Complications of indigestion

In some cases, severe indigestion can cause complications.

Oesophageal stricture

If the lining of the oesophagus is severely irritated over time by acid reflux, the oesophagus may become scarred.

The scarring can eventually lead to your oesophagus becoming narrow and constricted an oesophageal stricture.

If you have oesophageal stricture, you may have symptoms such as:

  • difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • foodbecoming lodged in your throat
  • chest pain

Surgeryto widen the oesophagus is often needed to treat oesophageal stricture.

Pyloric stenosis

Like oesophageal stricture, pyloric stenosis is caused by long-term irritation of the lining of your digestive systemby stomach acid.

Pyloric stenosis occurs when the passage between your stomach and your small intestine the pylorus becomes scarred and narrowed. This causes vomiting and prevents any food you eat being properly digested.

In most cases, pyloric stenosis is treated using surgery to return the pylorus to its proper width.

Barrett's oesophagus

Repeated episodes ofgastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) can lead to changes in the cells that line your lower oesophagus. This is a condition known as Barrett's oesophagus.

It's estimated 1 in 10 people with GORD will develop Barrett's oesophagus. Most cases affect people aged 50 to 70the average age at diagnosis is 62.

Barrett's oesophagus doesn't usually cause noticeable symptoms other than those associated with GORD.

However, it is a pre-cancerous condition. This means that while the cell changes aren't cancerous, there's a small risk they could develop into "full blown" cancer in the future, resulting in oesophageal cancer .

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dez 2018