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To start you on your path of discovery, the following is a list of all the possible symptoms of acid reflux:
Heartburn – This is the most common acid reflux symptom and is characterized by a burning sensation that feels as though it is rising from the stomach or lower chest, and continues up towards the region of the neck. In many cases, the burning sensation typically begins behind the breastbone, and it may travel up to the throat. However, heartburn can be severe in some people and spread to the neck, jaw, arms and back.
Chest Pain – This may include chest pressure, dull chest discomfort, or severe burning pain that radiates across the mid chest. If you are suffering chest pain you should consult a physician immediately to rule out any heart problems.
Excessive saliva – An increase in saliva production after eating may be the body’s response to dealing with too much acid, as saliva helps to neutralize acid. Sometimes the stomach produces excessive acid which increases the risk of reflux.
Burning sensation in the throat – This symptom generally causes a person to feel burning high in the neck close to the mouth, but it can happen in the lower region of the neck as well. It is common for the painful burning sensation to worsen when the person swallows. This particular symptom is often brought on by irritation that occurs when stomach contents have been refluxed up the esophagus into the throat.
Painful swallowing – This symptom usually follows the burning sensation in the throat.
Acid taste in the mouth/regurgitation – With this symptom a person tastes a strong sour or bitter flavor in their mouth. This usually occurs when acid has been refluxed up the esophagus into the back of the throat. Sometimes, along with the bitter taste, a person may also have food contents refluxed back into their mouth, which is better known as regurgitation.
Sore throat, bad breath, and dental erosion – These symptoms typically occur as a result of a person suffering from acid being refluxed up into the throat and mouth.
Trouble swallowing – Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is a symptom that occurs when food cannot pass normally from the mouth to the esophagus and to the stomach. Most people who experience dysphagia feel as if food is stuck in their throat, a choking sensation, pressure in their chest, or a burning sensation after eating. If you are experiencing dysphagia, you should seek the attention of your health care provider as soon as possible to have your condition evaluated, as this symptom is often associated with more severe complications involving the esophagus.
Less common symptoms:
Nausea and/or vomiting – Very few gastroesophageal reflus disease (GERD) sufferers experience this symptom. Nevertheless, nausea does occur, especially in those who don’t typically experience heartburn. When unexplained nausea and/or vomiting occur, GERD is usually one of the first conditions doctors suspect.
Chronic coughing – A persistent dry cough can be a symptom of acid reflux that may occur if acid is irritating the windpipe or when acid is refluxed into the lungs, which is known as aspiration . Persistent coughing can cause hoarseness or asthma-like symptoms such as wheezing.
Severe chest pain – sometimes severe chest pain can develop that feels like a heart attack. Though severe chest pain related to acid reflux is non-life threatening, if you experience what you feel is a heart attack, do not just assume it is acid reflux and seek medical attention immediately!
Keep in mind that almost all symptoms of acid reflux occur, and are at their worst, shortly after eating. However, it is also common for symptoms to be present when lying down or sleeping. Symptoms of acid reflux tend to come and go and may last for minutes, but can also remain for several hours. Symptoms usually go away when acid is neutralized by medication such as an antacid, or sometimes with a natural remedy.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you are likely suffering from acid reflux. If you are experiencing symptoms frequently, this could be an indication that you are suffering from GERD. In either event, it is best to speak to your health care provider about your symptoms and your concerns, so you can receive a proper diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.
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