Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) occurs when contents in the stomach flow back into the oesophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and the oesophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close properly. Common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease are heartburn and/or acid regurgitation. Heartburn is a burning sensation felt behind the breast bone that occurs when stomach contents irritate the normal lining of the oesophagus. Less common symptoms that may also be associated with gastroesophageal reflux include unexplained chest pain, wheezing, sore throat and cough, among others.
Diverticulosis is a condition in which there are small pouches or pockets in the wall or lining of any portion of the digestive tract. These pockets occur when the inner layer of the digestive tract pushes through weak spots in the outer layer. A single pouch is called a diverticulum. The pouches associated with diverticulosis are most often located in the lower part of the large intestine (the colon). Some people may have only several small pouches on the left side of the colon, while others may have involvement in most of the colon.
Barrett’s oesophagus is a condition in which the lining of the oesophagus changes, becoming more like the lining of the small intestine rather than the oesophagus. This occurs in the area where the oesophagus is joined to the stomach. It is believed that the main reason that Barrett’s oesophagus develops is because of chronic inflammation resulting from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD). Barrett’s oesophagus is more common in people who have had GORD for a long period of time or who developed it at a young age. Although uncommon, Barrett’s oesophagus may progress to oesophageal cancer in a small proportion of patients.