At some point in our lives, we all have experienced a burning sensation or pain in our chest along with a bad taste in our mouth. It is quite normal and generally goes away on its own by taking some medicines. However, if you frequently throw up your stomach contents, you might be suffering from gastrointestinal reflux disease(GERD).

GERD is a serious health issue and can pose dangerous complications. It is more than just heartburn and acid reflux. Constant exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid damages its tissue and leads to inflammation and irritation.

Unlike acid reflux, GERD does not heal on its own. You need prescription medicines to manage its symptoms. In severe cases, when medications or lifestyle changes fail to work, you need a GERD treatment surgery after consultation with your doctor.

However, some patients do not seek treatment for GERD. They are too hesitant to take medicines and just live with it. But, it is to be noted that failing to get a diagnosis of GERD causes potential risks to our health.

In this blog, we will take a closer look at some of the problems that you might face if GERD is left untreated.

Long-Term Health Complications If GERD Is Left Untreated

A gastroenterologist says it is extremely crucial to get care if you are suffering from the alarming symptoms of GERD. Treating the complications arising out of untreated GERD is a lot more difficult than giving solutions to the actual disease.

Here are the issues that you have a high chance of developing if you don’t undergo GERD treatment surgery or take the required medicines.

  • Scarring of the esophagus: If your stomach acid frequently gets thrown up in the esophagus, it causes scarring and eventually leads to strictures. An esophageal stricture is similar to that of dysphagia. Patients with such conditions find it hard to swallow food and may feel food is choked in the food pipe.
  • Respiratory problems: At times, stomach acid may even get into the lungs, resulting in sputum symptoms and bronchitis. Moreover, if patients have asthma, it will make the breathing difficulty even worse.
  • Barrett’s esophagus: This is a common condition associated with untreated GERD. More than 10% of patients with GERD are diagnosed with Barrett’s esophagus, a disease where the cellular lining of the esophagus gets changed. Though rare, Barrett’s esophagus can develop cancer in the future.
  • Esophagitis: If the acid reflux from the stomach travels back to the esophagus persistently, it causes esophagitis. The severity of esophagitis varies in patients but in majority of the people, gastrointestinal bleeding, esophageal erosions, and ulcerations are quite common.
  • Dental decay: Over time, acid reflux erodes the tooth enamel making the teeth more sensitive to heat or cold and also cavities.

Long-term health complications if GERD is left untreated

Most patients are suggested to consult a gastroenterologist if they experience acid reflux twice a week. Moreover, if you are facing these alarming symptoms, it is time to get help.

  • Severe chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Hoarse voice
  • Feeling that food is choked in the throat

Wrapping Up

GERD treatment surgery gives permanent relief from the symptoms of GERD. If you would like to connect with a gastroenterologist who will help you to cure this condition, you can get in touch with Dr. Purnendu Bhowmik who has all the skills and experience to treat major illnesses with modern surgical intervention.