July 21, 2011

Acid Reflux Complications

Acid reflux occurs when the acids in the stomach come up into the esophagus. Occasional acid reflux is normal and does not cause complications, but when heartburn occurs regularly it causes health problems.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is also called GERD or acid reflux disease, occurs when heartburn becomes a regular problem. Doctors diagnose GERD based on how often heartburn occurs, the symptoms described and whether the problem reacts to heartburn medications.

If GERD is not treated, complications occur as the acid eats away at the esophagus.

Erosive Esophagus:

Erosive esophagus is perhaps the most common complication that occurs as a result of consistent acid reflux. The stomach acids come up into the esophagus and gradually start damaging the lining. After awhile, inflammation occurs, resulting in painful swallowing and potential infections in the throat.

Fortunately, erosive esophagus can heal if the acid reflux is diminished.

Barrett’s Esophagus:

Barrett’s esophagus is a specific disorder that occurs as a complication to continual acid reflux. In this situation, the lining in the esophagus changes from the original lining to the material found in the body’s intestine. Anyone who develops Barrett’s esophagus is monitored for complications like bronchitis and pneumonia, which sometimes occur as a result of the disorder. Individuals who develop Barrett’s esophagus are more likely to develop esophageal cancer.

Esophageal Cancer:

Like all cancers, esophageal cancer occurs when the cells in the esophagus turn malignant and start multiplying too quickly. These cells attack the esophagus and are harmful to the body. While esophageal cancer is not caused only by acid reflux, individuals who have GERD have a higher likelihood of developing the cancer.


Esophagitis is a common complication of long term acid reflux. It is a type of inflammatory problem that occurs as a result of stomach acid wearing away the lining in the esophagus. In some instances, it causes esophageal bleeding. The lining in the esophagus wears down to the point that it starts bleeding, causing painful swallowing, discomfort and the obvious blood. Another problem that comes with esophagitis is ulcers in the esophagus. Difficulty swallowing occurs when the esophagus narrows or partially closes as a result of the disorder.

Voice Box Complications:

Sometimes acid reflux results in problems to the voice box, otherwise called the larynx. Long term acid reflux can damage the voice box, changing the way an individual sounds when talking. In the worst case, cancer of the larynx occurs. Individuals with GERD are more likely than those without the disease to develop laryngeal cancer.


Acid reflux is controlled and managed in a wide range of ways. It is possible to manage heartburn and acid reflux without taking a prescription medication that has potential side effects. Natural methods of managing GERD include changing diet, adjusting habits after eating and lying on an incline while sleeping.

For further information about methods of managing acid reflux without medication, download the Reflux Remedy Report at refluxremedy.com. It provides information about ways to minimize acid reflux and stop these complications from occurring.

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