A number of possible complications can occur as a result of having gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) for a long time.
Thestomach acid that leaks into the oesophagus in people with GORD can damage the lining ofthe oesophagus (oesophagitis), which can cause ulcers to form.
These ulcers can bleed, causing pain and making it difficult to swallow.
Medications used to treat GORD, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can help ulcers heal by reducing the amount of acid that leaks into the oesophagus. This is known as Barrett's oesophagus.
It's estimated that about 1 in every 10 people with GORD will develop Barrett's oesophagus, usuallyafter many years.
Barrett's oesophagus doesn't usually cause noticeable symptoms other than those caused by GORD.
However, there's a small risk that the changed cells could become cancerous in the future (see below). Your doctor may suggest having an endoscopyevery few years to check for this.
It's estimated that 1 in every 10-20 people withBarrett's oesophagus will develop oesophageal cancerwithin 10-20 years.
Symptoms of oesophageal cancer include:
Speak to your doctorif you experience any swallowing difficulties, or any other unusual or persistent symptoms.
Surgery to remove the cancer can be carried out if it'sdiagnosed at an early stage.
Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet).
The main symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) are heartburn and acid reflux. Other symptoms can include bad breath, feeling and being sick, and difficulty swallowing.
Find out what causes gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and read about the factors that can increase your risk of developing the condition.
Your GP will often be able to diagnose gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) based on your symptoms. However, there may be some instances when you're referred for tests in hospital.
A number of treatments are available for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), including simple, self-care measures, medication and surgery.
A number of possible complications can occur as a result of having gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) for a long time, including ulcers, and a scarred and narrowed oesophagus.