Take that awful feeling you get when you eat something greasy. The pain of it shoots through your chest and down into your throat. Your mind immediately jumps to the time you ate a piece of greasy pizza, and you know the burning it triggered will soon set in.
Acid reflux is a common condition that affects many people. Most people who have acid reflux experience it only occasionally and don’t even realize it’s happening. The condition causes your stomach’s acids to bubble up into your esophagus and throat, which is why it’s referred to as gastroesophageal reflux (GER). but if you experience it on a constant basis, (two days or more per week), that’s when it’s diagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Those powerful stomach acids are essential for the digestive process. These acids help break down the food you eat, starting your digestion. The problem arises when those acids don’t stay where they should, It occurs when people sleep on their back or when they eat a heavy meal.
If you’re not sure what you’re dealing with, you’re not alone. Acid reflux is one of the most common digestive disorders and it can have many different symptoms. In this article, we will cover the most common ones.
On the last page, we’ll share with you the best technique that will help you avoid acid reflux. Read more on the next page…
1. Regurgitation & Heartburn
Regurgitation is when undigested food flows back into the esophagus and is then swallowed again. It can be caused by heartburn, reflux disease (GERD), or overeating. Regurgitation is usually better managed with lifestyle changes that involve avoiding certain foods. Reclining or keeping your head elevated after eating can prevent regurgitation.
Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux. It can occur from poor digestion or from overindulgence in certain foods. Heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest and may extend down to the neck. It occurs when the digestive juices go back up into the esophagus and irritate the lining. Antacids provide immediate relief for heartburns. The burning sensation usually worsens when you take a lying down or relaxed position.
2. Sore Throat & Difficulty Swallowing
When you eat, the acid in your stomach mixes with the alkaline water in your esophagus. That irritates your vocal cords and causes hoarseness, a scratchy feeling, or speech problems. You may have reflux laryngitis (inflammation of the vocal cords) if you have these speech problems due to acid reflux. This is a common condition that is best treated with medication that hinders the production of stomach acid, which causes the vocal cords to swell and become inflamed.
GERD patients often experience a constant aggravating feeling that food particles are stuck in their throats. It is a frequent occurrence for the esophagus to narrow over time, making it difficult to swallow solid foods or a complete blockage of the esophagus.
3. Lots of saliva
If you find that your mouth is flooded with saliva after eating or drinking, it’s often a good indicator of acid reflux. In addition to filling your mouth with saliva in anticipation of vomiting, your salivary glands are triggered when you swallow something that could irritate your throat, such as a piece of food or drink that contains something that’s too acidic, such as citrus juice.
4. Chest Pain, Nausea/Vomiting especially after eating
It’s a well-known fact that many people can be mistaken for having had a heart attack when they actually have acid reflux. “It’s not uncommon to see someone in the ER with terrible chest pain, thinking it’s a heart attack when it’s actually reflux,! Dr. Murray says.
Some people who experience acid reflux will feel a burning sensation in the chest. It is usually so sharp that it will feel like it is just under the skin. This pain can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days before it improves. In some cases, like heartburns, the pain may reoccur when you take a lying position.
5. Your ears ring
If you have any kind of persistent ringing in your ears, it’s probably your stomach causing it. You can get ear-popping and clicking that won’t go away. This could be a sign of a reflux disease called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Reflux is a problem caused by acid in the stomach leaking into the esophagus and causes an uncomfortable feeling in the middle of your chest and throat.
If you experience ringing in your ears after eating, it could be acid reflux. Be sure to consult with an ear, nose, and throat specialist to rule out other causes. Says Dr. Sam. “A lot of patients see their ENT (ear, nose, and throat doctor) to get consults about sinus pain and ear ringing, but it’s often acid reflux.”
6. Breathing issues or wheezing
If you’re suffering from chronic reflux, it can cause many symptoms that make it difficult to sleep. It can make it harder to breathe and even wake you up at night.
“When you lie down, acid washing up into the esophagus can trigger a reflex that causes wheezing,” Murray explains. “The acid can also go into airways and cause direct irritation, so you could be waking up choking and coughing.”
Coughing is a typical symptom of acid reflux, but it is not actually common. But at least 25% to 40% of patients identified are registered with a chronic cough.
Other than the above-mentioned symptoms, you might feel other common signs like difficulty swallowing, increased saliva, weight loss, throat irritation, bad breath, and dry mouth.
How to avoid acid reflux:
First of all, you need to make sure that your lifestyle is not causing your acid reflux. So it is very important for you to follow simple rules in order to avoid this problem.
- Eat smaller meals more often. It’s better to eat a smaller amount of food regularly than to have a large amount of food once or twice per day.
- Avoiding processed foods, fatty foods, and alcohol can reduce or prevent acid reflux.
- Lose weight if needed.
- Don’t wear tight clothing.
- Don’t eat before sleeping.
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