For a lot of people, heartburn is an occasional issue. However, those who have a chronic form of heartburn are suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When symptoms of GERD are left untreated, a person can experience more health complications. Thus, those who are experiencing symptoms should visit their doctor for an endoscopy. One of the best places to visit is Memorial Hermann North Houston Endoscopy and Surgery.
Below are some of the symptoms of GERD that should be given attention right away:
Inflammation of the Lining of the Esophagus
In GERD, digestive juices and food acid tend to flow back into their esophagus. Over time, this movement can cause irritation and swelling of the lining. This can be quite painful.
Voice Throat Issues
Although the main symptom of GERD is heartburn, there are other symptoms that can occur outside the esophagus. These include voice changes, hoarseness, chronic cough and sore throat.
Inhaling of the stomach acid, GERD can exacerbate pneumonia or asthma. Even if a patient doesn’t have lung issues, his GERD can lead to shortness of breath and breathing problems. It is important that patients work with their doctor who is likely to think about lung function to treat reflux.
This problem called dysphagia which makes it uneasy to get food down. Patients can feel that food is sticking in their esophagus. This has to do with the narrowing of the esophagus because of scar tissues. The stricture can make it difficult or quite uncomfortable to swallow. Big food pieces can get stuck and can cause choking.
Constant acid reflux can lead to precancerous changes in cells when left untreated. Such condition may not have symptoms; however, a physician can perform an endoscopy to diagnose this. However, in serious cases, untreated GERD can result in esophageal cancer. Symptoms include trouble swallowing, weight loss and gastrointestinal bleeding. This can take place after years of reflux damage.
This happens due to the movement of the stomach acid and undigested food from the stomach to the esophagus. This is when you burp and have a bit of taste of your last meal. Consuming big meals, bending over after eating and exercising can trigger this condition. However, it can also take place abruptly.
Apart from health risks, the symptoms of GERD can affect the health and happiness of patients. Quality of life for them can be similar to those who had a heart attack. Thus, it is important for those who are feeling the symptoms to visit their doctor right away to get an accurate diagnosis.