Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
A large group of people of all ages suffer from acid reflux symptoms weekly or daily, which is characterized by cheat pain or heartburn. Know the signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease and learn better ways to manage the condition.
Acid reflux disease is caused when the stomach acids or stomach contents backflow to the esophagus due to the malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is supposed to get closed as soon as food passes through it. LES is the muscular ring present at the digestive tract where the stomach meets the esophagus. It opens to pass the consumed and swallowed food to the stomach and instantly get closed to prevent the stomach acids to wash back and reach the esophagus. If this muscular ring is damaged or malfunction the stomach contends get chance to backflow to the esophagus, thus causing the signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease.
It is estimated that about 20-40 percent of world popular is affected by the symptoms of acid reflux. However, some early warning signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease are also important. You must immediately see a doctor for test if you:
- Experience acid reflux disease more than two times in a week
- Can't get relief even after taking antacids
- Have the signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease which affect or interfere your lifestyle or daily activities
Experiencing the symptoms of acid reflux disease frequently in a week can be the serious indicator of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is the more serious type of acid reflux and may lead to serious health complications, if left untreated.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
The signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease usually depend on the organs that are affected by the stomach acids. It is not necessary that every person with reflux disease will experience the symptoms of this disease. The symptoms of acid reflux disease may range from severe to mild and moderate.
The signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease are more common:
- After a heavy meal
- After a fatty or spicy meal
- When bending over or lying down
The complaints of acid reflux disease may occur at anytime of the day, but most of the people usually experience the symptoms during the night time. Since they are lying down on bed at night time, it is easier for the acid to move up to the esophagus to cause cheat pain and heartburns and other related symptoms of acid reflux disease.
The most common symptom of acid reflux disease is heartburn. The stomach has a protective layer that protects it from the corrosive effects of the acids. But, when the LES malfunctions and can't prevent the stomach acid from flowing back to the esophagus, you may experience burning sensation in your chest and heartburn. The heartburn may range from being painful to uncomfortable.
If the backflow of the stomach acid is more, it may reach your mouth and throat, thus leading to soar or bitter taste in mouth. This too is one of the common symptoms of acid reflux disease. In some cases, the person may also have bitter taste along with burning sensation in the mouth and throat.
Regurgitation is the condition where the person feels that bile, food and liquid is moving up to their throat instead of moving down. It may also lead to vomiting and nausea. This condition is common in infants suffering from gastroesophageal reflux. It is a harmless condition and common in younger infants; however, in adults, it must be addressed to prevent further complications.
This is a condition where the person experience burning sensation, heaviness and discomfort in the upper middle portion of their stomach. This condition can also be referred as indigestion and heartburn can also be a potential symptom of dyspepsia. People suffering from dyspepsia may also:
- Have heartburn
- Feel bloated
- Be nauseated
- Burp a lot and vomit
- Have upset stomach
- Feel uncomfortably full
All these symptoms of dyspepsia must be considered seriously and people may seek immediate medical assistance. These symptoms may also indicate the presence of other condition like peptic ulcer. This condition may have their own chronic symptoms and the patient with peptic ulcer may also bleed occasionally.
Difficulty in Swallowing Foods
Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing is the condition that usually affects 1 in 25 individuals per year. In this condition, swallowing of foods becomes painful and difficult and there are many underlying causes of dysphagia including acid reflux disease, stroke, multiple sclerosis, cancer and Parkinson's disease.
Due to acid reflux disease the throat may get irritated and you may have sore throat. Irritation in the throat is one of the most common signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease, which goes unattended. Some of the common symptoms of sore throat include:
- Hoarse voice
- Sore throat
- Sensation of lump in the throat
Some Other Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
It has been found that some adults and children under the age of 12 with acid reflux disease may not experience the obvious signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease. Instead they may experience other related symptoms of acid reflux disease including:
- Dry Cough – Dry cough is the common symptom in adults and children with acid reflux disease. Adults may also experience a sensation of having lump in the throat which may make them feel like coughing repeatedly to clear the throat.
- Asthma Symptoms – It is seen that acid reflux disease usually worsens the symptoms of asthma in adults and children. Since the stomach acid irritates the airways, symptoms of asthma like wheezing gets worsens.
Hence, such signs and symptoms in children must be evaluated properly to rule out acid reflux disease.
Emergency Signs and Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
According to studies, acid reflux disease accounts for 22% to 66% of visits to emergency room for non-cardiac cheat pain. You are required to seek medical attention immediately if you experience:
- Severe chest pain
- Heartburn that is different and severe than normal
- Crushing, tightening and squeezing sensation in chest
Seeking emergency medical care immediately is extremely important if the pain and heartburn occurs during physical activities and accompanied by:
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessive sweating
- Pain radiating through left arm, back, jaw, neck and shoulder
Apart from heart attack, the signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease can also indicate about other serious health condition. You may seek immediate medical attention if you notice tar-black or maroon stool or vomit material that is black and look like coffee grounds or bloody.
Also, if your signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease do not improve in some time or tend to worsen, it is necessary to undergo investigations as advised and take necessary action.