If you’ve felt a painful and burning sensation from your upper abdomen to your chest or throat, that’s acid reflux. Acid reflux usually occurs after meals, at nighttime, or when you are lying down – especially after having a big or greasy dinner.
Acid reflux is a common digestive problem, and its most common symptom is heartburn, accompanied by a bitter or sour taste in your mouth. If left untreated, the condition can become chronic and develop into GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which can cause more serious health problems.
Let’s talk about how acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn are related to each other, and where you can go for a medical evaluation and possible treatment for chronic heartburn.
What Is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is closely related to acid reflux, but they are not the same. Acid reflux is a term used for mild and sporadic cases, while GERD is the severe progression of acid reflux.
The esophageal sphincter is responsible for the smooth and controlled passage of food from the esophagus into the stomach, and the sphincter prevents acidic stomach juices from flowing back upward into your esophagus. If the sphincter weakens or becomes impaired, stomach acids can flow into your esophagus and cause damage to its lining. It can also cause a sore throat.
Symptoms of GERD and Acid Reflux
If you have acid reflux or GERD, some of the most typical symptoms include the following:
Heartburn is characterized by a burning or mildly throbbing pain in your chest area. It may be accompanied by difficulty swallowing, throat pain, and the regurgitation of sour fluid in your throat.
Complications in the Throat or Lungs
If you have GERD, you are likely to experience more advanced gastrointestinal issues. Symptoms may include chronic coughing, hoarseness, tooth decay, or laryngitis.
Loss of Appetite
Both GERD and acid reflux can cause a feeling of having no appetite. This is likely due to the bitter taste in the mouth caused by the upward regurgitation of stomach acid in the esophagus, throat, and mouth. It can result in excessive weight loss if left unaddressed by a physician.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
The following factors can trigger or worsen periodic acid reflux:
- Stress and anxiety
- Greasy or acidic food and drinks
- Eating large meals late at night
- Bending down or lying down soon after eating dinner
- Certain medications
- Existing medical conditions such as a hiatal hernia
Acid Reflux Treatment in Carlisle, PA
Here at Carlisle Digestive Disease Associates, our experienced and caring gastroenterologists will evaluate your digestive health and recommend treatment if necessary. We can perform everything from endoscopy to colonoscopy, and we hope to be part of your healthcare team.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist, call us today at (717) 245-2228 or complete our easy-to-use appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!