Do you feel a persistent burning sensation in your chest, and it seems like forever? You are not alone. You might be suffering from heartburn, one of the symptoms of acid reflux.
What is heartburn?
This is a persistent burning sensation in the chest region which occurs as a result of acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition where acid content from the gastric cavity flows back up into the esophageal space.
Acid reflux is one of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux symptoms always manifest when it has been happening over a prolonged period of time without any course of treatment.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is one caused by a hiatus or opening in the diaphragm or weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle which permits the back flow of stomach content into the esophagus.
Chronic acid reflux may lead to persistent irritation of the esophagus which may lead to Barret’s esophagus a precursor to esophageal cancer.
Symptoms of GERD are most noticeable when in extreme or chronic conditions.
Symptoms of acid reflux
When you are having acid reflux, you may not notice most of these symptoms or it might produce occasional symptoms. However, in prolonged cases of at least 3 times in a 5-day period, it is a sign of something more serious.
Symptoms of acid reflux includes the following:
1) Chest pain which worsens while at rest. When you standing upright, you reduce the chances of having a back flow of acid from the stomach into your esophagus but when at rest loss of gravity may make you very prone to reflux.
2) You feel the chest pain the most after meal. Big fatty meal as well as carbohydrate-rich, or pepper-rich foods can give you a throw up after food.
3) You sense a bitter taste in your mouth anytime reflux takes place due to acid from your stomach that escapes into your mouth.
4) According to Dr. Pfanner, a gastroenterologist at Scoty & White in Temple Texas, If stomach acid is seeping into your esophagus it can irritate your vocal cords, thus making your voice sound very cocky and hoarse.
5) Another one of acid reflux symptoms that may lead to a positive diagnosis is sore throat which is also very common with acid reflux patients. If you do not cough or sneeze when having sore throat, and it only happens after food, it might be one of the acid reflux symptoms.
6) Difficulty swallowing foods if there is persistent irritation of the esophagus.
7) You feel like throwing up or regurgitating food after a meal.
The following are GERD symptoms:
1) Chronic Heartburn and regurgitation of acid which gets worse with time.
2) Sour taste and bad breath.
3) Inflammation of tooth gums.
4) Excess salivation especially after meals.
5) Inflammation of the larynx.
6) Erosion of tooth enamel.
7) symptoms of GERD such as chronic heartburn and chest pain presents only in prolong cases, at this stage, you notice that you clutch your chest often.
Prolonged expression of GERD symptoms may develop into erosive GERD or inflammation of the esophagus.
Symptoms of heartburn
When you have heartburn, you may experience one of the following heartburn symptoms:
- Intense urge to drink water.
- Clutching of the chest.
- peppery sensation in the middle of the chest.
Antacids may help to relieve heartburn symptoms but the best course of treatment is to avoid foods that predispose you to having this condition.
Other symptoms of heartburn includes: interrupted sleep, poor appetite, persistent nausea and urge to vomit.
If it happens occasionally, over the counter drugs such as antihistamine drugs (H2 blockers) such as cimetidine or famoditine could be used to treat it, however, if the symptoms persists and occurs frequently with aggravated symptoms do consult your doctor.