What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gerd
Often, people who have GERD notice that they regularly have the pain of heartburn in the chest or stomach. This can last up to a couple of hours. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating.
Regurgitation when food and liquid containing stomach acid comes back up into the throat or mouth is also a sign of GERD. But, like heartburn, occasional regurgitation is common for everyone.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- a sore, raw throat or hoarse voice
- a frequent sour taste of acid, especially when lying down
- a feeling of burping acid into the mouth
- trouble swallowing
How To Avoid Reflux
There are some things you can do to keep the heartburn away.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
Last Reviewed: Apr 16, 2018
Medical Treatments To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux In The Throat
A doctor will usually begin by encouraging lifestyle changes or recommending over-the-counter remedies.
If these fail to provide adequate relief, a doctor could prescribe proton pump inhibitors or histamine-2 receptor antagonists . These medications use different methods to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces.
In serious cases, if no other treatments work, surgeries such as fundoplication might be an option to address acid reflux in your throat.
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Not All Of Them Are Obvious
Feel like you just cant keep that nasty stuff in your belly from bubbling up into your throat? What youre experiencing might not be run-of-the-mill heartburn. It could be a case of gastroesophageal reflux diseaseGERD, for shorta condition that causes the acid and food in your stomach to rise into your esophagus, and sometimes even enter your mouth or lungs. GERD is far from rare: In fact, it occurs in 20 percent of the U.S. population, according to the medical journal Gastroenterology. But there are also several factors that make some people an easier target for the disease.
Everyone has a small, normal amount of gastroesophageal reflux, but an abnormal amount of acid reflux occurs when the one-way valve between the esophagus and the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, becomes too loose, says Ketan Shah, M.D., gastroenterologist at Saddleback Medical Center in Laguna Hills, California. This can occur for multiple reasons that cause intra-abdominal pressure to be abnormally elevated, including being overweight or obese, frequent overeating, lying down too soon after eating, chronic straining or coughing, or chronic heavy lifting. These are typically the people who are more susceptible to GERD.
Heartburn won’t go away
Heart Attack Feeling
How Acid Reflux And Gerd May Damage The Throat
In addition to potentially damaging the lower esophagus, frequent heartburn or GERD may also damage the upper throat. This can occur if the stomach acid comes all the way up into the back of the throat or nasal airway. This condition is often referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux .
LPR is also sometimes called silent reflux, because it doesnt always present symptoms that people readily recognize. Its important for individuals with GERD to be checked for LPR to avoid any potential throat or voice damage. Symptoms of LPR may include the following:
- feeling of a lump in the throat
- chronic cough or cough that wakes you from your sleep
- choking episodes
- Eat smaller meals more frequently and take your time chewing.
- Avoid overeating.
- Increase physical activity if overweight.
- Increase fiber in your diet.
- Increase fruits and vegetables in your diet.
- Stay upright for at least one hour after meals.
- Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
- Avoid trigger foods like high-fat and high-sugar items, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
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Could Your Sore Throat Be Caused By Acid Reflux
Have you had a cough, tickle in the throat, itchy throat, or raspy voice that will not go away despite not having a cold or feeling sick? Is excess mucus causing you to clear your throat so often that it is annoying and, at times, embarrassing? Many who suffer from these symptoms are treated by doctors and urgent care physicians with allergy medications, nasal sprays, decongestants, and even antibiotics. Despite this, symptoms do not get better. Often these symptoms are not caused by allergies, a sinus infection, or a cold, but by laryngopharyngeal reflux . Also called airway reflux, reflux laryngitis, or atypical reflux, LPR is one of the most common diseases of the 21st century. Unlike gastroesophageal reflux disease , which primarily affects the esophagus, LPR will affect the larynx and pharynxyour voice production system. Lissette Giraud, MD, provides insight into and answers common questions about this widespread condition.
What causes LPR?
It is commonly accepted that this condition is caused by reflux of acid or bile. GERD symptoms like heartburn are not typical of the condition but may appear. The most common symptoms of LPR are hoarseness, sore throat, excess mucus in the throat, persistent cough, asthma-like, symptoms , postnasal drip, sensation of a lump in the throat, difficulties swallowing, and ear pain. However, LPR presents differently in each person.
When should I see a doctor?
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- an increase in some types of hormones, such as progesterone and oestrogen
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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What Is The Recovery Time After A Nissen Fundoplication
For the first seven to 10 days after surgery, many surgeons will recommend a soft foods diet. Usually, you can return to usual activities and light exercise within a few days of surgery.
Children can usually go back to school within a few days after going home from the hospital. They should avoid strenuous activity for at least three weeks. Restrictions on activity can vary between laparoscopic and open procedures.
How Long Does It Take To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux In Your Throat
Popular OTC antacids claim to provide relief immediately or in seconds, though results may vary from person to person. Its important to follow the instructions on the label when taking these medications. OTC drugs are meant to provide occasional relief and should not be overly relied upon.
According to the Food and Drug Administration , H2 blockers typically take 1 to 3 hours to start working, while proton pump inhibitors are meant to be taken regularly as a preventive measure.
Home remedies havent been studied as rigorously. You can expect that they might provide quick relief for the symptoms of acid reflux in your throat, but they probably wont treat the cause.
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What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gerd
The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat, or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath.
Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Reflux From A Gp
If you have acid reflux, a GP may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces how much acid your stomach makes.
You’ll usually need to take this type of medicine for 4 or 8 weeks, depending on how serious your acid reflux is.
Go back to the GP if your symptoms return after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.
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What Is Acid Reflux
During normal digestion, food goes down the esophagus through a muscle or valve known as the lower esophageal sphincter , and into the stomach.
When you experience heartburn or acid reflux, the LES is relaxing, or opening, when it shouldnt. This allows acid from the stomach to rise back up into the esophagus.
Though most anyone may experience heartburn once in a while, those who have more severe cases may be diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease . In these cases, its important to treat the condition to reduce painful and uncomfortable symptoms and safeguard the esophagus and the throat.
Treatment For Silent Reflux
At UT Southwestern, we typically begin treatment for LPR with lifestyle/dietary modifications and sometimes medications that reduce the effects of stomach acid, such as:
- Alginate therapy
More specifically, our laryngologists recommend the following lifestyle changes to help reduce the chances of reflux occurring, such as:
- Avoiding acid-producing foods such as chocolate, fried foods, citrus fruits, spicy foods, and tomato-based products
- Stopping eating at least two to three hours before bedtime
- Elevating the head during sleep
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Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd
GERD is usually managed with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.
- Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
- LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.
Causes And Risk Factors
The food pipe becomes narrower just before it reaches the stomach. This narrow part is normally kept shut by the muscles in the food pipe and diaphragm. But this doesn’t work properly in GERD. It is often not clear why.
In some people it is caused by a hiatal hernia . The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities from each other. The food pipe passes through a small hole in the diaphragm and enters the stomach just below it. In people who have a hiatal hernia, the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the hole in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. As a result, the diaphragm can no longer help to close the entrance to the stomach.
There is some debate about whether being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol can affect the sphincter or the risk of reflux and heartburn. Many of those affected say that their symptoms are triggered or made worse by stress or by certain foods or drinks. The symptoms may also get worse after physical activities or through certain positions, such as bending forward or lying down.
Sometimes reflux symptoms and heartburn are caused by a problem with the food pipe. For instance, the food pipe might not move rising stomach juices back down into the stomach fast enough, or it might react very sensitively. The symptoms can also be made worse by medications such as birth control pills and certain drugs against high blood pressure.
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Possible Causes Of A Burning Throat
Get relief from this unpleasant sensation
There’s a host of health conditions that may cause a burning throat. Some of them may be more serious than others, but all of them can cause discomfort that needs to be treated.
The good news is that it’s fairly straightforward for a healthcare provider to tease out the cause. They will find it based on your other symptoms and a physical examination.
This article will help you to learn some common reasons for a burning throat. It also will describe how your healthcare provider treats each condition so you get relief.
Verywell / Emily Roberts
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Dietary And Lifestyle Modifications
Although clinical evidence suggests that dietary and lifestyle modifications are usually not sufficient to bring chronic GERD under control, your physician might suggest a number of dietary and lifestyle changes directed at reducing your symptoms, and adhering to these recommendations might provide some relief. The first goal of treatment is to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus. Foods that trigger reflux and its symptoms vary from person to person. By paying close attention to your diet and symptoms, you may be able to identify which foods repeatedly contribute to your reflux. Common trigger foods include alcohol, caffeine, fatty foods, and some spices. Avoiding large portions at mealtime and eating smaller, more frequent meals might aid in symptom control.
Many overweight individuals find symptom relief when they lose some weight, as excess bulk, especially around the abdomen, might put pressure on the digestive tract, negatively affecting its function. Avoid clothes that fit tightly around the waist, as these also increase abdominal stress.
Smoking cessation is also important for reducing GERD symptoms, as studies point to relaxation of the LES with smoking.
People who have GERD should avoid lying down right after eating and refrain from eating within two to three hours of bedtime.
Heartburn Or Heart Attack When To Worry
If you have chest pain and are not sure if its severe heartburn symptoms or a heart attack, call 911 right away. Its better to get emergency treatment and find out that you have a minor health problem than to ignore something that could be deadly.
Remember, paramedics will provide the fastest, safest transportation to the hospital. Do not drive yourself or ask someone else to drive you.
To learn more about heart attack causes, symptoms, and treatment options, visit the UPMC Heart and Vascular Institute or call 1-855-UPMC-HVI .
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on July 18, 2016, and was last reviewed on December 14, 2021. Updated per Merkle’s SEO recommendations!
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Experienced Care For Silent Reflux
Silent reflux, also known as laryngopharyngeal reflux , is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up the esophagus into the larynx and throat. LPR is called silent reflux because it often does not cause any symptoms in the chest.
Our fellowship-trained laryngologists have extensive experience diagnosing and treating silent reflux and other disorders affecting the esophagus, throat, and larynx. We usually begin with medications and lifestyle changes and then might recommend advanced minimally invasive procedures for disease that has not responded to nonsurgical treatment.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd
With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.
When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.
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What Happens After A Nissen Fundoplication
Immediately after surgery, your throat might be sore for a day or two. If you or your child had open fundoplication surgery, you will need a temporary nasogastric tube. The tube clears the stomach of digestive juices while you heal.
You or your child may also need an IV line to deliver fluids until you can eat again. Youâll be able to resume eating once you have passed gas or had a bowel movement. Those actions are signs that your body is getting back to its usual function.
Adults or children may spend one or more days in the hospital after surgery. Recovery depends on whether the surgeon used a laparoscopic or open approach, as well as if other medical problems exist. Many patients who have laparoscopic surgery can go home the next day.
How Do I Know Im Having Heartburn And Not A Heart Attack
Chest pain caused by heartburn may make you afraid youre having a heart attack. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but since the discomfort is in your chest it may be hard to know the difference while its going on. But symptoms of a heart attack are different than heartburn.
Heartburn is that uncomfortable burning feeling or pain in your chest that can move up to your neck and throat. A heart attack can cause pain in the arms, neck and jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.
If your heartburn medication doesnt help and your chest pain is accompanied by these symptoms, call for medical attention right away.
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