Gastroesophageal reflux disease is not generally a socially acceptable subject because it is difficult to understand the pain a person is going through when you are hearing about disgusting things like vomiting and heartburn. However, understanding the complications of GERD is something that every person that has ever had the condition should do, here are a few of the complications of acid reflux, or GERD.
Ulcers- A break in the lining of the esophagus that results in inflammation or irritation is generally referred to as an ulcer. This ulcer will damage the cells lining the esophagus and could cause bleeding so severe that a transfusion or surgical procedure is required to fix the problem. Not everybody that has GERD will have an ulcer or the complications of an ulcer, but it is something to think about checking with a doctor if the pain continues to get worse over time.
Strictures- The problem of ulcers isn’t over when the ulcers heal and begin to scar over because these scars, or fibrosis, will shrink scar tissue and cause a scarred narrowing or a stricture. When these strictures continue to narrow the esophagus it makes the food more and more difficult to pass through in the digestive process and makes acid reflux more of a distinct possibility. To fix this problem an endoscopic procedure will be necessary to stretch out the passage enough to allow food through.
Barrett’s Esophagus- One form of GERD that can be extremely dangerous and potentially fatal due to is possibility of causing cancer is Barrett’s esophagus. With Barrett’s esophagus the cells that line the throat can be damaged and even cancerous. An endoscopy or, microscopic examination of the living cells can determine if the cells in the esophagus are cancerous, allowing the inflicted to have a chance to wart off any disease in the offing. This condition only happens in about 10% of patients with GERD, meaning that the chances are you won’t get it, but it never hurts to get checked.
These are three of the seven major complications of GERD, continue on with your reading to determine what the complication of your GERD could be.