Complications of GERD / Heartburn
Only a minority of patients develops complications of Gastro esophageal reflux disease
One complication is the inflammation of the esophagus from stomach acid, which further leads to bleeding and ulcers, a condition called esophageal erosions or esophagitis.
Another complication is formation of esophageal strictures––narrowing of the esophagus caused by scar tissue located mainly in the distal esophagus.
In some patients, the normal esophageal lining or epithelium may be replaced with abnormal epithelium, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which has been linked to cancer of the esophagus or esophageal adenocarcinoma. Patients with esophageal cancer has a median survival of 2 years and less than 10% of patients survive for 5 years.8
Current literature also recognizes following other complications which may arise from GERD.
- Pulmonary aspiration
- Inflammation of the vocal cords or throat
- Disturbed sleep
Writen by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 27, 2012