gastroesophageal reflux diseas

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 It provides information about ways to minimize acid reflux and stop these complications from occurring.

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April 7, 2011

Chronic Acid Reflux

Chronic acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition that primarily affects the stomach and the esophagus. Chronic acid reflux disease is a result of an improperly functioning lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle. This muscle is located at the top of the stomach and at the bottom of the esophagus. The sole purpose of this muscle is to act as a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus protecting both from potential hazards. Mechanically, food travels from the mouth, down the esophagus in hopes of smoothly transition to the stomach. When food is traveling down the esophagus the LES opens up allowing the food to travel into the stomach and the muscle closes immediately after the food passes through.

When the LES malfunctions the muscle isn’t properly closing after food passes or it is opening too frequently. The open LES allows for stomach acids to leak up into the esophagus causing what is known as heartburn or acid reflux. If this happens occasionally, there is no need to be alarmed as your acid reflux is not chronic. If this heartburn happens two or more times a week you are likely suffering from chronic acid reflux. If not properly tended to, chronic acid reflux disease has been known to cause more serious health conditions.

It is not really clear as to why some people suffer from chronic acid reflux while others never seem to have a problem. Many speculate that a hiatal hernia is a great contributing factor. A hiatal hernia is a stomach abnormality that occurs when the LES and the upper part of the stomach move above the diaphragm. A major function of the diaphragm is to serve as the muscle that helps keep acids in your stomach. If you are suffering from a hiatal hernia the acids in your stomach acids can move up into your esophagus causing acid reflux symptoms.

There are many other factors that can lead to chronic acid reflux. Most of these factors are related to your daily diet. There are certain foods and drinks that can trigger acid reflux in those that are prone to the condition. If you are likely to drink soda, coffee or other caffeinated drinks you may want to eliminate these drinks and opt instead for a glass of water. Drinking water before, during and after meals works wonders for aiding in the digestive process. It also soothers the esophagus if you are experiencing heartburn.

Fried and fatty foods, though tasty, can be extremely hazardous not only in terms of acid reflux, but also in terms of health. Try eating healthy and see if your chronic acid reflux persists. Salads, vegetables and hearty fruits are always great alternatives.

See if you can eliminate bad habits. If you are a smoker, stop. If you notice that you are an overeater or that you are overweight, do what you can to control portions and lose weight. Eating smaller portions several times a day should ultimately help.

Make the necessary changes to nip your chronic acid reflux in the bud. Your health will thank you for it.

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