Is heartburn dangerous?
Most people experience occasional heartburn. But if you depend on heartburn medication more than twice a week, you may have chronic acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is more than a short-term irritation. Untreated, it can lead to serious health problems — even cancer.
How do you know if you have GERD?
GERD sufferers experience heartburn frequently as their stomach acid enters, and then irritates, their esophagus. Other symptoms may include chest pain, swallowing problems or regurgitation of small amounts of food or liquid.
What are the long-term dangers of GERD?
GERD puts sufferers at risk for Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition that can lead to esophageal cancer. Both conditions are on the increase, possibly due to a greater incidence of GERD.
What are the symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus?
Any symptoms you may have will be similar to the ones you already have with GERD, so there is no way to know you have it without an examination.
How can you know if your GERD has advanced into a more dangerous condition?
An examination of your esophagus can diagnose Barrett’s Esophagus or related issues.