Why does Barrett's Esophagus develop?
The exact reasons for the development of Barrett’s esophagus are unknown. The most widely accepted theory is that damage to the squamous mucosa initiates a process of healing.
There are cells lying deep in the wall of the esophagus that have the potential to transform themselves into a variety of shapes and take on special functions during this healing process. It is these cells that become the new columnar mucosa of the esophagus.
Most physicians believe that the damage to the squamous mucosa which leads to the development of Barrett’s esophagus is caused by chronic reflux of acid or other stomach contents into the esophagus. It is likely that some people are predisposed to develop Barrett’s esophagus based on their genetic make-up.