Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the spilling of gastric contents up into the esophagus. In the early stages of this disease, it can cause heartburn. However, if not treated, severe GERD symptoms will begin to rear their ugly heads.
In addition, these severe symptoms can and do lead to esophageal cancer. Therefore, if possible, it is best to be treated for any heartburn that occurs more than once a week. By doing this, you are then able to prevent a more serious condition from occurring.
Severe GERD Symptoms:
1. Barrett’s esophagus: GERD can eventually lead to what is known as Barrett’s esophagus. This is the most severe of GERD symptoms. Barrett’s esophagus is the result of years of the effects of stomach acid, which is as strong as battery acid. While the stomach is able to tolerate this strong acid, the esophagus is not. The only way to diagnose this is to have an EGD, a test in which the Doctor looks at the esophagus through an endoscope. This leads to inflammation, and extreme cell damage. Because of this cell damage, the cells mutate and become cancerous. It also must be related that cancer caused by this severe GERD symptom leads to death in about 85% of those who get it.
2. Regurgitation is another severe symptom. This occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach not only enter the esophagus but back flows up into the mouth. This can especially happen when you lay down. This symptom can lead to other serious symptoms such as chronic coughing, and choking.
3. Hoarseness is a further severe GERD symptom. This is caused by the damage to the vocal cords by frequent acid reflux into the mouth (regurgitation).
4. This also causes nausea and vomiting after meals. These are the severe symptoms that you must be aware of when you have heartburn.
Medications for heartburn relieve the pain in the beginning of GERD. However, it is important to get periodic check-ups of your esophagus if you continue to have heartburn for several months, especially if the heartburn is more than twice a week and you are over the age of 50. This is especially important for white men because they are most likely to have severe GERD symptoms such as Barrett’s esophagus.
Much discussion has occurred regarding Barrett’s esophagus and how to treat this severe GERD symptom. There are those who suggest watching it and hoping it does not turn cancerous, because it often does not. Then there are those who want to attempt to use new technologies to treat this before it turns cancerous.
Acid reflux disease can cause several severe GERD symptoms, which can be uncomfortable, or cause more serious health problems. Therefore, it is very important to get proper treatment for acid reflux disease to prevent these potentially fatal severe GERD symptoms.