Do people with GERD feel only heartburn? .. A report clarifies

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is one of the most common disorders Digestive It is common in the world, and it occurs when acid comes out of the stomach into the esophagus, and the stomach can resist acid, but the esophagus is less resistant to acids.

Gastroenterologist Dr. James East says reflux disease can be common, but there can be serious complications if it’s persistent and left untreated, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Heartburn is one of the main symptoms of reflux disease, but the disease is much more than that, says Dr. East. Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when you develop acid and chemical damage to the lining of the esophagus. Some people with reflux disease may feel a lump in the throat or have difficulty swallowing. swallowing, or have chest pain, or cough, or have worsening asthma symptoms.

Complications of reflux disease include inflammation of the esophagus. If this is persistent, scarring and stenosis can occur, that is, narrowing of the esophagus, and it may reach fibrosis in the lining of the esophagus due to acid reflux, which leads to an increase in the thickness of the lining and becomes red, and over time, the existing valve may start The gap between the esophagus and stomach begins to collapse, leading to acid and chemical damage to the esophagus. In some people, reflux disease may cause a change in the cells that line the lower esophagus. While frequent heartburn may be a sign, many people with Barrett’s esophagus do not. They develop symptoms. Having Barrett’s esophagus increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Although the risk of developing cancer is small, it is important for people with Barrett’s esophagus to have regular check-ups to check for precancerous cells.

People most at risk of developing esophageal fibrosis are:

White men over the age of fifty.

People with a family history of Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.

People who smoke.

People with excess belly fat.

Patients with long-term reflux that lasts more than five years.

If you have three of these risk factors, Dr. East says, you should have an esophagoscope to detect Barrett’s esophagus. A lighted tube with a camera on the end, called an endoscope, is passed down your throat to check for signs of esophageal tissue changes. Perform a biopsy to remove tissue and confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment for Barrett’s esophagus depends on the extent of the abnormal growth of cells in the esophagus and your general health. Early-stage treatments can include lifestyle measures and medications to help reduce acid reflux and thus exposure to esophageal acid.

Dr. East says Barrett’s esophagus affects 10% to 15% of people with reflux disease, and a much smaller group faces other risks.

About 1 in 200 patients with Barrett’s esophagus each year will develop adenocarcinoma of the esophagus. The stomach is well designed to handle highly acidic conditions, but the esophagus is not designed to handle acid, so when the acid comes in, the acid backflow damages cells, replacing them with more resistant cells. Acidosis that progresses to Barrett’s esophagus.

There are innovative treatments for reflux disease and medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, but first, avoid triggers, such as coffee, alcohol and smoking.

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