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Three Unusual Symptoms Heartburn Can Cause | Stop Acid Reflux Now

Three Unusual Symptoms Heartburn Can Cause

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Although acid reflux is quite common, the range of symptoms heartburn can produce is surprisingly broad, with some symptoms that are easily recognizable, and others that are more unusual and can therefore be difficult to recognize as symptoms caused by heartburn.

If you suspect you may be suffering from symptoms heartburn may have triggered – whether they are common or unusual – it is important that you speak to your doctor for a formal diagnosis. This is to rule out any other underlying condition and to prevent any serious or long-term consequences that may result from the disorder.

GERD can cause you to suffer from reactions that can range from quite mild – almost unnoticeable – to ones that are actually life threatening.  Keep in mind, the more dramatic symptoms heartburn causes are typically those that have developed over time, so if you do feel a bit of discomfort you shouldn’t panic. However, make a doctor’s appointment anyway to ensure you know the degree and type of GERD you are suffering from and what your options are.

Aside from typical symptoms heartburn presents, you may also want to watch for these less common symptoms, which can include:

Pain – though pain is one of the more common symptoms heartburn has to offer, there are forms of pain that are considered to be quite unusual.  For example, the typical pain felt from GERD includes a burning sensation in the mid to upper chest region, or a burning sensation in the esophagus or lower throat area.  However, more rare are pains that migrate to the shoulder blade or overall shoulder area.

Vomiting – among the more unpleasant symptoms heartburn presents is varying degrees of vomiting.  This can include wet or sour burps, wet hiccups, or food coming up a bit within an hour of eating. Less common versions of this potential symptom of GERD include feelings of nausea during or soon after eating or sometimes projectile vomiting.  Though not common, there have been cases where this has occurred and should be checked if you experience these symptoms and suspect GERD. 

Respiratory – the respiratory system is easily impacted by GERD and therefore frequently presents with symptoms caused by heartburn.  These commonly include a runny nose, bad breath, recurrent sore throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, wheezing, bronchitis, asthma, a nagging dry cough, coughing at night, frequent throat clearing, labored or noisy breathing, a hoarse or deepened voice, or nodules on the vocal cords.  More rarely however, GERD can develop into sleep apnea, aspiration (inhalation of stomach acids into the lungs), pneumonia, and laryngospasm (a brief spasm of the vocal cords that temporarily interrupts breathing, usually lasting up to 30 seconds).
Due to so many different kinds of symptoms – and a range of uncommon symptoms that can easily be mistaken for other illnesses, diseases, and conditions – acid reflux may not be the obvious choice as a diagnosis.  Only a doctor can help you know for certain if your symptoms heartburn may be causing are indeed a result of GERD.  When in doubt, it is always best to seek the advice of a medical professional.  This is especially true in the case of children, who may need different remedy options than adults.

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7 Responses

  1. Lyn
    June 6th, 2008 | 3:51 am

    I have had mild asthma and a dry cough for many years, and was puzzled as to why it had increased and why my usual preventative was not working. Also, I developed a hoarse voice which was most annoying.
    Now that I have the reflux under control through the diet and lifestyle changes you suggest, the above symptoms are also under control (for as long as I do not deviate from the guidelines). I really appreciate the help I have received from your website. Thankyou

  2. alex
    June 6th, 2008 | 5:41 am

    very informative articles. thank a lot.

  3. jamesmichael
    June 6th, 2008 | 7:15 pm

    Have all the above syptoms except for heartburn. About six months ago was sick with a flu and started waking up choking feeling like my throat had closed up. I went to about five differnt doctors and was told it was everything from just a habit I had developed coughing to asthma and food allergies. Just had lung tests done because of a chronic cough. I now think it is all related to the acid reflux. Have been on Protonix for a month now and the choking and throat closing up have gone away. The cough seems to have gotten a lot better also. Thank You for all the infomation. It is helping me to get well.

  4. June 7th, 2008 | 11:41 am

    My son has had asthma type symptoms since age 4. Before that , very young, croup. Now 11. Asthma specialist suspected GERD as a possible factor at about 6. Uper GI showed that in fact there was Reflux. Treated 6 mos. then off Previcid. Coughing vomiting cont. off and on, sometimes only problem when he had cold symptoms, which again would look like asthma.
    In the last 3 years he has had 2 emergency room visits by ambulance. They were 1 year apart almost to the day. (unknown why that specific timing) Woke 1-2 AM could not breathe. I mean gasping. Lasted about 45 min. each time. Scarey to say the least. We , the EMT’s and the hospital used albuterol treatments nebulized, slight improvment, but we believe the slow breathing of nebulizing more then the drug helped the episode diminish. Once in Emergency room, there is drug Racemic Epinephrine, (Spelling may be off ), this unlike albuterol, works in the larynx part of throat. Relaxes the vocal cords. By the time we get to the emergency room, he is breathing better but on the verge of a reoccuring episode. Once the Racemic is given by nebulizing, the episode stops completely.
    We then would see the Asthma sepcialist after leaving the hospital and the broncial tubes and lungs were fine, no Asthma symptoms.
    The solution we have found with guidance from ENT and Speech Pathologist is Relaxation breathing and preventative training of this technigue to be able to use it when it is needed. Try telling anyone to “relax” when you can’t breath.
    He also has symptoms (cough and sometimes vomiting,) along with not breathing easily, when exercising. Football, Wrestling, just running. Tilting head up and ” in his face” reminders to slow breathing helps it to pass fairly quickly. He can resume play onced it passes.

    My Asthma Dr. suspected the vocal cord dysfuntion several years before too. His pulmoary function tests, always showed only a small blimp on inhalation after exhalation. I thought that what it looked like on paper, was normal. It was a nasolaryngeal scope that shows the vocal cords closing. I guess this may be a normal pattern for him because each time a scope is done it is quickly identified. seconds after they are in, it’s there. We have seen it on computer as they do the scope.
    He is on Previsid, along with his pulmacort and antihistime. This fall for 5 months he had very bad headaches monthly lasting 2-3 days or more. Migraine type most of the time. Now we see some of the drugs he takes all have side affects of headache. Includung Previsid.
    It has been very frustrating to get to where we are now because of the overlapping symptoms and vague differences that Reflux has contributed to his situation. Asthma may not have been the primary problem IF a problem at all. He has not ever really wheezed, just the increase cough and vomitting with cold symptonms. As I write this I realize a daily log of food and symptoms is needed. He has had a ripping dry cough for about a month. Day and night. Exercising or not. In the last couple weeks we used pregnisone, Zithromax, Dr.s unsure if there was a sinus infection or possible chest infection, or asthma. Poor kid. And of course he has no pain, or typical symptoms of Reflux that he can identify to us. Silent Reflux or so normal to him that he can’t identify when it happens.
    In our search for what is happening, we have used Primary care Doc, Athma Specialist and now ENT and Speech Pathologist. Over time keeping each updated and filtering through symptoms and reactions has been difficult. And only in the end can we see how it all is interrelated and complicated.
    Thank you for all the information on this site.
    My hope is if someone has simular symptoms that a conclusion can be reached before years have pasted.

  5. Laura Christianson
    June 10th, 2008 | 5:33 pm

    I do not know if this is a symptom of acid reflux or not, but when I eat most foods, I get the feeling of a blob in my throat. So annoying. What are some of the diet changes you have made?

  6. June 13th, 2008 | 4:05 pm
  7. Jack
    July 9th, 2008 | 2:57 pm

    Just reciently I have become aware of symptions that have actually been around for years. For years I have felt a fullness in my stomach..to the extent I could not sleep on my back because of discomfort. I have started taking pepsid each evening and now find that symptom has gone. For years I have had increasing difficulty sleeping soundly…I am now convinced this is related. I also believe that my stomach somach affects my brain, impacting how I feel. Pretty far out. Can’t prove any of this, just what I think.

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