GERD (Chronic Acid Reflux): Symptoms, Treatment, & Causes
When you have GERD (chronic acid reflux), stomach acid flows back up into your mouth through your esophagus, causing heartburn, acid indigestion, difficulty swallowing, a feeling of food stuck in your throat, and other symptoms.
What are the main symptoms of GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is characterized by persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation, which can make you feel as if food is stuck in your throat or that you are choking, as well as a dry cough and bad breath.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and is characterized by a burning sensation in the middle of your chest caused by irritation of the esophageal lining. Fortunately, heartburn is usually treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) medications.
What do I do if I think I have GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
Chronic esophageal inflammation can progress to a more serious condition, requiring stronger prescription medications or even surgery to alleviate symptoms. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux and heartburn, you can see how it affects your daily eating and sleeping habits.
How common is GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
Acid reflux is caused by a weakening or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (valve). Overweight, obesity, smoking, and certain medications can all cause acid reflux. Some pregnant women experience heartburn on a daily basis due to increased pressure on their abdomen.
What are the symptoms of GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects people differently, and different people have different symptoms. Infants and children can have the same GERD symptoms as adults.
How do I know I’m having heartburn and not a heart attack?
Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart; the symptoms of a heart attack, on the other hand, include pain in the arms, neck, and jaw, as well as shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and anxiety.
Can GERD (chronic acid reflux) cause asthma?
If you have asthma and GERD, your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to manage both conditions.
Is GERD (chronic acid reflux) dangerous or life-threatening?
Long-term GERD can cause more serious health problems because the damage acid reflux causes over time changes the cells in the esophageal lining. Esophageal cancer is divided into two types: adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.
When does a child/infant need to be hospitalized for GERD?
Antacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and Proton pump inhibitors are among the most common OTC and prescription medications used to treat GERD. Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Is there surgery to treat GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
The standard surgical treatment is laparoscopic antireflux surgery (or Nissen fundoplication), which involves implanting a LINX device, which is a ring of tiny magnets strong enough to keep the stomach-esophagus junction closed.
What foods should I avoid if I have GERD (chronic acid reflux)?
Adjusting your diet and eating habits, as well as taking medications, can help you manage your GERD symptoms. Try to avoid the trigger foods that cause heartburn. If you adjust your eating and sleeping habits and take medications, you should be able to manage your GERD symptoms.
When should I call my healthcare provider?
If you have acid reflux/heartburn more than twice a week for several weeks, take heartburn and antacids on a regular basis; if your symptoms persist, see your doctor. Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/06/2019.
What does acid reflux feel like in chest?
Heartburn can be a symptom of a variety of conditions, including acid reflux and GERD. It feels like a burning sensation in the center of your chest, behind your breastbone, and can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. It’s usually treated at home with over-the-counter medications.
Where does acid reflux hurt in chest?
You have a sharp, burning sensation just below your breastbone or ribs, with an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning sensation in your throat. The pain usually does not spread to your shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.
How can you tell the difference between gastric pain and heart pain?
The main distinction between symptoms is:
- Heartburn is worse after eating and lying down, but a heart attack can also occur after a meal.
- Heartburn can be relieved by drugs that lower stomach acid levels.
- Heartburn does not cause more general symptoms like breathlessness.
Can acid reflux feel like lung pain?
Hoarseness in the morning, a sour taste, or bad breath could all be signs of GERD, as could chronic asthma, cough, wheezing, and noncardiac chest pain (which could feel like angina).
How do I get rid of acid reflux in my chest?
We’ll go over some quick remedies for heartburn, such as:
- Wearing loose clothing.
- Standing up straight.
- Elevating your upper body.
- Baking soda with water.
- Trying ginger.
- Taking licorice supplements.
- Sipping apple cider vinegar.
How long does acid reflux attack last?
Heartburn can last up to 2 hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending over can also cause heartburn. Many people find that standing upright or taking an antacid that clears acid out of the esophagus helps them feel better.
Can acid reflux irritate your lungs?
Acid can cause throat irritation, postnasal drip, and hoarseness, as well as recurrent cough, chest congestion, and lung inflammation, which can lead to asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia.
What does Gerd pain feel like?
The main symptoms of GERD are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation; however, some people with GERD do not experience heartburn and instead experience chest pain, hoarseness in the morning, or difficulty swallowing; you may feel as if you have food stuck in your throat, choking, or your throat is tight.
Should I go to the hospital for acid reflux?
Although chest pain is a common symptom of acid reflux or GERD, do not hesitate to see a doctor or go to the emergency room if it seems more serious. Some GERD symptoms require immediate medical attention, such as regular, forceful vomiting.
What does a heart blockage feel like?
When the heart is asked to work harder due to a blockage in the blood supply to the heart muscle caused by coronary artery disease, the heart “cries out in pain,” but the pain is not always felt in the chest; it can also be felt in the shoulders, arms, back, jaw, or abdomen.
Is it gas or heart attack?
u201cIf the pain goes away after you belch or pass gas, it could just be stomach pain or heartburn,u201d said Joseph Lash, M.D., cardiologist at Norton Heart and Vascular Institute. u201cIf the pain persists and you have shortness of breath or nausea, it could be a heart-related issue.u201d
Can gas pain in chest last for days?
Gas pain in the chest should subside within 30 to 45 minutes after starting natural remedies; there’s no need to be concerned unless you’re experiencing emergency symptoms associated with heart attacks or your symptoms appear to last longer than a couple of hours.
How do you treat acid reflux in the lungs?
Here are some suggestions:
- Change your diet.
- Lose weight if you’re overweight.
- Identify and avoid GERD triggers.
- Quit smoking and limit or eliminate alcohol consumption.
- Elevate the head of your bed by 4 to 8 inches.
- Avoid sleeping with too many pillows.
How do you cure GERD permanently?
Home remedies and a healthy lifestyle
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Stop smoking.
- Raise the head of your bed.
- Don’t lie down after a meal.
- Eat slowly and chew thoroughly.
- Avoid foods and drinks that cause reflux.
Can acid reflux make you throw up?
Stomach acids give people with acid reflux a sour taste in their mouth, which, combined with the frequent burping and coughing associated with reflux and GERD, can cause nausea and even vomiting in some cases.