Complications of GERD

Complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Like many other diseases of the digestive system — GERD, a chronic process in which there are periods of exacerbation and remission. Complying with all recommendations of doctors and worrying about their health can go for long without medical treatment.

But in the opposite situation, without adequate attention to existing disease, there is a chance of getting complications of GERD. Each of which, with an unpredictable and frightening consequences.

When there are complications of GERD

Complications of gastroesophageal reflux disease are life-threatening and often disabling process. They occur in unexpected periods of life, it is only serious to start and to forget about the existence of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Such changes affect the esophagus or the initial part of the stomach. In advanced cases, suffer all the digestive system.

In some cases, develop complications?

  1. Absolute failure to follow medical advice in the period of exacerbation of the disease.
  2. A forced reception in the large number of drugs, aggressive influence on the lining of the esophagus and stomach (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents, some hormonal medicines).
  3. Violation of diet: fasting, strict dieting or excessive food intake, as during the holidays and frequent feasts.
  4. Stress and emotional tension, low immunity.
  5. The lack of proper control over the disease, unwillingness to annually visit doctor.
  6. Inappropriate behavior: Smoking, alcohol, exercise after a meal.

Possible complications of GERD

Complications are not specific in this disease, they occur in other problems of the gastrointestinal tract (as with gastric ulcer and duodenal ulcer, gastritis, heartburn isolated).

The most common adverse complications of GERD:

  • peptic ulcer of the esophagus;
  • stricture of the esophagus (narrowing);
  • hemorrhage, hemorrhagic anemia;
  • Barrett’s esophagus.
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    Each of these processes leads to a sharp deterioration in health, reduced quality of life and often surgical treatment. Therefore it is necessary to examine in more detail these diseases.

    Ulcers of the esophagus

    According to statistics such GERD complications develop in 2-7% of cases. The sores causes constant exposure to gastric contents on the delicate mucosa of the esophagus. This produces a defect not only mucosal, but also the muscle membrane. Approximately 15% of cases possible perforation of the wall (the gap) with the release of the contents of the digestive system in the middle part of the chest (mediastinum).

    Осложнения ГЭРБ

    ulcers of the esophagus

    What symptoms appear with this complication?

    1. Pain in the chest after the passage of food. Not only rough and hard foods contributes to the appearance of this trait. Sometimes even liquid leads to severe chest pain. They often are misleading people as reminiscent of cardiac problems: give in the arm or under the shoulder blade.
    2. Can disrupt the act of swallowing, irritation in the throat.
    3. Nonspecific signs appeared ulcers, nausea, bloating, feeling of full stomach after eating.
    4. Unfavorable symptom is esophageal bleeding. When this happens, a burp and a small amount of blood can get into the mouth.

    For the diagnosis should undergo a series of examinations, the principal of which is EGD (fibrogastroduodenoscopy) and radiography.

    Ulcers tissue can be of different sizes, single and multiple. Most often they are in the lower third of the esophagus (just on the border bodies).

    When single elements of treatment can confine conservative therapy, but under the supervision of doctors, so these patients are often sent to the hospital.

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    Stricture of the esophagus

    Every complication often follows from the previous one. So the stricture, is a narrowing of the esophagus as a result of replacement of the mucosa and the muscle tissue with scar tissue. There is a physiological replacement shells on the other, as a result of frequent inflammation or after the appearance of ulcers, which heal on their own. The incidence of strictures after complications of GERD, in the range of 10-11% of cases.

    Осложнения ГЭРБClinical manifestations such unpleasant complications depend on the degree of narrowing of the esophagus. The most common symptoms, following.

    1. In the first place dysphagia — pain and pressure when swallowing, burning sensation along the esophagus with the passage of food. Sometimes the person worried about the feeling a lump in my throat.
    2. Constant heartburn, belching sour or bitter, nausea, weakness.
    3. A small loss of body weight.

    Diagnosis is exposed only after the EGD and x-ray examination of the esophagus.


    Bleeding can occur in the presence of ulcers of the esophagus and cicatricial contractions. In the first case, the defects in the tissue so deep that the wound, and laid bare the vessels of authority, the bleeding occurs. In the second case, scar tissue is not as flexible and pliable as epithelial. When you swallow food, it is often subjected to tearing, this also manifested blood in the lumen of the esophagus.

    Осложнения ГЭРБThe symptoms are the following:

  • hemoptysis;
  • one of the signs of the change in color of stool to black.
  • This complication is an indication for immediate hospitalization. Small defects can be treated with drugs.

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    One of the complications of GERD is post-hemorrhagic anemia. The reduction of red blood cells in the overall analysis after the regular bleeding.

    Barrett’s Esophagus

    Of these the complications of GERD, is the most unpredictable and therefore is considered the most dangerous. Approximately 2-3 cm above the place of transition of the esophagus into the stomach is the substitution of stratified epithelium on cylindrical. Barrett’s esophagus is considered a precancerous process, so it is necessary to closely, passing annual the full study.

    Осложнения ГЭРБ

    Clinically, such a process may in any way special not appear. For this disease is characterized by some signs of GERD:

  • nausea;
  • heartburn;
  • pain behind the breastbone.
  • In the initial stages the treatment is conducted on the General principles of treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease. With the rapid progressive replacement of cells on abnormal, it is recommended to resort to surgical correction.

    The extreme manifestation of any disease is a complication. More often they arise, if not to look after themselves and hope for a magical recovery. Annual checkups will help to prevent such undesirable consequences.