A small fraction of people with chronic GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) develop Barrett’s esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus is a digestive disorder in which the tissue in your esophagus is replaced by tissue similar to your intestinal lining.

Your risk of esophageal cancer increases with the presence of this condition. Regular checkups are crucial to ensure you don’t have precancerous cell growth. Precancerous cells should be treated right away to avoid esophageal cancer.

Symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus include:

  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Chest pain, which is less common

These symptoms can be similar to symptoms of GERD.

If you have persistent problems with heartburn over the course of five years, schedule an appointment with your gastrointestinal doctor. Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

Vomiting red or brown blood

  • Chest pain
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Difficulty swallowing

Contact your doctor for any questions and concerns.