9 Reasons Not to Ignore GERD Symptoms

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Barrett’s esophagus

If left untreated for many years, constant acid reflux can cause precancerous changes in cells, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. The condition does not cause symptoms, but a doctor can diagnose it is by performing an endoscopy.

A small fraction of people with Barrett’s esophagus develop esophageal cancer, which is often deadly.

"If you have heartburn more than twice a week for a long time, or if you have symptoms that are getting worse or you’ve developed new ones you haven’t had before, those are all reasons to get checked out," says Dr. Sheth.

Next: Esophageal cancer

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