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Complications of GERD / Heartburn

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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.


Esophageal strictures:

Another complication is formation of esophageal strictures––narrowing of the esophagus caused by scar tissue located mainly in the distal esophagus.


Barrett’s 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 


Next page: Diagnosis of gastro esophageal reflux disease

Writen by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 27, 2012