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What are the complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Occasional heartburn is very common and usually not serious, but chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can have long-term complications, especially if it is not treated. Inflammation and persistent stomach acid in the esophagus can cause open sores or ulcers and bleeding, a condition known as esophagitis. Over time, the inflammation in the esophagus can also lead to a buildup of scar tissue that can narrow the esophagus and cause swallowing difficulty. This is known as esophageal stricture. In some people, the damage to the esophagus causes the cells in the lining of the esophagus to change, leading to a precancerous condition known as Barrett's esophagus. This increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

Continue Learning about GERD

What Are Some Ways to Treat Chronic Acid Reflux?
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What Foods Are the Worst Triggers for Acid Reflux?
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.