• April 9, 2023

What Are the Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short, affects roughly 20% of the population in the US, making it incredibly common.

Some people struggle with it in short, persistent bouts, while others experience more prolonged, chronic forms. Either way, this condition can show up differently for different people. Here are some common signs and symptoms to look out for so you can meet with a doctor in time.

Heartburn after every meal or when lying down

Occasional heartburn is normal to experience, but if it’s persistent and occurs after every meal and/or when lying down, it might be a sign you’re suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable and cause throat issues, and if you’re not sure what’s triggering it or causing it so persistently, it’s important to seek help.

Chest pain, heaviness, and discomfort

Another common indicator of GERD is experiencing chest pain, heaviness, and discomfort that last for hours. This pain may resemble a heart attack, causing squeezing, pressure, and tightness in the chest region, which travels to your back and arm. This is why you shouldn’t ignore it, especially if there’s no history of GERD. Consult your healthcare provider immediately to rule out the possibility of heart disease.

A person holds a plate with a burger while gripping their stomach.

The backwash of bile, sour liquid, or food

Do you feel bile rising up into your throat every time you eat? Or perhaps sour liquid or food? Backwash is another indicator that you may have gastroesophageal reflux, and your food is not being digested properly. This issue may also irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing burning, irritation, coughing, and other issues.

Feeling a lump in your throat or having trouble swallowing

While there are several signs of GERD, another common symptom is called dysphagia—feeling a lump in your throat or having trouble swallowing. This can make you feel like something is lodged in your throat all the time, so it is difficult to eat all kinds of foods. Dysphagia is painful and uncomfortable.

Gastroesophageal reflux can be very frustrating to deal with, given that it impacts your life and overall health in multiple ways. If you suffer from symptoms of GERD, our hospital for specialty surgery has a webpage where you can find leading gastroenterologists in the region who provide treatment for heartburn and a variety of other gastrointestinal conditions. Take a look here at the physicians working at our hospital, and schedule your appointment directly with the office of the doctor of your choice.

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