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Is Acid Reflux And Heartburn Signs of Something Other Than GERD? | Stop Acid Reflux Now

Is Acid Reflux And Heartburn Signs of Something Other Than GERD?


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If you are prone to acid reflux or have Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you may be aware of all the symptoms you can experience.  GERD is a disease that is caused by frequent or chronic acid reflux with the most common symptom being heartburn.  However, there are many other symptoms associated with acid reflux/GERD, and these symptoms differ between sufferers.

That being said, like other health conditions, sometimes when a person experiences what they believe to be signs of acid reflux or GERD, they may in fact be experiencing these symptoms due to a separate health condition that may be completely independent of GERD. Acid reflux may be a secondary condition, but not the primary problem.

So, since there may be more than one possible reason why your symptoms are occurring, the following is a list of common acid reflux and GERD symptoms, as well as a brief mention of conditions/diseases the could also produce these same signs:

Heartburn – burning sensation that rises up from the stomach to the chest and throat.  Symptom often occurs after ingesting a heavy meal, lifting, bending over, and lying down.  Heartburn is almost always a result of GERD due to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES ) relaxing/weakening and allowing stomach acids and contents to reenter the esophagus.
Other possible causes of Heartburn:
- Hiatal Hernia  or diaphragmatic hernia (when a portion of the stomach protrudes into the lower chest)
- Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying) – condition common in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
- Indigestion

Dyspepsia – pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen, feeling nauseated after eating, or a sense of fullness in the stomach.  When occurring with GERD this symptom is typically felt after overeating or when a person eats foods they are sensitive to.
Other possible causes of Dyspepsia:
- Peptic ulcers (open sore on the inside lining of the stomach, esophagus or upper small intestine)
- Gastritis  (inflammation of the stomach)
- Gallbladder disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diabetes mellitus
- Stomach flu
- Stomach cancer – in rare cases

Regurgitation – sensation of acid or food contents being refluxed up into the throat and mouth, causing a sour or bitter flavor.
Other causes of regurgitation:
- Overeating
- Pregnancy
- Dyspepsia
- Esophageal motility disorder (I.E. dysphagia - difficulty swallowing, or Achalasia - LES  does not relax to allow food to enter stomach, etc.)
- Pyloric Stenosis (narrow opening between the intestines and the stomach)
- Chaga’s disease (human tropical parasitic disease)
- Diabetes mellitus
- Scleroderma (chronic disorder that can causes the skin, connective tissues, and the internal organs to thicken and harden)

Chest pain – feeling as if food is trapped behind the breastbone.  Chest pain can cause chest pressure, mild chest discomfort, or severe squeezing pain that extends across the mid chest. 
Other causes of Chest pain:
- Heart attack
- Angina (reduced flow of blood to the heart muscle)
- Benign chest wall pain (likely an irritation of the pleura – the covering that protects the lungs)
- Peptic ulcer
- Esophageal motility disorder (I.E. functional chest pain which causes spastic contractions of the esophagus)
- Pericarditis (inflammation of the membranous sac that shelters and protects the heart)
- Panic or Anxiety disorder
- Asthma
- Bronchitis
- Pleuritis (inflammation of lung lining)

Chronic Laryngitis – characterized by dry cough, hoarseness, feeling that something is constantly in the throat, and needing to repeatedly clear the throat.  Aside from these signs, when caused by acid reflux, laryngitis can eventually lead to chronic cough and sore throat.
Other causes of laryngitis:
- Viral infections
- Laryngeal cancer (very rare and associated with heavy alcohol consumption and smoking)

Chronic sore throat – caused by constant acid being refluxed into the throat.
Other causes of chronic sore throat:
- Allergies
- Outdoor/Indoor air pollution – especially tobacco smoke, inhaling secondhand smoke, and regular air pollution.
- Dryness – could be the cause of breathing with your mouth open or dry indoor air especially in the winter.
- Tumors of the tongue, throat or voice box (rare and associated with heavy smoking and alcohol consumption)

Dysphagia - this is an esophageal motility disorder that is characterized by difficulty swallowing and can occur with GERD or may cause GERD.  It can cause choking, or food may lodge into the esophagus, become trapped, and cause severe chest pain.
Other causes of Dysphagia:
- Injury of the head, neck or chest
- Infection or irritation of the esophagus
- Weakening of the esophageal muscles or malfunctioning of the muscles in the mouth, throat or esophagus
- Cancer of the head, neck, esophagus, tongue, or throat

As you can see, there are many other mild and serious health conditions/disease that could cause many of the symptoms that are commonly associated with acid reflux and GERD.    Therefore, if you are still experiencing acid reflux/GERD symptoms after you have made necessary dietary and lifestyle changes, and acid reflux medications (I.E. antacids and H2 receptors) are not providing you relief, it may be time to visit your doctor to find out if…

Acid reflux or GERD is the primary condition you are suffering from
Acid reflux or GERD is a secondary condition to a larger health issue
Your health issues have nothing to do with acid reflux or GERD

Don’t be afraid to find out what may be effecting your body. Give yourself peace of mind and find out the truth, so you can take the effective steps to treat, cure, and prevent your primary health problems.


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7 Responses

  1. max bujor
    April 23rd, 2009 | 10:24 am

    My problem has to do with not having enough stomach acid.I use HCL pils and papaya enzimes.What do you think of my condition….

  2. Judy Coward
    April 23rd, 2009 | 6:14 pm

    You failed to mentioned that all of the above conditions can also be caused by medication. I have GERD, but recently that got much worse, with severe chest pain, and the unability to swallow even water. A trip to the Emergency Room only proved GERD; however, upon doing research, I found out that it was a result of medication for osteoporosis.

  3. doll
    April 24th, 2009 | 2:32 am

    Thanks for this useful and enlightening information. More power to you.

  4. April 24th, 2009 | 6:43 am

    Hi kathrylin,

    I have been having this gerd problem for the last 6 months now, i have used the necessary medications with less improvement. After reading your articals last week ,i tried the elevation of my bed and it has worked wonders. The burning sensation has dissappeared ,but the feeling of something in the throat is still disturbing me. what should i do ? is it something am eating

  5. Alana Slade
    April 24th, 2009 | 3:04 pm

    Hi Kathryn, To your knowledge is there a link between Gerd ‘Attacks” and palpitations,possibly due to the close proximity in the body of heart to oesophagus?

  6. Acid Reflux
    July 13th, 2011 | 1:23 am

    This is excellent information, thanks.

  7. Maureen Deacon
    September 16th, 2011 | 2:51 pm

    Dear Judy Coward, I have done a lot of research myself on GERD having Barratts Esophagitis and cannot take any of the medications such as Omeprazole, Nexium, Lansoprazole etc. as they make me so ill and give me many more dreadful side effects than those printed on the leaflets. At a pharmacology meeting some time ago it was mentioned that medication for depression often gave people slight skitsophrenia (I do not know how to spell it) as it blocked off one part of the body which actually affected the other (and vice versa). So when you mentioned oesteoporosis, that is one of the side effects of Omeprazole etc. It appears to work the same way, helping one problem and causing another. Plus problems with arthritis, eyesight, and many, many more. Please keep googling your questions and look for as many answers as you can. I have done no end of research and am still looking. I am in Scotland UK and was glad of Kathryn’s website as it gave me the push to look further into the matter. Good luck to you all, conventional medicine is not the answer. I have just bought a book called Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra, MD which is published in the States and have not finished the first chapter yet, but it is very interesting. If you have a library they may have a copy. I do not know whether it will help, but every time you research you learn something more. I have come on in leaps and bounds since emailing Kathryn. So my best wishes to you all and God bless you with good health.

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