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Excerpts from HeartBurn Cured
Complications of Heartburn

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Heartburn Symptons
Cause of Heartburn
Complications of Heartburn
Current Treatments

How This Book Will Help You
Who Should Read This Book?

Esophageal Damage

In addition to the primary symptoms of heartburn, there are many secondary complications associated with GERD, some of which are extreme and even life threatening. Over time, untreated gastroesophageal reflux may lead to the development of Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a pre-cancerous condition that begins in the lower esophagus where once normal cells lining the esophagus change into a cell type that resembles cells of the stomach. Barrett's esophagus can, in rare cases, progress to adenocarcinoma (cancer that develops in the esophagus) which has a very high mortality rate. Repeated reflux episodes can also result in scarring of the esophagus. This scarring can lead to a narrowing of the esophagus referred to as a stricture. This narrowing results in a condition called dysphagia, where swallowing is affected. Dysphagia can be described as the sensation of food getting stuck in the esophagus after swallowing and often indicates an advanced stage of esophageal damage. What we are talking about here is difficulty or even the inability to swallow. I cannot imagine what that must feel like.

Lung Damage

Gastroesophageal reflux can also lead to chronic, severe lung damage and recurrent infections. Lung injury is caused by the reflux of stomach acid and other intestinal juices into the lungs. Repeated aspiration of gastric juice into the lungs can lead to pulmonary fibrosis. Pulmonary fibrosis is a serious condition that can require lung transplantation.

Important Note: Ironically, treatment of acid reflux with PPI drugs, like Nexium, has been shown to put people at increased risk for lung disease - bacterial Pneumonia. By eliminating most of the acid in the stomach intestinal microbes have been able to survive in the stomach of some people taking these drugs. From there, bacteria are able to reach the lungs by reflux which, by the way, Nexium does not treat.

Children and GERD

It may come as a surprise, that children (especially asthmatic children) are significantly impacted by this disease. GERD is a common cause of chronic cough in children. As many as 50% of children with chronic respiratory diseases have "silent" gastroesophageal reflux. Left untreated, serious respiratory complications of GERD can include chronic bronchitis, exacerbation of asthma, and other lung diseases. Unfortunately, because GERD can be difficult to diagnose in the situation where the child does not exhibit the typical symptoms of GERD like heartburn, sour taste, or regurgitation, parents may be unaware of the danger of GERD. Many of these children once diagnosed, ultimately undergo a radical form of surgery to address the condition. This book offers an effective yet holistic solution to this problem.

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