What organs can acid reflux affect?

These may include:
  • Esophagitis. This is an irritation of the esophagus caused by the acid in your stomach contents.
  • Narrowing of the esophagus, also called strictures. This can make it hard to swallow.
  • Breathing problems. This happens when stomach contents from your esophagus go into your lungs.
  • Barrett's esophagus.

Can acid reflux damage your organs?

However, when acid reflux occurs frequently and is left untreated, it can lead to conditions such as esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, aspiration pneumonia, and Barrett's esophagus. People who have frequent episodes of acid reflux are also at a slightly increased risk for developing esophageal cancer.

Can acid reflux cause internal damage?

Long-term acid reflux can damage the esophagus and may lead to a condition known as Barrett's esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer. Barrett's affects about 3% to 10% of older men, but within this group the risk of developing esophageal cancer is only about four in every 1,000 cases.

How does GERD affect other body systems?

In people with GERD, the ongoing irritation in the esophagus can lead to inflammation, bleeding, ulcers, a buildup of scar tissue, and other complications. In some people with GERD, the chronic irritation causes the cells in the lining of the esophagus to change, increasing the risk of esophageal cancer.

Can GERD make your whole body hurt?

GERD can cause chest pain that mimics a heart attack. Described as a squeezing pressure behind the breast bone, GERD-related chest pain can last for hours. And like a heart attack, it can also radiate down your arm to your back.

Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD-Mayo Clinic

What complications can occur if GERD goes untreated?

Esophagitis, Barrett's Esophagus, and Cancer of the Esophagus. Esophagitis, or inflammation of the esophagus, is a complication of GERD. If GERD is left untreated, esophagitis can cause bleeding, ulcers, and chronic scarring. This scarring can narrow the esophagus, eventually interfering with your ability to swallow.

How do you know if your acid reflux is serious?

If you experience severe chest pain or pressure, especially in combination with pain in the jaw, neck, or back, nausea and vomiting, or difficulty breathing, seek medical help immediately.

What are the symptoms of extreme acid reflux?

What are the symptoms of GER and GERD?
  • chest pain.
  • nausea.
  • problems swallowing or pain while swallowing.
  • symptoms of complications in the mouth, throat, or lungs, such as chronic cough or hoarseness.

What serious conditions cause acid reflux?

While occasional heartburn after eating is common, it may also be a sign of more serious health conditions such as GERD, hiatal hernias, or stomach ulcers. In severe cases, heartburn can also mimic symptoms of heart disease and gallstones.

Can acid reflux affect your liver?

Possible links between acid reflux and liver health

A 2017 study suggested that people with GERD may be at a higher risk for nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).

Can acid reflux mess with your kidneys?

Although acid reflux may be more common among those with kidney disease, there's no proven link between kidney disease and an increased risk of acid reflux.

How long does it take to heal damage from acid reflux?

If you have reflux, medicine that reduces the stomach acid helps your body heal. It might take 1 to 3 weeks to heal.

What is the last stage of acid reflux?

Stage 4: Reflux induced precancerous lesions or esophageal cancer. Stage 4 is the result of many years of untreated severe reflux. 10% of patients with long-term GERD progress to stage 4. They develop a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus.

What can be done for serious acid reflux?

Try to:
  • Maintain a healthy weight. ...
  • Stop smoking. ...
  • Elevate the head of your bed. ...
  • Start on your left side. ...
  • Don't lie down after a meal. ...
  • Eat food slowly and chew thoroughly. ...
  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger reflux. ...
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothing.

Can you live a normal life with acid reflux?

Although you may have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), that doesn't mean you can't enjoy your life to its fullest. There are ways to control GERD that won't necessarily make your acid reflux go away, but it may help alleviate the symptoms enough so that you forget that they are there.

What can long term acid reflux cause?

Over time, chronic inflammation in your esophagus can cause: Inflammation of the tissue in the esophagus (esophagitis). Stomach acid can break down tissue in the esophagus, causing inflammation, bleeding, and sometimes an open sore (ulcer). Esophagitis can cause pain and make swallowing difficult.

When does GERD become severe?

Those who have stage 4 GERD may suffer from complications that result in esophageal strictures, Barrett's esophagus or even esophageal cancers. This stage of GERD requires care by a specialist who will perform diagnostic and/or surveillance endoscopy as well as advanced esophageal manometry and pH testing.

When should you go to the hospital for acid reflux?

If the pain is not relieved shortly after taking antacids, or is accompanied by these symptoms, seek emergency medical care: Squeezing/tightening in the chest. Feeling out of breath. Pain, aching or discomfort radiating from the chest to the arms, back or neck.

Can your stomach swell with acid reflux?

GERD can produce a broad variety of symptoms, including: Asthma. Belching. Bloating.

How long does it take for GERD to turn into Barrett's esophagus?

This method connected the jejunum to the esophagogastric anastomosis in rats to induce reflux of gastric acid and duodenal fluid into the esophagus, creating a condition similar to that of human esophageal reflux. Barrett's esophagus developed after 20 wk, while esophageal adenocarcinoma appeared after 40 wk[72].

What does a damaged esophagus feel like?

Difficulty swallowing. Painful swallowing. Swallowed food becoming stuck in the esophagus, also known as food impaction. Chest pain, particularly behind the breastbone, that occurs with eating.

Can you fully recover from acid reflux?

Yes, GERD can be cured. The most common treatment for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is medication, which can help to decrease the amount of acid in your stomach. If lifestyle changes don't help, your doctor may also recommend surgery.

How do I restore my stomach after acid reflux?

11 stomach-soothing steps for heartburn
  1. Eat smaller meals, but more often. ...
  2. Eat in a slow, relaxed manner. ...
  3. Remain upright after meals. ...
  4. Avoid late-night eating. ...
  5. Don't exercise immediately after meals. ...
  6. Tilt your torso with a bed wedge. ...
  7. Stay away from carbonated beverages.

What is the safest antacid to take long term?

According to Dr. Ghouri, Prilosec OTC “is usually sufficient in controlling symptoms in a majority of [heartburn] cases” and has been the #1 Doctor Recommended frequent heartburn relief medicine for 14 years.

What signs will your body give you if your kidney is in danger?

Dizziness, memory loss, decreased stamina, muscle cramps, bone pains and nausea are the signs that signify that your kidney is in trouble.