Barrett's syndrome is a condition in which the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food and saliva from the mouth to the stomach, forms new types of cells on its surface that are similar to those normally found in the intestine.
The exact cause or causes of Barrett's syndrome are unknown. However, there are factors that may increase the likelihood of developing Barrett's syndrome. Common risk factors for this condition include GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disorder), obesity, age, and gender.
While Barrett's syndrome may cause no symptoms itself, some people with this condition develop a rare, but often deadly, type of esophageal cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
Although there is no cure for Barrett's syndrome, there are several treatment options available, such as GERD medication or surgery.
(Click Barrett's Esophagus for a more in-depth look at Barrett's syndrome, including a description of the esophagus and its functions, a detailed list of risk factors, and an overview of the procedures that are used in diagnosing the condition.)