Heartburn, also known as GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease), is a common condition that mostly everyone has experienced at some point in time. However, when heartburn becomes frequent and persistent over time, it can lead to some surprising, but serious complications that should be addressed by your healthcare provider. Here are a few side effects to consider if you are a chronic heartburn sufferer.
- Barrett’s esophagus. This refers to abnormal changes to the esophagus that can be a precursor to esophageal cancer.
- Erosion of the esophagus. Severe inflammation in the esophagus from repeated exposure to stomach acid, which can eventually result in bleeding.
- Stricture of the esophagus. A narrowing of regions of the esophagus after repeated injury. This complication can lead to difficulty swallowing and an increased risk of choking.
- Problems in other areas. Heartburn can affect your teeth, throat and airways. One example is tooth decay caused by repeated tooth exposure to stomach acid.
Don’t let heartburn surprise you with these more serious complications. If you can’t seem to control your heartburn with changes in your diet and basic recommendations (i.e., avoid lying down too soon after a meal, eat smaller meals, and avoid spicy foods), perhaps it’s time to think about other options available.
If you’re ready to learn more, schedule a consultation at Brandon Regional. Our upcoming class, “Heartburn…It’s Time to Talk,” will be held tomorrow, December 21, 2011 at the Brandon Oakfield Medical Plaza at 7:00pm. Our classes are free and provide you with the opportunity to listen to one of our experts discus the various options and solutions available. Using state-of-the-art technology, Brandon Regional’s Reflux Center offers a comprehensive approach to heartburn and a team of highly skilled medical professionals. If you have a health question or need a physician referral, call our Consult-A-Nurse service, 24 hours, 7 days a week at 1-888-327-2636.
Heartburn: Surgery as an Option to Extinguish the Fire