The Hidden Dangers Of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux symptoms or GORD can manifest itself in very unexpected ways, such as an unexplained persistent cough that doesn’t respond to asthma treatments or cough remedy.  Unfortunately the surreptitious nature of acid reflux can cause damage to the digestive system without us even realising it.

Acid reflux is when stomach acid travels back to your oesophagus and settles there causing you to feel heartburn and sometimes vomiting. In some cases a persistent cough or occasionally chest pain are also an indication you are suffering from acid reflux.

If you are suffering these symptoms frequently you should visit your doctor to prevent the following serious side effects from happening:-

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Acid Damage To Teeth

Stomach acid is very corrosive, particularly if it is concentrated.  Continually exposing your teeth to stomach acid when vomiting is going to erode your tooth enamel and cause serious tooth decay.  Your dentist may be able to tell that you are vomiting frequently by the damage caused to your teeth.

Damage To Your Oesophagus

Your oesophagus is the pipe coming from your stomach to your throat.  If it is constantly exposed to stomach acid, your oesophagus is prone to inflammation, ulcers and the formation of precancerous cells.  This condition sometimes requires surgery to rectify it.

Barrett's Oesophagus

Barrett’s Oesophagus is when cells in the oesophagus lining change, occasionally this can lead to Oesophageal Cancer.  If this occurs close monitoring is required so that appropriate treatment can be administered immediately. This is one of the main reasons why acid reflux symptoms should not be ignored.

As well as taking medication to resolve acid reflux you can also make changes to your lifestyle and diet,  that will reduce the symptoms (NHS).

  • Avoid chocolate and alcohol.
  • Give up smoking.
  • Avoid stress.
  • Lose weight.
  • Avoid late night snacks.

Some people are just genetically geared to suffer from acid reflux, it can run in families and you are probably aware of relatives who eat carefully to avoid the symptoms of acid reflux.  You must go and see your doctor if you are suffering symptoms of acid reflux.

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By Parv Sagoo (Sept 2018)