When you have chronic acid reflux, it’s easy to focus on the obvious health problems you experience on a daily basis—the burning sensations after meals, the excessive hiccups, and the nausea.
Chronic acid reflux can create more damage to your health than you may realize. Without knowing it, you could be developing serious health problems simply because you didn’t know the complications of untreated GERD.
Long-term GERD is linked to a wide range of issues, and it’s important that you know what these are so you can recognize your risk and take action to heal your GERD.
Here are five health problems you might develop if you don’t address your chronic acid reflux.
One surprising complication of long-term acid reflux is pneumonia. When you think of pneumonia, the first thing that may come to your mind is viral pneumonia that you can catch from others.
But according to MedicineNet, GERD can cause reflux liquid to enter your lungs and create infection. Even worse, the article explains that you may be unaware this is happening because it can occur at night.
Chronic acid reflux may also cause another lung-related health problem: asthma.
According to Healthline, there’s a strong link between acid reflux and asthma. As Healthline explains, the medical community doesn’t know for sure why there’s a connection, but here are a few possible reasons:
- Your reflux can damage your airways, and the acid can cause your lungs to become more sensitive.
- Because it’s trying to keep acid out of your lungs, your body develops an automatic response that tightens your airways.
Whatever the reason, you need to seriously consider the link between asthma and your heartburn. If you don’t treat your GERD now, the inconveniences on your lifestyle may spread beyond diet restrictions to your favorite activities.
#3 Esophageal ulcers
Your lungs aren’t the only thing at risk when it comes to chronic acid reflux. The heartburn you experience after you eat that candy bar or drink that cup of coffee may be damaging your esophagus.
According to WebMD, when you experience reflux, it can begin to wear away the lining of your esophagus, creating ulcers.
And this can lead to yet another problem…
#4 Narrowing of the esophagus
According to UpToDate, when your esophagus begins to heal the ulcers your acid reflux creates, you can experience esophageal stricture.
In other words, your esophagus can begin to narrow and become smaller.
The article states that your body produces collagen as it heals your esophagus, but this collagen shrinks. As UpToDate explains, the result is you may have difficulty swallowing or experience impacted food in your esophagus.
#5 Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer
But perhaps the scariest of the health complications you can develop from untreated chronic acid reflux is Barrett’s esophagus.
If you don’t know much about this condition—and what it could lead to—here are some important facts from WebMD:
- Around 10% of people with chronic acid reflux develop Barrett’s esophagus.
- Barrett’s esophagus causes your esophageal lining to become like your intestinal track.
- You may have no symptoms of Barrett’s esophagus.
- It’s very rare, but Barrett’s esophagus is linked to esophageal cancer.
Whether you want to avoid Barrett’s esophagus or pneumonia, the key to putting a stop to your GERD is knowing what causes it in the first place.
Heal your body from acid reflux naturally, and get to the root of your flare-ups when you enroll in the Cure Your Acid Reflux Program.