Long-standing heartburn, especially if it isn't properly treated, may lead to complications. These complications include:
- Barrett's Esophagus
Studies have shown a link between Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Barrett's esophagus which, in turn, may lead to a relatively rare but often deadly type of cancer called esophageal adenocarcinoma.
- Esophageal Cancer
Those individuals with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Barrett's esophagus are at a higher risk of developing esophageal cancer. Esophageal adenocarcinoma is the fastest growing cancer in the western world.
- Erosive Esophagitis
Esophagitis is an inflammation and swelling of the lining of the esophagus. It is most often caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn).
- Esophageal Strictures
An esophageal stricture is a narrowing of the esophagus. It occurs when scar tissue builds up in the esophagus. Since the esophagus isn't designed to handle refluxed stomach contents, so if the reflux is chronic, scar tissue may form and lead to a stricture.
- Make the necessary lifestyle changes
- Watch what you eat
- Keep track of your heartburn triggers
- Learn how to prevent heartburn before it happens
- Reduce nighttime heartburn
- Take prescribed medications