The symptoms are the same as those of gastro-esophageal reflux disease:
- Heartburn, a burning sensation under the breast bone
- Stomach acid flowing backward into the throat or mouth
- Having a bitter or sour taste in the mouth
- Nausea in the morning
- Sensation of something stuck in the throat
- A feeling of food getting stuck with swallowing, like a scar or a tumor
Roughly one in 10 patients with gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) will develop Barrett's esophagus.
- The risk factors include:
- Being older than 50
- Being male. Barrett's esophagus is three to four times more common in men than women
- Being white (Caucasian). Barrett's is more common in Caucasians than African Americans
- Having chronic heartburn
- Having GERD
Persons with Barrett's esophagus may be at higher risk for developing cancer of the esophagus. Although the risk is relatively low, once Barrett's esophagus is identified the patients should discuss the treatment plan with their physician.