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Five Signs You Are Suffering From Acid Reflux

Five Signs You Are Suffering From Acid Reflux

You might experience a bout of heartburn after a particularly rich or fatty meal, but if you frequently feel burning or juices bubbling up after you eat, you may have acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

GERD is diagnosed when you have frequent bouts of heartburn, when acid and food from your stomach rise up into your esophagus or mouth. Acid reflux affects about 30% of adults in the United States. 

Everyone experiences heartburn from time to time, but chronic heartburn isn’t to be ignored. At Digestive Disorders Associates, the experienced gastroenterology team diagnoses acid reflux, treats your symptoms to make you more comfortable, and prevents complications, like narrowing of the esophagus and the development of precancerous tissue (Barrett’s esophagus). 

Here are five symptoms that suggest you have acid reflux disease and should make an appointment to be evaluated. 

1. Chronic heartburn

Acid reflux causes heartburn, a burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn is relatively common and treated with over-the-counter medications, so you might not give it much thought. But, if you experience it often (like two or more times a week), it’s very possible that you have acid reflux disease and would benefit from professional treatment. 

2. A persistent bitter taste in your mouth

Acid reflux means food and digestive juices from your stomach pump up into your throat and sometimes your mouth. The acid leaves a bitter taste in your mouth and a searing sensation in your throat. Chronic acid reflux can start to damage the lining of your esophagus and cause complications if not treated. 

3. Difficulty swallowing

Acid reflux may also cause you to feel like it’s hard to swallow. Certain foods may get “stuck” in your throat or create the feeling that you have a lump in your throat. 

You may be particularly sensitive to foods that are spicy or acidic. Caffeine and chocolate can also aggravate this and other symptoms. 

4. Concern that you’re having a heart attack

Acid reflux pain often occurs in the chest area, just behind the heart. You may mistake the burning and discomfort of acid in your chest for a heart attack. 

Don’t write off any pain in your chest as acid reflux, though. Talk to us or consult an emergency physician if you do have pain that you think could indicate a cardiac event. 

5. Coughing and hoarseness

When acid reflux causes you to regurgitate stomach acid, it can land in your throat and lungs. You may develop chronic coughing or even asthma symptoms as a result. 

Coughing may be especially intense at night, but you can help minimize your discomfort by elevating your head as you sleep and avoiding meals three hours before bedtime. 

It’s not always easy to figure out on your own that your symptoms are related to acid reflux. That’s why it’s important to have a qualified team of gastroenterologists you can consult when you experience uncomfortable digestive and heartburn symptoms. 

Acid reflux may be resolved with lifestyle changes, over-the-counter or prescription medications, and, in rare cases, surgical interventions. Don’t just suffer from the uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux. Call Digestive Disorder Associates today to set up your appointment or use the online tool to book. We have offices in Gambrills, Annapolis, and Chester, Maryland.

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