Acid reflux that causes heartburn could have painful and deadly side-effects if not treated. Barrett’s esophagus disease, a side effect of acid reflux damages the esophagus lining badly with only a gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy helping to diagnose it. If you have acid reflux problem you stand 5 times the chance to get this disorder, with the chances of developing fatal cancer increasing by 150% over others that do not suffer from acid reflux.
Erosive esophagitis, another side-effect of acid reflux could make one unable to eat or drink anything without painful swallowing. This could ultimately lead to dehydration and malnutrition that would require immediate attention and care.