Have you ever been eating then suddenly you have this feeling in your chest that someone just lit a fire in there followed by a bitter taste in your mouth, then you feel an irritation in your throat? That could be acid reflux.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is when acid backs up into your esophagus and throat causing the lining to be irritated by stomach acids that have escaped. That means the little doorway or sphincter isn’t closing properly to keep the acid in the stomach.
Sign and Symptoms
- Burning pain in the center of the chest, behind the breastbone. It often starts in the upper abdomen and spreads up into the neck or throat.
- Pain that can last up to 2 hours.
- Heartburn is usually worse after eating.
- Lying down or bending over can bring on heartburn or make it worse.
- The pain usually does not start or get worse with physical activity.
- Not everyone with GERD has heartburn.
- Regurgitation of bitter acid up into the throat while sleeping or bending over
- Bitter taste in the mouth
- Persistent dry cough
- Hoarseness (especially in the morning)
- Feeling of tightness in the throat, as if a piece of food is stuck there
- Trouble swallowing
- A sore Throat
- Post-meal pain in the abdomen
- Bad Breath
Causes of Acid Reflux
- A Hiatal Hernia
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- Eating too quickly or too much
- Some medications
- Spicy foods or fatty foods
- Weak stomach sphincter
- Not enough acid in the stomach
- H. Pylori
Complications of Acid Reflux
- Vomiting Blood
- Weight loss
- Lack of appetite
- Black Stools
- Gum bleeding and irritation
- Chronic throat irritation and/or dryness
- Barrett’s Esophagus
- Sleeping issues
Testing for Acid Reflux
- Endoscopy - a camera they put in your mouth to look at your stomach.
- Heidelberg test- this test lets you know if you have too much or too little acid in your stomach.
- Breath/blood test for H.pylori, cancer.
- Barium Swallow check for ulcers.
- Biopsy to check for any abnormalities in the esophagus
- Antacids whether over the counter or prescription
- DGL- herbs to help heal the stomach
- Digestive enzymes with HCL
- Diet low in acidic foods
- Don’t overeat
- Don’t eat 2 hours before going to bed
- Surgery if the stomach sphincter isn’t closing