While millions of people suffer from acid reflux, that doesn’t mean you should just learn to live with it. In addition to being painful and hard to deal with it can result in some long term effects of heartburn for you that aren’t good. In fact, in worse case scenarios that failure to treat acid reflux can result in death. That is because the esophagus will continue to get narrower and that makes it harder to breath.
You also make your body more susceptible to cancer in the esophagus and the development of ulcers in the stomach when you don’t treat acid reflux. Many individuals develop severe respiratory infections and problems due to untreated acid reflux. It can allow fluids to enter the lungs and then they become inflamed and infected. If you already have major health concerns including asthma then you are only going to see them getting worse.
Even if your acid reflux doesn’t affect you to that extreme it is going to affect your life in many ways. If you are up several nights a week due to it then you aren’t going to be able to get the rest you need. That can make it hard for you to concentrate and you will be irritable. You can also end up physically sick if you don’t get the rest that your body needs.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is present when you have chronic acid reflux. It is going to result in the esophagus becoming inflamed and irritated. This type of disease is going to continue allowing further damage to the esophagus to occur if you don’t take action for it. This may require prescription medications that you take daily. If the condition is severe you may need to consider surgery in order to stop further damage.
Barrett’s esophagus is a common ailment when acid reflux has gone untreated. This results when the lining of the esophagus has suffered quite a bit of damage. As a result of so much acid in there is begins to eat away at this protective lining. This is a very rare condition that is diagnosed in individuals with untreated GERD. Many individuals with Barrett’s esophagus begin to loss weigh rapidly as they have a great deal of trouble swallowing foods and drinks.
The term esophagitis refers to an irritation in the esophagus. Generally the individual will have a red, swollen esophagus that is inflamed. It will be very difficult to breathe, eat, and swallow. You may not even be able to swallow pills to help reduce the formation of acid so injections may be necessary.
Esophagitis is very serious because a person is likely not getting all the nutrients they need. There is also a very big chance of bacteria forming in the esophagus which will result in infections. It is also known to lower the effectiveness of the immune system which means the individual is more susceptible to an array of different illnesses.
Esophageal cancer has become a common diagnosis due to the number of people with untreated acid reflux in our society. If the cancer isn’t found right away it can spread into other parts of the body. The cancer cells can spread very rapidly so aggressive treatment has to be taken. It is harder to fight though once the cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body. Seeing a doctor early when you aren’t able to cure your acid reflux issues will help prevent this from becoming a reality.
Since there are many different ways in which long term side effects of heartburn or acid reflux can affect your health, don’t let it escalate into something that causes severe damage to your body. Doing so will mean you have even more serious health concerns to take care of in the future. Focus on staying as healthy as you can so that you will be able to enjoy a long and happy life.
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