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Heartburn 101 - Complications of Long-Term GERD

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Updated May 14, 2008

If GERD is untreated, it can be harmful; the constant acid reflux will irritate the lining of the esophagus, and complications can occur.

Barrett's Esophagus
Heartburn that is severe or occurs frequently over a long period of time is a characteristic of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). If GERD is untreated, it can be harmful; the constant acid reflux will irritate the lining of the esophagus, and complications can occur. One of these complication is Barrett's esophagus. What is this?

Esophageal Cancer
Esophageal adenocarcinoma is the fastest growing cancer in the western world. Major risk factors for this cancer are Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and Barrett's esophagus.

Esophagitis
Esophagitis is an inflammation and swelling of the esophagus. It is most often caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Esophageal Strictures
An esophageal stricture is a gradual narrowing of the esophagus, which can lead to swallowing difficulties. Learn the causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods and treatment of esophageal strictures.

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