Hidden Dangers of Heartburn & Acid Reflux

Reflux can progress up to the mouth, causing a sour taste, cough, or even pneumonia if it spills into the airway. Prolonged exposure can lead to strictures, or development of intestinal metaplasia (Barrett’s esophagus). This could progress to dysplasia and cancer of the esophagus. For most people failing to treat GERD will result in a worsening of the symptoms and potentially to complications from the constant burning of the esophagus with acid.

Health risks of acid reflux/gastroesophageal reflux

Because of the cancer risk, people with Barrett’s esophagus are usually checked regularly with endoscopy. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people (about 10%) who have long-term GERD.

In severe cases of reflux, surgery called fundoplication may be done. Your baby’s provider may recommend this option if your child is not gaining weight because of vomiting, has frequent breathing problems, or has severe irritation in the esophagus. This is often done as a laparoscopic surgery. This method has less pain and a faster recovery time. Small cuts or incisions are made in your child’s belly.

Small studies have found that people who adhere to low acid diets report less symptoms, or that plant-based Mediterranean diets can be as effective as medication, especially for LPR. It’s a drag to give up your morning coffee and orange juice, but if your symptoms are severe and you don’t want to take a PPI, those-along with tomatoes and spicy foods-are the main offenders to put on the do-not-eat list. Other simple changes you can make are eating smaller meals, avoiding eating a few hours before bedtime, and lifting the head of your bed, so you sleep on an incline. Their findings build on several other recent studies that found previously unknown correlations of PPIs and chronic and acute conditions. Together, the studies associated PPI use with a 44 percent heightened risk of developing dementia, 44 percent heightened risk for osteoporotic bone fractures, 20 percent heightened risk for heart attack, 70 percent heightened risk for clostridium difficile infections (which can be life-threatening), 30 to 50 percent heightened risk for chronic kidney disease, and an increased risk of stomach cancer.

dangers of acid reflux

All of these symptoms merit seeing a doctor for further care. At that time, the individual should undergo an upper endoscopy to evaluate the source of the problem. Barrett’s esophagus is a condition where the lining of the esophagus changes because of chronic inflammation, generally due to GERD.

Some babies with reflux have other conditions that make them tired. These include congenital heart disease or being born too early (premature). These babies often get sleepy after they eat or drink a little.

In patients who are diagnosed with gastrinoma, adequate control of acid secretion is often achieved only through the use of higher doses of PPI (up to 240 mg of drug daily). reported that nearly 70% of primary care physicians prescribed PPIs to be taken before bedtime or without specific dosing instruction, suggesting that inadequate acid suppression with PPI therapy may be attributed in part to suboptimal administration. If symptoms do not improve, a second dose of PPI, to be taken before dinner, may be added. Patients who remain refractory to twice-daily PPI therapy should undergo esophageal ambulatory pH monitoring while on therapy to determine whether appropriate acid suppression has been achieved and whether the patient’s symptoms are in fact a result of gastroesophageal reflux.

While H2 blockers were found to have no link to a higher risk of stomach cancer, PPIs was found connected to an increased risk of more than double. During this period, 3,271 people took PPIs for an average of almost three years, while 21,729 participants took H2 blockers. A total of 153 people developed stomach cancer, none of whom tested positive for H plyori but all had long-standing problems with stomach inflammation, the study found. A link between PPIs and a higher stomach cancer risk has previously been identified by academics – but never in a study that first eliminates a type of bacteria suspected of fuelling the illness’s development.

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