'Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD

How often does GERD progress to "something worse" - as in, way worse?

Somehow I don't think my post went through. Anyway, I'm terrified - how often does GERD progress to "something worse" - as in, way worse? I have had GERD off and on for many years. Had an endoscopy and barium swallow five years ago. It was fine, but they discovered a very bad hiatal hernia. Since then I feel like I just have constant heartburn at times. No other symptoms. I'm afraid I'm setting myself up for a lethal issue, although my doctor told me this is incredibly rare in younger women.
I take Prevacid daily, which I also don't think is a long-term solution.
I;m feeling frustrated and lost and as though the longer I have constant heartburn, the more likely it is I'll permanently harm myself.

Realistically, what's the worst that can happen with constant heartburn? Has anyone found anything that helps to mitigate it? I'm 39 - and my main issue is the burning plus a very bad hiatal hernia.

COMMENTS:

Tracy Williams
I think as long as you get it checked regularly then you should be fine. Unfortunately for my ex his progressed to cancer. He had to have his oesophagus removed along with a third of his stomach. He’s 35 and should make a full recovery. 🙏🏻

David Stansbury
I’m sorry to ask, but was it only acid reflux that caused that?

Kara Baskin
What do you mean by "regularly"? How often is that :)

Tracy Williams
David Stansbury yes it was the acid that caused it.

Kara Baskin
Tracy Williams That's super scary. :( Not to be nosy but did he have other risk factors, such as drinking or smoking?

Tracy Williams
Kara Baskin I’m not sure how regularly to be honest. Best thing to do is get a camera down to have a look. The dr will be able to advise further.

Tracy Williams
Kara Baskin he had never smoked, drink socially, not excessive. Had acid for around 15 years. Otherwise fit and healthy.

Kara Baskin
Tracy Williams That's awful! And now I'm totally panicked...maybe I shouldn't have asked this question!

Tracy Williams
Kara Baskin have you had any checks, it doesn’t just happen overnight, it starts with abnormal cells and these can be detected early on.

Tracy Williams
He was just prescribed tablets the whole time with no checks until April this year when it was stage 3, they say it was probably growing for the past 10 years. I understand it’s scary but if you get things checked you can be on top of it. His was missed. X

David Stansbury
I think typically there’s a pre-cancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. Which samples of tissue are collected during an upper gi

Tracy Williams
David Stansbury yes that’s correct. He had this but wasn’t aware.

Kara Baskin
Ah yes. I have had endoscopy and barium swallow. Turned up nothing. This was five years ago though.

Tracy Williams
Kara Baskin that’s positive then. If you’re worried can you get another endoscopy done? See my ex had no endoscopys at all the whole time he had acid. It was left and left and allowed to progress. Luckily they think they got it all.

Related Post: Gallbladder removed due to gastritis or gallstones.

Aliza Kessler
Kara Baskin you should probably ask for another endoscopy. I had one done first time end it didn't really show anything. Second time it showed possible gastroparesis. Did further testing to confirm.

Aliza Kessler
Tracy Williams it's crazy that he had no endoscopy. Was he seeing gi doctor or regular doctor?

Tracy Williams
Aliza Kessler he would just go to the dr who would prescribe tablets and he just had them on repeat for years until he put in another repeat and a dr requested to see him and sent him for the endoscopy and that’s when they found it. He’s putting in a claim for negligence. 🙁

Aliza Kessler
Tracy Williams that's awful. My pcp was the one that put me on omeprazole. Thankfully I followed up with a Gi doctor after my gerd was flaring up. I had two endoscopies done.

Tracy Williams
Aliza Kessler it’s always best to have an endoscopy to just have a look what’s going on in there. For peace of mind too.

Dario Morazzini
It can definitely become something much worse but it depend what you are doing to treat it while it’s still not “something worse.” Look up barrets esophagus and toull see wat you want to prevent.

Knowing that you have a hiatal hernia is actually a HUGE advantage, because you can follow the low acid diet and lifestyle, take Gaviscon Advance, and start working with a PT person and Chiropractor and do breath work to fix that. Worse case scenario is that you get a simple surgery to fix that and with lifestyle you’ll be better in a year.

Penny Willow
Posts discussing cancer aren’t allowed in this group. Many members suffer from health anxiety and the group rules guarantee them they are safe from this particular anxiety trigger here.

Tracy Williams
Apologies. Feel free to delete my comments 😊

Aliza Kessler
There was no cancer in her post.

David Stansbury
Well I hope I’m not stepping out of bounds here, because I really do find so much helpful information here, but I think we have to be realistic and rational about this, which isn’t easy mind you, especially if you suffer from anxiety... there is something to be said objectively about the relationship between GERD/acid reflux/LPR and cancer. This post just showed us that if you have regular check ups, scopes, upper gi, egds, see your ENT, then you are significantly reducing your risks... but if you let it go unmitigated then there is a chance that it’ll turn into something “worse”. Studies show that even if you have Barrett’s esophagus your chances are less than 1 percent that it’ll turn into cancer.

Tracy Williams
This is correct and for people to be in this group it shows that they are conscious of their health and their bodies so it can be safe to say that their risks are reduced massively. Everyone is doing the right things. That’s all you can do. It doesn’t automatically mean things can turn bad. I have a friend with this also and she has checks and is absolutely fine. I apologise if I made anyone worried. I was just stating a fact whilst also trying to reassure that his went on for years with no checks at all. People in this group are pro active and that’s brilliant.

Caryn Ginsberg
I appreciate the nudge to monitor. I've never had the endoscopy, but will probably do so before year end.

Dorothy Heffernan
Gerd can progress over time. I was diagnosed with Barretts nearly 20 years ago, but it was treated successfully. It just needs to be monitored every two years.

Tarja Anneli
Dorothy. Thank you. How is Barrets treated?

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