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LIST: Barrett's esophagus and Duterte's other ailments

Speculations about President Rodrigo Duterte’s health flared up anew after he said on Tuesday that his doctor warned of his Barrett’s esophagus possibly leading to Stage 1 cancer.

According to Joseph Morong’s report on “24 Oras” on Wednesday, the president has previously admitted to having several other medical conditions.

Barrett’s esophagus

Duterte, 75, said in a televised address aired Tuesday that his doctor warned him against drinking as his Barrett’s esophagus could lead to Stage 1 cancer. 

The condition causes the lining of the esophagus to be replaced by tissues similar to the lining of the intestine.

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has since assured the public that the medical advice Duterte was referring to was already several years old. 

“Matagal na pong advice sa kanya ng doktor niya ‘yan at nakinig naman po ang kaniyang presidente, tumigil sa kaniyang panginginom, at dahilan kung bakit maganda ang kalusugan niya sa ngayon,” he said.

Buerger’s disease

Duterte also revealed in 2016 that he has Buerger’s disease, even adding that he was not sure if he would make it to the end of his term in 2022. 

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that the condition causes the swelling of blood vessels, most commonly in the arms and legs, preventing blood flow and causing blood clotting.

The disease is linked to smoking.

Myasthenia gravis

In October last year, Duterte disclosed that he was suffering from myasthenia gravis. 

The UK National Health Service defined it as a rare long-term condition that leads to muscle weakness and most commonly affects muscles that control the eyes and eyelids.

Duterte previously said that the condition caused his droopy eyelids.

Spinal injury

The Chief Executive has also admitted to being in “perpetual pain” due to a spinal injury caused by a motorcycle accident years ago. 

“I have a C4 and C7 [cervical vertebrae] na nag-impinge. That’s why I am in perpetual pain. On any day, it’s 7 in a scale of 10. Eh ayaw na ng doktor na sige ng painkiller. Sabi niya, ‘You better come to terms with your body,’” he said in 2018.

Last year, Duterte’s Japan trip was cut short due to “unbearable pain” in his spinal column. 


In 2016, Duterte also said that he suffered migraines every day. 

The president skipped at least two public appearances in 2019 due to migraines. 

Despite Duterte’s numerous ailments, Roque has repeatedly maintained that the president is in good health

The Supreme Court earlier threw out an “unsubstantiated” petition urging it to compel Malacañang to release Duterte’s medical records. —Julia Mari Ornedo/LDF, GMA News