Acid Reflux Symptoms

What are the most common symptoms of acid reflux?

Heartburn

The most common acid reflux symptom is heartburn. You will feel a painful burning sensation in your chest if the esophageal sphincter will not maintain your stomach acid from getting to esophagus to your stomach.

Heartburn can vary from distressing to painful. The severity of the burning sensation does not necessarily suggest permanent or irreversible damage to the throat, however.

A gastroenterologist lists the most common symptoms of acid reflux.

Sour taste

It can create a sour or bitter taste in your mouth if the stomach backwash acid rises to the back of your throat or lips. You may also get a feeling of burning in your throat and mouth.

Regurgitation

It is the sensation of air, food, or bile going up, rather than down, your throat.

People can also spit out in some cases. Much the same, in adults, vomiting is uncommon.

Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) in infants and children may experience frequent regurgitation. In infants younger than 18 months, this can be harmless and perfectly normal. In the first three months of life, about half of all babies undergo reflux.

Dyspepsia

Dyspepsia is a burning feeling and pain in the upper middle stomach. It is called indigestion. Heartburn can represent a symptom of dyspepsia. Pain can be temporary. Some people experiencing dyspepsia may:

  • feel bloated
  • be nauseated
  • have heartburn
  • vomit or burp a lot
  • have an upset stomach
  • feel uncomfortably full

One should take these symptoms seriously. They can potentially suggest another condition called peptic ulcer disease. These ulcers cause their own chronic symptoms, and can sometimes bleed. When left unchecked in a few cases, they can burrow all the way through the stomach, leading to a medical emergency called perforation.

What are the less obvious symptoms of reflux?

Dry cough

A common symptom of reflux in children and adults is a dry cough. Adults can also get the sensation of having a lump in their throats. They can feel having to cough or clear their throats repeatedly.

Symptoms of asthma

Reflux also worsens symptoms of asthma in both adults and children. Symptoms such as wheezing are made worse by flooding the airways with stomach acid.

Discomfort swallowing

Swallowing trouble or dysphagia affects at least 1 in 25 adults per year. It is a condition in which it is difficult or painful to swallow. The potential causes of dysphagia are numerous. Aside from GERD, this could be caused by:

  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Parkinson’s diseases

Sore throat

Acid reflux may make you have to have a sore throat. Common symptoms include:

  • Sore throat
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Hoarse voice

Bad breath

If you brush your teeth every day, and yet find that you have some stinky breath, the root of your problem can be your acid reflux.

Like for all of the acid reflux signs, the transfer of stomach contents into the esophagus triggers bad breath. Some people may actually regurgitate small quantities of undigested food, which can contribute to an unpleasant odor that is more permanent.

How often people experience these symptoms?

More than 60 million American citizens get acid reflux at least once a month, and more than 16 million experience it every day, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.

While acid reflux can occur in anyone, including infants and children, it is most common in pregnant women, obese people, and older adults.

Although sometimes experiencing acid reflux is common, those who experience it more than twice a week may have a more serious problem known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that can irritate your esophagus lining and cause it to get inflamed. This inflammation can lead to esophagitis, which can make swallowing difficult or painful.

Constant esophageal pain can also lead to bleeding, esophagus narrowing, or a precancerous disorder called esophagus Barrett.

When do I have to go to a doctor?

GERD or untreated acid reflux will eventually lead to complications. If you or your child has any of the following signs, call your doctor right away:

  • persistent hard swallowing or choking, that can indicate severe damage to the esophagus
  • trouble breathing, which can indicate a serious lung or heart problem
  • black or bloody tarry stools, which can indicate bleeding in the stomach or esophagus
  • uncontrollable and sudden weight loss, which can indicate a nutritional deficiency
  • dizziness, weakness, and confusion that can indicate shock

People over 50 are at a higher risk of heart disease and other heart issues.

The risk for those with high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes is also increasing. Further risk factors include obesity and smoking.

If you think you or someone you know has a heart attack or another life-threatening medical condition, call 911 immediately.