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The Dangers Of Untreated Acid Reflux

Aug 24, 2008
Acid reflux ( GERD ) is a disease that can become a much more serious problem for sufferers if it goes untreated. In worst case scenarios it can become life threatening depending in the health and age of the sufferer.

When someone suffers from GERD their oesophagus is continually being burnt and slowly destroyed with contents from their stomach. This will inevitably cause scarring on the walls of the oesophagus. If the contents of the stomach are unable to re-enter the stomach they will continue to be digested in the oesophagus which will eventually damage and weaken the oesophagus so it becomes less effective as part of the digestive system than it already is.

Acid reflux isn't a disease that only adults suffer with, babies and young children can suffer as well. Babies that suffer are more prone to other serious illnesses if the disease is left untreated. Contents of the stomach can enter their windpipe and will eventually cause damage to their lungs

Lung damage can lead to asthma, pneumonia and in the worst cases, sudden infant death syndrome ( SIDS )

When the contents of the stomach cause damage to the oesophagus the walls become enflamed. This inflammation is known as Erosive Esophagitis which is not a very comfortable condition to live with

Erosive Esophagitis can lead to bleeding of the oesophagus which is a condition that can require surgery to put right. Patients can lose lots of blood which will enter the stomach and will be coughed up. Blood transfusions have been used on patients that have suffered from anaemic reaction.

All the damage and swelling of the oesophagus can make it difficult to properly ingest food, and on occasions can make breathing difficult.

When the oesophagus is continually filled with stomach acid and other stomach contents the damage that is caused can make the cells become cancerous. This is a condition called Barrett's Oesophagus. The percentage of acid reflux sufferers that eventually get this condition is ten percent, and this figure is gradually getting higher.

If the oesophagus is severely scarred and consistently filled with stomach acids it can eventually cause oesophageal cells to become cancerous, a condition called Barrett's oesophagus. Although only ten percent of individuals who suffer from acid reflux disease eventually go on to develop Barrett's oesophagus, this percentage is increasing.

Heartburn is a minor symptom of acid reflux, and this is the first sigh that you're suffering from this disease. The sooner you start treating yourself when you suffer from heartburn you can easily prevent any of the conditions mentioned above from happening.
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