The main symptoms of Barrett’s Oesophagus are persistent acid reflux or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). People with persistent acid reflux or GORD often experience heartburn and indigestion. Acid Reflux is very common, and many people have symptoms at some point in their lives. However, persistent acid reflux and heartburn or indigestion over a long period of time can damage the oesophagus and cause Barrett’s Oesophagus.
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid constantly flows back up into the oesophagus. As a long-term, persistent condition, the acid can irritate the oesophagus, causing pain, heartburn and indigestion. In some people, the valve that joins the oesophagus to the stomach is weak. This means stomach acid moves up more easily into the oesophagus. Approximately 1 in 10 people (10%) undergoing an endoscopy for acid reflux have Barrett’s Oesophagus.
If you’re experiencing the symptoms of Barrett’s Oesophagus persistent acid reflux over a long time, indigestion and heartburn, or notice yourself constantly reaching for heartburn medication, then you should consult your GP.