Have you been experiencing symptoms that you once thought might be indigestion, but now you think that perhaps the symptoms you are experiencing are related to acid reflux? The only way to determine if you have acid reflux is to know the symptoms of the digestive condition and seek the advice of your health care provider.

To start your path of discovery, the following is a list of all the possible symptoms of acid reflux:

Common symptoms:

Acidity – This is the most common acid reflux symptom and is characterized by a burning sensation that feels like it is rising from the stomach or lower chest and continues to the neck region. In many cases, the burning sensation usually starts behind the breastbone and can travel up the throat. However, heartburn can be severe in some people, spreading to the neck, jaw, arms, and back.

Chest pain – This can include tightness in the chest, dull discomfort in the chest, or intense burning pain that radiates through the middle of the chest. If you suffer from chest pain, you should see a doctor immediately to rule out any heart problems.

excessive salvation – An increase in saliva production after eating may be the body’s response to dealing with too much acid, as saliva helps neutralize acid. Sometimes the stomach produces excess acid which increases the risk of reflux.

Burning sensation in the throat – This symptom usually causes a person to feel burning in the upper neck near the mouth, but it can also occur in the lower neck region. It is common for the painful burning sensation to get worse when the person swallows. This particular symptom is often caused by irritation that occurs when stomach contents have refluxed up the esophagus and into the throat.

Pain when swallowing – This symptom usually follows a burning sensation in the throat.

Acid taste in the mouth/regurgitation – With this symptom a person feels a strong sour or bitter taste in the mouth. This usually happens when the acid has flowed back up the esophagus and into the back of the throat. Sometimes, along with the bitter taste, a person may also have food contents reflux back into the mouth, which is better known as regurgitation.

Sore throat, bad breath and dental erosion – These symptoms usually occur as a result of a person suffering from acid refluxing into the throat and mouth.

difficulty swallowing – Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is a symptom that occurs when food cannot pass normally from the mouth to the esophagus and stomach. Most people who experience dysphagia feel like food is getting stuck in the throat, a choking sensation, chest tightness, or a burning sensation after eating. If you are experiencing dysphagia, you should seek the attention of your health care provider as soon as possible to have your condition evaluated, as this symptom is often associated with more serious complications involving the esophagus.

Less common symptoms:

Nausea and/or vomiting – Very few patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) experience this symptom. However, nausea does occur, especially in those who don’t normally experience heartburn. When unexplained nausea and/or vomiting occurs, GERD is often one of the first conditions doctors suspect.

chronic cough – A persistent dry cough can be a symptom of acid reflux which can occur if acid irritates the windpipe or when acid refluxes into the lungs, known as aspiration. Persistent coughing can cause hoarseness or asthma-like symptoms such as wheezing.

severe chest pain – sometimes you can develop severe chest pain that feels like a heart attack. Although severe chest pain associated with acid reflux is not life-threatening, if you experience what feels like a heart attack, do not assume it is acid reflux and seek immediate medical attention!

Keep in mind that almost all acid reflux symptoms occur and are worse shortly after eating. However, it is also common for symptoms to be present when lying down or sleeping. Acid reflux symptoms tend to come and go and can last for minutes, but can also last for several hours. Symptoms usually go away when the acid is neutralized with medication such as an antacid, or sometimes a natural remedy.

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you are likely suffering from acid reflux. If you frequently experience symptoms, this could be an indication that you suffer from GERD. In either case, it’s best to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms and concerns, so you can receive a proper diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

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