Chronic acidity could lead to cancer

As many as 75 percent of Indian patients with digestive problems suffer from what is medically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), an abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the oesophagus that damages the inner skin, an expert says.

According to eminent gastroenterologist Prasanna Sharad Shah, about 5-20 percent of the cases could lead to cancer.

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`Talking from my personal experience, if we see 20 patients a day, at least 15 of them suffer from GERD, the common symptoms being acidity, burning, bloating, reflux and irregular bowels. The scenario is similar across the country,` Shah, who was in the city to spread awareness about the disease, said.

Shah is a Mumbai-based consultant gastroenterologist associated with Jaslok, Breach Candy and several other hospitals. He has several publications to his credit.

Shah said the major causes of the disease are altered lifestyles, smoking, drinking and recourse to over-the-counter medication.

`It`s a fast life and a fast-food life. Everybody wants a quick fix and in this quick fix, things don`t work and start getting messed up. Increased smoking and drinking also play a major part.

`We by nature are tolerant. When we suffer from acidity and the like, we keep on tolerating and take recourse to painkillers and other acidity relievers, ignorant of the fact that they do more harm than good,` he said.

More factors that aggravate acidity