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Whether you call it indigestion, heartburn, reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it’s still a potentially dangerous condition.

Left untreated, GERD can lead to painful swallowing, food sticking, ulcers or even esophageal cancer. In fact, esophageal cancer is the seventh-leading cause of cancer death worldwide.

That’s why it’s so much better to get evaluated and treated early. As gastrointestinal specialists, Gastroenterology Associates physicians provide care for heartburn, reflux and indigestion.

What You Should Know About Heartburn And Indigestion

GERD affects an estimated 5% to 7% of the world’s population, including men, women and children. Yet GERD is often undiagnosed and its symptoms are misunderstood. Though generally a treatable disease, GERD can increase the risk of Barrett’s esophagus if it is not treated properly.

Persistent heartburn is the most frequent symptom of GERD. (The disease may be present even without symptoms.) Heartburn is so common among people that it is often ignored. All too often, GERD is untreated, self-treated or mistreated. GERD is a chronic disease. Treatment is usually continued on a long-term basis, even after symptoms are under control. We will help patients address issues such as compliance with long-term medication use and daily living adjustments. We do this through follow-up visits, discussions and patient education.

Effective treatments for GERD include lifestyle adjustments, medication, and, in severe cases, surgery. People who suffer from persistent heartburn or other recurring symptoms must seek an accurate diagnosis and the most advanced, effective treatment available.