Barrett's esophagus is a disease caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, which destroys the delicate, smooth muscle tissue. The disease causes the esophageal tissue to replicate and repair, but the tissue formed is similar to the intestines, making it difficult to eat and swallow food and liquids.
GERD is a symptom of the disease, because it leads to the destruction of the esophageal tissue. GERD causes a painful feeling in the chest area, especially after eating.
Pain After Eating
Eating produces more stomach acid, which flows back into the esophagus. This causes severe chest and abdominal pain.
Constant stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers to form, which can produce painful symptoms.
Doctors can oftern see scarring from the esophagus' constant healing when they perform endoscopies on Barrett's esophagus sufferers.
Difficulty in Swallowing
The scarring and damaged tissue from Barrett's esophagus makes it difficult for patients to swallow.