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.
How can I relieve acid reflux?
If you’ve been experiencing heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms on a regular basis, try the following:
- Eat slowly and in moderation.
- Avoid certain foods.
- Don’t drink carbonated beverages.
- Stay up after eating.
- Don’t move too quickly.
- Sleep on an incline.
- Lose weight if it’s recommended.
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux?
Is acid reflux and heartburn the same thing? Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, irritating the tissue. Heartburn, or acid indigestion, is a symptom of acid reflux, named after the location of the burning sensation in the esophagus, which is just behind the heart.
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.
Is drinking water good for acid reflux?
Plain water: Drinking plenty of water can help with digestion and alleviate GERD symptoms. Ginger: A diet or food rich in ginger, as well as ginger tea, can help to calm an overly acidic stomach.
What is the best medicine for acid reflux?
The Most Effective Acid Reflux Treatments
- Antacids, such as Mylanta, Tums, and Rolaids, help to neutralize stomach acid.
- H-2 Receptor Blockers – These medications work to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
- Proton Pump Inhibitors – This class of medications inhibits acid production.
When should you see a doctor for acid reflux?
When to See a Gastroenterologist Heartburn that persists despite taking over-the-counter medications. Heartburn episodes that change in frequency or intensity. Nighttime symptoms that disrupt your sleep. Acid reflux that interferes with your daily activities or negatively impacts your quality of life.
When should you 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.
When should I be concerned about acid reflux?
Contact your doctor if you have any of the following heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as acid reflux or GERD) symptoms or conditions: your heartburn symptoms have become more severe or frequent; you are having difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing, especially with solid foods or pills; you are having difficulty swallowing or pain when swallowing, especially with solid foods or pills
What can stop acid reflux immediately?
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.
What should I eat during acid reflux attack?
Here are five foods that you should try.
- Bananas. This low-acid fruit can help people with acid reflux by coating an irritated esophageal lining, reducing discomfort.
- Melons. Melons, like bananas, are a highly alkaline fruit.
- Green Vegetables.
What can I eat when my acid reflux flares up?
Foods that are high in fiber
- Oatmeal, couscous, and brown rice are examples of whole grains. Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are examples of root vegetables. Green vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, and green beans are examples of green vegetables.
What are the best things to drink when you have acid reflux?
What Should You Drink If You Have Acid Reflux?
- Drinks to avoid include herbal tea, low-fat milk, plant-based milk, fruit juice, smoothies, water, and coconut water.
What can I drink for acid reflux attack?
What should I drink?
- Share on Pinterest Ginger tea can help soothe the stomach.
- Yogurt. Dairy products can help relieve acid reflux symptoms.
- Milk. Low-fat or fat-free varieties of milk can help, but fat content can exacerbate symptoms.