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Home > Prescriptions and Medications > Acid Reflux > Can acid reflux be serious?
Can acid reflux be serious?
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Sometimes people may experience what they think is just acid reflux, but a more serious is actually going on. If you get any of the following symptoms you should seek immediate medical attention:


  • Chest pain or upper tummy pain worse on exertion
  • Difficulty swallowing foods or liquids
  • Persistent pain on swallowing
  • Persistent vomiting
  • Vomiting blood or dark brown vomit
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Shortness of breath
  • Altered bowel habit (diarrhoea or constipation) for more than 6 weeks
  • Altered stool (dark or black poo)
  • Lump in the abdomen (tummy)
  • Unexplained low iron levels or anaemia (low blood count)
  • Jaundice (yellow discolouration of the skin or eyes)
  • New GORD symptoms in someone aged 55 years or over
  • Acid reflux/ GORD symptoms with any of the following:
    • Family history of stomach or oesophageal cancer in more than two first degree relatives
    • Barrett’s oesophagus (a condition where the cells lining the lower oesophagus change to resemble those of the stomach/intestine, which have a risk of turning cancerous over time)
    • Pernicious anaemia (a condition associated with low Vitamin B12)
    • Previous stomach ulcer surgery
    • A previous diagnosis of the following stomach conditions: dysplasia, atrophic gastritis or intestinal metaplasia
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