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Some people with GERD disease develop Barrett s Esophagus. The cells lining the stomach and intestines are different than the cells lining the esophagus. The cells lining the stomach need to protect the stomach from acid. The cells of the esophagus do not need to protect the esophagus from acid. If there is reflux of acid into the esophagus, the esophagus may try to protect itself over time by developing cells similar to the intestine. When these types of cells occur, Barrett s Esophagus is diagnosed. These intestine cells may show abnormal changes or dysplasia over time. This is a concern because over time dysplasia (low grade, then high grade dysplasia) can develop into cancer of the esophagus.
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National Jewish Health authors free downloadable patient education materials to provide you and your family the information and tools to help manage your disease. They include Understanding Booklets, Med Facts, Test Facts, Medication handouts and more.