburn and Esophageal Cancer."

 Ferri: Practical Guide to the Care of the Medical Patient,  8th ed.

Feldman: Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease,  9th ed.

Reviewed by Nayana Ambardekar on September 11, 2017

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Does GERD always cause Barrett's esophagus?

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