The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Before we get into the best treatment methods, lets delve into the common and uncommon symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. It is quite often that people suffering from gastrointestinal problems will experience these side effects that can take control of what you eat.
Also, knowing all of these symptoms can help you to determine whether its necessary to visit your family doctor for a course of treatment.
How Acid Reflux Gerd And Chest Pain Are Related
While most people use acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD interchangeably, they have specific definitions. Here is a quick definition of terms:
- Acid reflux: a reaction that occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of the esophagus relaxes uncontrollably, which makes stomach acid leak into your esophagus.
- GERD: A chronic, severe form of acid reflux.
- Heartburn: a burning pain usually felt in the chest area, a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD.
Aside from heartburn, GERD and acid reflux share many similar symptoms like nausea, vomiting, shortness of breath, increased abdominal pain, neck pain, and an acidic sensation in the throat and mouth.
Acid reflux will usually progress to GERD given enough time and/or lack of treatment. Because of the intensity of heartburn associated with GERD, pain may radiate from the referred area of the esophagus to your lower back.
Typically, this back pain is triggered by GERD itself, but there are other symptoms like shortness of breath, difficulty swallowing or speaking, or swelling and inflammation that can also manifest. Patients may also experience vomiting or experiencing a feeling of regurgitating food. Even if heartburn itself isnt that severe, repeated, and consistent long-term heartburns may develop into chronic pain in the chest and back area.
Here are three acid reflux and GERD related triggers for back pain:
Can Acid Reflux Cause Asthma
Patients with asthma are known to experience GERD and are likelier to develop acid reflux than people without asthma. This is because acid reflux can cause damage to the esophagus, leading to chronic coughing.
Overproduction of acid and constant exposure to stomach contents could also compromise the lungs, making it more susceptible to irritants like dust.
Developing Asthma Due to GERD
Its not just asthmatic patients who can be affected by GERD. Turns out that patients who are non-asthmatic can have respiratory problems due to reflux symptoms.
Wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty are tell-tale signs of asthma. Commonly diagnosed in childhood, adults can also develop asthma late in their lives due to a variety of reasons. Some patients can develop asthmatic symptoms while others go on to experience chronic asthma symptoms and eventually develop adult asthma.
Asthma can be caused by a variety of stimuli including exposure to allergens and persistent flu. Doctors tend to identify acid reflux, or GERD in particular, as the cause for asthma when:
- Asthma symptoms worsen after a meal
- Asthma begins during adulthood, after the patient experiences reflux symptoms
- Asthma doesnt get better with traditional asthma treatments
Is It Always Serious?
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Rare Symptoms Of Acid Reflux: When You Should Be Worried
Acid reflux may be a common gastrointestinal problem, but it turns out its symptoms are not always that common. From headaches to nerve pain, there are uncommon acid reflux symptoms that can cause alarm and panic to patients.
So, what are rare acid reflux symptoms? Headaches, dizziness, asthma symptoms, and nerve pain are among those considered to be uncommon but safe acid reflux symptoms. On the other hand, fever and intense pain accompanied by left arm pain are just two examples of potential medical emergencies for reflux patients.
Read on to learn more about the lesser known acid reflux symptoms, and whether or not they pose a health risk.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
The esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. At the end of the esophagus is the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle thats responsible for keeping swallowed food and liquids in the stomach once theyve entered. In someone with GERD, this muscle relaxes and opens, which allows stomach acid to flow back upwards into the esophagus.
Anyone can experience heartburn or acid reflux from time to time. However, GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux symptoms occur with regular frequency. This consistent backwash of stomach acid irritates the esophageal lining. Over time, the esophagus can narrow and cause swallowing difficulties. Without appropriate treatment, frequent GERD sufferers can even develop ulcers or precancerous lesions in their esophagus.
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What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gerd
The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat, or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath.
Heartburn & Indigestion: When To Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are all terms used to describe that GI discomfort that everyone gets from time to time. A bout of acid reflux usually occurs after a big meal, eating too close to laying down for bed, or after eating or drinking something that does not settle right.
While uncomfortable, most of the time it is something temporary that can be managed at home with over-the-counter antacids or other medication. However, there are certain symptoms that can either accompany or be mistaken for acid reflux that require immediate medical care.
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Shifting Of Pain In Stomach Or Abdomen
Mild acid reflux typically occurs in the same place each time you experience a flare-up of your symptoms. However, if the pain moves around your stomach or chest or it relocates to a new area entirely, you should go to the ER or your doctor immediately. This symptom could signal that the damage from this disease is rapidly expanding into a new location in your body or that you are developing ulcers.
Do You Have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux
Laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR is a type of esophageal reflux that doesnt involve the tell-tale sign of GERD: heartburn. As a result, patients have a difficult time understanding the nature of their symptoms. In most cases, patients with LPR dont even know they have reflux, which is why the disorder is called silent reflux.
LPR is caused by the same mechanism that triggers GERD. When the lower esophageal sphincter loosens, stomach contents travel back up the esophagus. In this case, stomach acids travel further up the pharynx, reaching the larynx and nasal pathways. As a result, a patient with LPR experiences symptoms like:
- Chronic cough
- Difficult swallowing feeling of persistent lump in the throat
- Post-nasal drip
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Diagnosing H Pylori Infection
If your GP thinks that your symptoms may be due to an infection with H pylori bacteria, you may need to have a test for it, such as:
- a stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested for H pylori bacteria
- a breath test
- a blood test a blood sample will be tested for antibodies to H pylori bacteria
Antibiotics and PPIs can affect the results of a urea breath test or a stool antigen test. Therefore, these tests may need to be delayed until two weeks after you last used a PPI, and four weeks after you last used an antibiotic.
How To Prevent Complications From Acid Reflux
You may be able to reduce acid reflux and prevent complications by adopting the following habits:
- Avoid certain foods. Greasy, fatty, acidic, and spicy foods are more likely to lead to reflux. Other foods, such as peppermint, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, citrus, and dark chocolate are also known to trigger reflux.
- Change your eating habits. Try to eat meals at least 2 to 3 hours before you go to bed or lie down. This will give your stomach time to digest the food youve eaten. Also, eating smaller portions and chewing slowly may help prevent excess reflux.
- Lose excess weight. Carrying excess weight around your middle can push your stomach upward, making it easier for acid to rise into your esophagus.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. Both alcohol and caffeine can increase acid reflux.
- Quit smoking. Smoking makes it more difficult for the sphincter that separates your esophagus from your stomach to close properly after food enters your stomach.
- Sleep on an incline. If acid reflux and heartburn strike at night, place some blocks under the head of your bed so that your upper body is slightly higher than your stomach. You can also look into special wedge pillows that are made for people with GERD.
- Wear looser clothing. Tight-fitting pants can put additional pressure on your abdomen, forcing the contents of your stomach upward.
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Multidimensional Fatigue Inventorykorean Version
Useful tools for assessing fatigue are either one- or multidimensional instruments. The most commonly used one-dimensional instruments for fatigue are the Visual Analogue Scale and the Fatigue Severity Scale . One of the most useful multidimensional scaling tools for fatigue research is the MFI, which has five subscales: general fatigue, physical fatigue, reduced activity, reduced motivation, and mental fatigue . The MFI-K has proven validity and reliability . We used the MFI-K to assess fatigue in this study.
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Causes Of Acid Reflux Fatigue
When stomach contents move upward into the esophagus, they irritate the sensitive lining there. This allows some gastric fluid to enter the lower esophageal sphincter , which normally keeps stomach material from moving up into the esophagus. When the LES lets go, stomach acids flow upward through the esophagus. The result is painful burning sensations, particularly behind the breastbone. These symptoms are called gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD.
In most cases, GERD occurs when the LES opens too easily, allowing some of the stomachs liquid content, including digestive juices, saliva, bile, and stomach mucus to pass back into the esophagus. As the stomach contents travel through the esophagus, they can mix with the air in the esophagus to form foam. This mixture irritates the esophagus soft lining. The resulting inflammation causes swelling, redness, and irritation, leading to discomfort. Pain can occur anywhere along the path where the esophagus meets the throat.
People with GERD often experience one or more of these symptoms:
- voice changes
The first step is to stop drinking caffeinated beverages three hours before bedtime. Caffeine stimulates muscles in the esophagus and lowers the pH level of the stomach fluids. Taking a sleep medication, such as pseudoephedrine hydrochloride, phenylephrine, promethazine, or dextromethorphan will help induce drowsiness without depressing your central nervous system.
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What Can You Take Away From This Information
That its extremely more likely that any fainting or feelings like youre about to pass out is being caused by something other than GERD.
Its not safe to assume, I get lightheaded and sometimes feel faint due to my acid reflux.
Furthermore, if you frequently feel faint this frequent occurrence even more so points to a cause unrelated to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
You Have A Bitter Taste In Your Mouth
Sometimes acid escaping from your stomach can make its way into the back of your throat, leaving an icky, bitter taste in your mouth. In really extreme cases, this can cause choking.
If that happensespecially at nightyou should see a doctor. “I’m very aggressive with therapy if patients wake up choking,” says Dr. Coyle, adding that he usually recommends acid-suppressing medications like proton pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, and antacids. .
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Symptoms Of Candida Overgrowth
Candida overgrowth is a chronic health condition that affects millions of people each year. It can appear on various parts of the body but is often related to an imbalance in the gut flora. Thesymptoms of Candida can be difficult to treat until you address that gut imbalance.
If your doctor is unaware of the importance of gut health, he or she may treat the symptoms rather than the cause. Fatigue might be written off as depression, and digestive problems might be blamed on IBS. The underlying cause might not be recognized or treated.
Just like other syndromes and chronic conditions, the symptoms of Candida can flare up in different places. There are tests for Candida overgrowth, but patients often do much of the diagnostic work themselves.
This article contains a detailed list of the most common Candida symptoms. It should give you a good indication of whether you are suffering from Candida.
What Causes Indigestion
Some of the causes of indigestion include
- too much coffee or too many drinks containing caffeine
- too many carbonated, or fizzy, drinks
Some medicines can cause indigestion, such as
- certain antibioticsmedicines that kill bacteria
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What Causes The Fatigue
There are different reasons why a person with GERD may experience fatigue.
When a person is walking or standing upright, gravity helps to keep stomach contents, including acid, where they belong.
However, when a person lies down, the position prevents stomach contents from moving through the body efficiently and allows stomach acid to rise into the food pipe.
When a person is lying down and trying to sleep, symptoms such as heartburn and coughing may worsen to become painful and disruptive. Heightened symptoms can prevent a person from sleeping properly and may eventually lead to fatigue.
Treatment for GERD depends on how severe the condition is.
For some people, over-the-counter medications can relieve symptoms by neutralizing stomach acid or reducing the amount produced. These medications are available for purchase at pharmacies and online.
A person with severe GERD may require prescription medications.
These work the same way as over-the-counter medications, but they are stronger and help to heal damaged tissue.
The doctor will suggest removing known trigger foods and drinks from the diet. They will also recommend simple lifestyle changes, which may include:
- keeping the head elevated at night and wearing loose-fitting clothing
- losing excess weight
Can Acid Reflux Cause Gas
As digestive bacteria break down food, little pockets of air are created in the process. Because the bacteria in each human body is different, some people may be more tolerant of digesting certain food compared to other people.
How Are Acid Reflux and Gas Related
Excessive gas and acid reflux may exist simultaneously. A patient experiencing excessive flatulence may also experience bloating from acid reflux. While acid reflux does not directly cause gas, doctors believe that the two may be interlinked.
This is because certain conditions that trigger acid reflux can also trigger gassiness. Individuals who eat spicy and citrusy foods may increase their acidity levels while also triggering gassiness. Alleviating gassiness could coincidentally improve acid reflux symptoms because the circumstances that create these conditions tend to be similar.
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How Is Gerd Diagnosed
Usually your provider can tell if you have simple acid reflux by talking with you about your symptoms and medical history. You and your provider can talk about controlling your symptoms through diet and medications.
If these strategies dont help, your provider may ask you to get tested for GERD. Tests for GERD include:
Can Gerd Cause Asthma
We dont know the exact relationship between GERD and asthma. More than 75% of people with asthma have GERD. They are twice as likely to have GERD as people without asthma. GERD may make asthma symptoms worse, and asthma drugs may make GERD worse. But treating GERD often helps to relieve asthma symptoms.
The symptoms of GERD can injure the lining of the throat, airways and lungs, making breathing difficult and causing a persistent cough, which may suggest a link. Doctors mostly look at GERD as a cause of asthma if:
- Asthma begins in adulthood.
- Asthma symptoms get worse after a meal, exercise, at night and after lying down.
- Asthma doesnt get better with standard asthma treatments.
If you have asthma and GERD, your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to handles both conditions the right medications and treatments that wont aggravate symptoms of either disease.
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Location Of Chest Pain
Cardiac chest pain and NCCP can both appear behind your breastbone, making it hard to distinguish between the two types of pain.
Chest pain involving the heart is more likely than reflux-related pain to spread to other parts of your body. These places include your:
- arms, especially the upper part of your left arm
Chest pain stemming from GERD may affect your upper body in some cases, but its most often centered either behind your sternum or just underneath it in an area known as the epigastrium.
NCCP is usually accompanied by a burning behind your breastbone and may not be felt as much in the left arm.
Esophageal spasms are the tightening of the muscles around the food tube. They happen when acid reflux or other medical issues cause damage within the esophagus.
In turn, these spasms can cause pain in your throat and the upper area of your chest as well.
You may be able to tell what type of chest pain it is by assessing the type of pain youre feeling.
Common ways that people describe pain associated with heart disease include:
- heavy like an elephant sitting on the chest
NCCP, on the other hand, may feel sharp and tender.
People with GERD may have temporary, severe chest pain when taking a deep breath or coughing. This difference is key.
The intensity level of cardiac pain stays the same when you breathe deeply.
Ask yourself if your chest pain changes in intensity or goes away completely when you change your body position to figure out the cause of the discomfort.