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Home > Prescriptions and Medications > Acid Reflux > What are the complications of acid reflux?
What are the complications of acid reflux?
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Most people who have acid reflux do not get any serious complications. However, a small minority may develop complications:


  1. Oesophagitis or an oesophageal ulcer: inflammation of the oesophagus can lead to the formation of an oesophageal ulcer. Stomach acid can wear away tissue in the esophagus, causing an open sore to form. An oesophageal ulcer can bleed, cause pain and make swallowing difficult.
  2. Oesophageal stricture– Acid Reflux / GORD can cause scarring and narrowing of the food pipe called an oesophageal stricture, if severe enough and left untreated. This can lead to difficulty swallowing, and problems eating and drinking.
  3. Barrett’s oesophagus – this is a complication of long standing, untreated Acid Reflux / GORD. The excess acid causes a permanent change in the cells that line the oesophagus. This condition increases the risk of developing cancer of the oesophagus, and thus needs to be managed and monitored by a specialist. People who have Barrett's Oesophagus usually need to have a gastroscopy (camera test) on a regular basis. 


Luckily, most people with Acid Reflux / GORD do not develop any of these complications. If you have any concerns about complications of acid reflux then you should discuss them with your doctor.

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