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Signs & Symptoms Gastroenterology

Barrett's Esophagus
Signs and Symptoms

Barrett's esophagus itself has no symptoms but its precursor, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), does. Signs of GERD include regular heartburn, which is often described as a painful burning sensation either in the chest, behind the breastbone, or in the middle of the abdomen.

However, not all people with Barrett's esophagus have chronic heartburn. As many as half of all Barrett's esophagus patients don't have any symptoms at all. Because the condition can go undetected, it's good to know about other risk factors for Barrett's esophagus, which include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Gender (men are twice as likely as women to get Barrett's esophagus)
  • Age (Barrett's esophagus is more common in people age 50 or older)
  • A close family member with the condition

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.