Persistent heartburn could lead to Barrett’s oesophagus

Individuals concerned about their digestive health should seek medical attention if they suffer from regular bouts of heartburn, an expert has advised.

Dr Rebecca Fitzgerald, a consultant gastroenterologist from Addenbrooke’s Hospital, urged members of the public to increase their awareness of the dangers of the problem.

According to the Daily Mail, as a result of modern lifestyles, cancer of the oesophagus has become the fifth most common cancer in the UK, with 7,000 deaths each year.

Persistent heartburn, which has become increasingly common due to changes to diet and drinking habits, has been named as a causal factor for the disease, Dr Fitzgerald told the newspaper.

She added: “If the problem persists and acid repeatedly leaks up from the stomach, the body tries to protect the oesophagus and creates a new lining.”

Dr Fitzgerald added that the condition, called Barrett’s oesophagus, could lead to cancer due to tissue abnormalities.

Web MD recommends that people who occasionally suffer from heartburn attempt to cut back on foods that are found to worsen the symptoms.
Extract: Experts have urged members of the public to seek treatment for persistent heartburn.