For the majority of individuals, heartburn is nothing more than an occasional annoyance. However, it can also be a symptom of a more serious condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is characterized by stomach acid flowing back up into the esophagus. This acid reflux can irritate the esophagus and cause painful symptoms, including a burning feeling in the chest (particularly after eating), which is known as heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is known to cause mild heartburn and acid reflux at least twice a week or severe instances a minimum of once a week.
The good news is GERD can be treated quite effectively. However, if this condition is left untreated, it can lead to quite a few significant health complications. Get the details on these now.
Individuals suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease have to deal with things such as food, acid, and digestive fluids travel back into their esophagus. Over time, if actions are not taken to alleviate this, this can lead to an uncomfortable irritation and swelling in the esophagus known as esophagitis. When an individual's body has acid exposure in their esophagus for an extended period (even just a couple of weeks), they can develop inflammation in the lining, which can be incredibly uncomfortable and even painful. It can also allow the esophagus to become more prone to further detrimental erosion and scarring.
Keep reading to learn more about the complications associated with untreated gastroesophageal reflux disease now.