There are a number of common gastrointestinal conditions, disorders and diseases that may cause problems. These include:
Barrett's oesophagus refers to an abnormal change (metaplasia) in the cells of the lower part of the oesophagus. The normal squamous epithelial lining of the oesophagus is replaced by metaplastic columnar epithelium as a result of chronic acid reflux. Barrett's oesophagus is considered to be a premalignant condition because it is associated with a small but increased risk of oesophageal cancer (specifically adenocarcinoma). Barrett's esophagus is found in 5–15% of patients who seek medical care for heartburn (caused by gastro-oesophageal reflux), although a large subgroup of patients with Barrett's oesophagus do not have symptoms. The diagnosis of Barrett's oesophagus usually requires a gastroscopy during which biopsies are taken to confirm the typical histological changes that occur.
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