GERD Or Acid Reflux
Each year millions of people all over the world suffer from the symptoms of acid reflux disease. Many of these people think they are simply having heartburn, which is not the case. In actuality they are suffering from what is known as Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) which is a condition where stomach acids and digestive juices get regurgitated back into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that connects the throat to the stomach, which isn’t made to counter the effects of gastric acids.
Acid reflux disease is annoying at its mildest state but left untreated it can get progressively worse causing damage to the esophagus. This can lead to a variety of complications such as Barrett’s esophagus and even cancer. If you get acid reflux symptoms more than a couple of times a week, you should visit your doctor.
The three most common indications that you may be suffering from acid reflux disease are:
1. Persistent Heartburn – While the heart is not actually burning the sensation of heartburn sure feels like it. It is a rising, burning sensation in the center of the chest that occurs when stomach acid refluxes back into the esophagus. Over eating, eating something that upsets the stomach, and stress all can cause heartburn, usually within two hours of eating. You may also notice that symptoms worsen when lying down or leaning forward and if they do not go away after a few hours there is a good chance of an acid reflux disease diagnosis.
2. Bitter or Acrid Taste – This usually happens in conjunction with heartburn but can occur alone and is a bitter taste that lingers at the back of the throat. It is caused by the regurgitation of gastric acids and food/drink from the stomach into the back of the throat.
3. Water Brash – This not so pleasant symptom is an excessive secretion of saliva caused by the regurgitation of stomach acid.
While these are the three most common symptoms of acid reflux disease there are people who suffer from its effects and do not necessarily suffer the more common symptoms. Other signs that need to be watched for include;
Trouble swallowing is a symptom associated with the more advanced stages of acid reflux.
Chest pain that feels like a dull discomforting weight across the chest and may occur with or without heartburn. Many times this pain can be confused with a heart attack. Any type of chest pain does need to be evaluated immediately by a doctor.
Nausea that usually occurs in the morning.
Ear, nose, and throat problems such as laryngitis, sore throat, hoarseness, and a feeling that the throat is swollen.
Lung and breathing issues that can include coughing, wheezing, pneumonia, a widening and damage to the lungs air passageways, and chronic asthma. People who have asthma may find that their asthma symptoms worsen if they have GERD.
If you suffer from any of these or a combination of these symptoms it is a good idea to see a doctor. A definitive diagnosis can be made by looking at these symptoms of acid reflux disease and prescribe the proper treatment regimen to control and manage this condition.