Do you suffer from acid reflux? GERD or chronic acid reflux can be a difficult condition to deal with for most people. And if left unchecked for long, it does poses some serious risks related to the esophagus. Listed below are three major risks of GERD.
It is an inflammation of the esophagus wall, and GERD is known to be one of its biggest causes. A few common symptoms of esophagitis are difficulty in swallowing, heart burn, chest pain and hoarseness in voice. A prolonged state of esophagitis increases the risk of esophageal cancer.
2) Barrett’s Esophagus
It is a condition in which the tissue lining of the esophagus starts resembling the lining of the intestine. Barrett’s esophagus often goes undiagnosed because there are no symptoms.
However, if you have GERD, your risk factor for Barrett’s esophagus increases manifold. Controlling acid reflux is a way to prevent Barrett’s esophagus.
3) Esophageal cancer
When cells in the tissues of your esophagus turn cancerous, a condition called esophageal cancer develops. It is not easy to detect esophageal cancer at an early stage as the symptoms don’t show up soon. People with Barrett’s esophagus have a 50-100% more chance of developing esophageal cancer as compared to the general population. It is sixth among all cancers in mortality.
Symptoms of esophageal cancer include:
- Weight loss
- Difficulty and pain in swallowing
- Hoarseness in voice
It is advisable to manage GERD naturally as opposed to relying on antacids. Simple diet and lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing GERD.