If you experience heartburn more than you would like, this article is for you. You may think that chewing a few pink pills or drinking the pink liquid is all you need to do. Well, think again. This type of frequent heartburn can be dangerous. How does heartburn/GERD affect the rest of the body?
The Problems Of GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a condition that can lead to many medical problems. It occurs when a valve located at the entrance to the stomach does not function properly. It should close automatically, but if it malfunctions, food and stomach acid can come back up into your esophagus. This leads to a sudden taste of acid in your mouth and the urge to vomit.
Having acid reflux and heartburn occasionally is normal and nothing to be overly concerned about. When it happens more than once a week and for several weeks, and antacids don’t help, it may be time to see Digestive Health Services. You may have developed GERD.
Treatment As Prevention
Getting treatment at this stage can prevent any further issues that affect the rest of the body.
Narrowing Of The Esophagus
Over time the accumulation of acid in the esophagus can cause scarring which narrows the food pathway from the mouth to the stomach. These obstructions, called Strictures, can make swallowing difficult at times and lead to spasms which feel like symptoms of a heart attack.
An Esophageal Ulcer
The chronic acid in the esophagus can cause an open sore, or ulcer, to form due to inflammation known as esophagitis. Not only is this painful, but it can cause bleeding and make swallowing more difficult.
The damage from the acid can lead to Barrett’s Esophagus, a precancerous condition, which increases the risk of cancer.
What To Do
First and foremost see Digestive Health Services if you are suffering with chronic GERD or heartburn for a thorough examination at our office in Downers Grover, IL.
Stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, eat smaller meals, sit up straight when eating, don’t recline after eating, and don’t wear clothes that are tight around the stomach area. All these lifestyle suggestions can prevent heartburn and GERD from affecting the rest of your body.