Barrett’s esophagus occurs when the normal cell type that lines the lower part of the esophagus (squamous cells) is replaced by a different cell type (intestinal cells). This process usually results from repetitive damage to the esophageal lining. The most common cause of this is longstanding gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which the esophagus is exposed to excessive amounts of stomach acid. Interestingly, the intestinal cells of Barrett’s esophagus are more resistant to acid than squamous cells, suggesting that they may be an adaptation to the chronic acid exposure. The problem with this adaptation is that the intestinal cells have a small potential to transform into cancer cells.
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Diverticular disease and diverticulitis are related digestive health conditions that affect the large intestine (colon). With diverticular disease, small, bulging pockets develop on the lining of the colon. When these pockets become inflamed or infected, the condition is called diverticulitis. They are very common – especially after age 40 – and rarely cause problems. At […]
Many Americans like to set New Year’s resolutions to make positive lifestyle changes such as improving their diet and going to the gym. However, March is also a great time for a healthy focus, especially as the long winter season comes to an end. National Nutrition Month, sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, […]
Gallstones form when bile stored in the gallbladder hardens. Your gallbladder is a small, pear-shaped organ on the right side of your abdomen, just beneath your liver. It holds a digestive fluid called bile that’s released into your small intestine. Gallstones are pebble-like pieces of concentrated bile material, typically made up of cholesterol or bilirubin […]