Causes of Barrett's Esophagus
The causes of Barrett's esophagus are currently unknown, but research scientists believe that the lining of the esophagus may change as a protective measure against the long-standing damage caused from stomach acid reflux. There are also certain risk factors that may increase a person's chances of developing the condition. These risk factors include history of gastroesophageal reflux disease, age and gender, and obesity.
Barrett's esophagus is a condition in which the esophagus forms new types of cells on its surface that are similar-looking to those in the intestines. It is a condition that can, in some cases, turn into a rare but deadly form of esophageal cancer.
The exact cause or causes of Barrett's esophagus are not known at this time. Barrett's research scientists believe that the lining of the esophagus may change as a protective measure against the long-standing damage caused from stomach acid "refluxing" back into the esophagus. At this point, though, this is just a theory.
Although scientists do not know the exact Barrett's esophagus causes, they do know certain factors that may increase a person's chances for developing Barrett's. These are known as Barrett's esophagus risk factors. They include:
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
The most common risk factor for Barrett's is GERD. GERD is a condition where the lining of the esophagus becomes damaged as a result of stomach acid "refluxing" back into the esophagus.
Although people who do not have GERD can have Barrett's esophagus, it is found about three to five times more often in people with this condition.