Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Are there any health risks associated with acid reflux?"
Had bad indigestion and acid reflux. Went to the doctor and he prescribed me something to help, but I still have that acid feeling in the back of my throat. If I just deal with it, will I be okay or could I damage my throat or other parts of my body with the stomach acid?
If it has just been a few days since you started your antacid medications, I would suggest that you continue with those for a while before you decide that the treatment is not working. This is because sometimes the irritation in the back of the throat from the acid reflux can talk a few days or weeks to clear up completely after starting effective treatment. Then if after several weeks you are still having significant symptoms it would be important to go back to your primary care doctor again for a repeat evaluation to determine if additional treatment is needed. Some cases of acid reflux are from an infection of the stomach with a bacteria known as H. pylori. This bacterial infection is responsible for many of the cases of acid reflux that are resistant to standard treatments; therefore, after failing a treatment with anti acid medications, most doctors will test for this bacteria. Long term, acid reflux can cause damage to the esophagus which can put you at risk of esophageal cancer. Therefore it is important to get it under control, but you have some time and your primary care doctor will be able to help you sort it out over the next few months.
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