What Are The Common Acid Reflux Symptoms
Heartburn, regurgitation, and dyspepsia are a few of the most common acid reflux symptoms.
Heartburn. Also called acid indigestion, heartburn is a burning pain or discomfort that can move up from your stomach to the middle of your abdomen and chest. The pain can also move into your throat. Despite its name, heartburn doesn’t affect your heart.
Regurgitation. Another common symptom of acid reflux is regurgitation — or the sensation of acid backing up into your throat or mouth. Regurgitation can produce a sour or bitter taste, and you may experience “wet burps.”
Dyspepsia. Many people with acid reflux disease also have a syndrome called dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is a general term for stomach discomfort. Symptoms of dyspepsia include:
- Upper abdominal pain and discomfort
Symptoms of acid reflux may be a sign that stomach acid has inflamed your esophagus. When that happens, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus and cause bleeding. Over time, it can also change the cells of esphagus and cause cancer .
Although acid reflux is extremely common and rarely serious, don’t ignore your acid reflux symptoms. Making a few lifestyle changes and using over-the-counter antacids are often all you need to control acid reflux symptoms.
You Have Sharp Chest Pain
Clearly, chest pain is a telltale sign of heartburnbut it can also be a sign of a heart attack. In fact, many people mistake heartburn for a heart attack. While you definitely shouldn’t diagnose yourself, there are a few ways to tell if your chest pain is heart attack or heartburn related.
In heart-related chest pain, for example, the pain will feel more like a tightness or pressure in your chest, and may spread to the back, neck, jaw, or arms. It’s also often associated with sweating, dizziness, nausea, difficulty breathing, or an irregular pulse. Heartburn-related chest pain, on the other hand, is typically a sharper pain that may be precipitated by eating a fatty or spicy meal and is affected by change in position .
Still, if you’re having chest pain and your’e worried, check with your doctor just to rule out a heart attack, says Walter J. Coyle, MD, gastroenterologist with Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in La Jolla, California.
When Should You Go To An Er For Acid Reflux
Some people who experience acid reflux may think that other symptoms that might occur at the same time as reflux are simply part of the bodys reflux response. However, symptoms that go beyond regular heartburn are probably not just incidental and could be a sign of something more serious.
These symptoms accompanying acid reflux should always mean a trip to the emergency room:
- Feeling confused or sudden weakness
- When the reflux moves/relocates from how you typically experience it
- Fainting/loss of consciousness, even briefly
- Vomit that has blood in it or is black
- Stool that is black and/or accompanied by blood
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What To Know About Acid Reflux And Gerd
Mild or occasional acid reflux isnt usually cause for concern. While it may cause temporary discomfort, it doesnt present any major health risks.
People who experience acid reflux more than twice a week may have GERD, a condition thats associated with more symptoms and complications.
Common symptoms of GERD include:
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.
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How Do I Know Im Having Heartburn And Not A Heart Attack
Chest pain caused by heartburn may make you afraid youre having a heart attack. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart, but since the discomfort is in your chest it may be hard to know the difference while its going on. But symptoms of a heart attack are different than heartburn.
Heartburn is that uncomfortable burning feeling or pain in your chest that can move up to your neck and throat. A heart attack can cause pain in the arms, neck and jaw, shortness of breath, sweating, nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue and anxiety, among other symptoms.
If your heartburn medication doesnt help and your chest pain is accompanied by these symptoms, call for medical attention right away.
What Causes Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is caused by weakness or relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter . Normally this valve closes tightly after food enters your stomach. If it relaxes when it shouldnt, your stomach contents rise back up into the esophagus.
Stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus, causing reflux.
Factors that can lead to this include:
- Too much pressure on the abdomen. Some pregnant women experience heartburn almost daily because of this increased pressure.
- Particular types of food and eating habits.
- Medications that include medicines for asthma, high blood pressure and allergies as well as painkillers, sedatives and anti-depressants.
- A hiatal hernia. The upper part of the stomach bulges into the diaphragm, getting in the way of normal intake of food.
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Can Acid Reflux Cause Dizziness
Dizziness and acid reflux are rarely associated with each other. However, personal accounts show that acid reflux, specifically GERD can also lead to dizziness in patients. This dizziness is often characterized as lightheadedness, weakness, and a temporarily blurry vision.
Dizziness and Acid Reflux: Is There a Link?
While dizziness is not often listed as a common symptom of acid reflux, a study suggests that there is a link between peripheral vertigo and acid reflux.
Scientists suggest that patients who experience dizziness alongside their acid reflux may be due to gastric acids irritating the ear, which could lead to ear infections.
The study reported that 77.6% of patients with peripheral vertigo were also diagnosed with acid reflux compared to 26% of patients without reflux symptoms.
Although further studies are required to finalize the findings, the researchers suggest that reflux contents such as Hydrochloric acid and pepsin could get into the middle ear through the Eustachian tube and affect the ear directly. This can cause tinnitus or a perceived ringing of the ears.
Another way acid reflux could cause dizziness is through bacterial infection. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori can travel further up the esophagus through reflux contents and reach the upper respiratory tract. This could cause scarred ear drum , leading to dizziness.
Learn more: Can Acid Reflux Cause Sinus and Ear Problems?
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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Acid Reflux And Shortness Of Breath
Shortness of breath, also called dyspnea, can happen when stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus enters the lungs, causing the airways to swell.
This usually happens while sleeping or lying down, and it can cause a person to cough or wheeze when taking a breath, or make them feel breathless.
Along with shortness of breath from swollen airways, severe GERD may result in fluid in the lungs or aspiration pneumonia.
Acid reflux can also cause problems swallowing, or a feeling of food being stuck in your throat.
This may interfere with your ability to breathe effectively.
Asthma Gerd And Breathlessness
Many patients with asthma report heartburn and shortness of breath, as well as regurgitation and dysphagia . This may be, in part, due to the pressure incurred by wheezing and coughing, which can be strong enough to push stomach acid up into the esophagus.
No matter the cause, the link between GERD and asthma is now obvious. Thats why doctors are now on the lookout for GERD in asthmatic patients, especially if:
- they developed asthma in adulthood.
- episodes appear after eating, exercising, or lying down right after a meal.
- their condition continues to worsen despite treatment.
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Constant Tiredness With Acidity Reflux
Daryl Rhys Jones, Ph.D., Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Mayo Clinic in Florida talks about the Gastro-esophageal Reflux Respiratory Consequence Study. Researchers at Mayo Clinics campus in Jacksonville, FL., in collaboration with researchers at the University of Manchester, U.K., are studying how reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus may lead to symptoms of cough and wheeze. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer for our study, please contact Dr Jones at or call 904-953-8101. Patients are compensated for their time.
Video taken from the channel: Mayo Clinic
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Dry coughing, sleep disturbances, frequent yawning and sighing, heartburn, and fatigue are some of the symptoms of asthma. Dr. Raul Valor, Pulmonologist with Baptist Health South Florida, says people with asthma have a cough that sounds bronchial in nature..He explains patients who have asthma have a certain degree of anxiety and they may have acid reflux as well that may contribute to the heartburn symptom.
Video taken from the channel: All Health TV
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Fatigue can be a direct result of serious health problems or it can be an indirect result of conditions that interfere with your sleep. One especially common cause of decreased sleep.Constant daytime tiredness that is experienced by the oftentimes stems from lack of sleep at night.
What Is The Outlook
CFS can last for years, but many conditions that cause fatigue are treatable. With treatment comes renewed energy. Your odds of regaining your energy depend greatly on how well you treat the cause of your fatigue.
GERD can be chronic, but its possible to control it with medications, a healthy lifestyle, and the avoidance of trigger foods and drinks. You can still enjoy a varied diet while avoiding the foods that cause symptoms.
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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.
Signs And Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. People with heartburn feel a burning sensation inside their chest. Heartburn often occurs after consuming a meal. The feeling of heartburn can get more intense during the night.
The location of heartburn discomfort can cause some people to believe they might be having a heart attack. If symptoms of heartburn fail to clear up after taking medication, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Ten common symptoms that people with GERD or other forms of acid reflux experience include:
- Problems swallowing
- The feeling of a lump in your throat
- Regurgitating food or sour liquids
- The onset of or worsening of asthma
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When To See A Healthcare Provider
GERD and headaches are both conditions that can interfere with your life. Its important to manage both conditions by seeking medical attention. A healthcare provider can help you determine what treatments and lifestyle changes will be most effective for you.
Having GERD can increase your risk of esophageal cancer. This type of cancer often doesnt have symptoms initially, so its a good idea to see your healthcare provider regularly to be on the safe side.
If you start to experience signs of esophageal cancerlike trouble swallowing or hoarsenessreach out to your healthcare provder immediately.
Address Any Underlying Sleep Problems
Acid reflux is tied with sleep disorders such as chronic obstructive sleep apnea, which is marked by pauses in breathing while asleep, Dr. Dasgupta says. Exactly how the two conditions are linked is not fully understood. It may be that they share risk factors such as obesity.
The Sleep Foundation notes that it is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally. “Treating the apnea with a continuous positive airway pressure device that administers air pressure will help with symptoms of GERD, too,” Dr. Dasgupta says. Your doctor can order tests to see if you have sleep apnea, or other sleep disorders, and get you on the road to better sleep.
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What Is Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a condition where acid from your stomach ends up flowing back up into your esophagus, the tube that connects the stomach and throat. Many people experience an occasional bout of acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a disorder where people experience some form of acid reflux at least once or twice per week.
GERD can develop in people of all ages. The following factors and conditions can also increase your chances of experiencing some form of acid reflux, including GERD:
- Those who may be carrying extra weight
- People who smoke regularly or people frequently exposed to second-hand smoke
- People taking medications that cause acid reflux as a side effect
- Individuals with a connective tissue disorder
- People who experience delays in emptying their stomach
So What Should You Do
Assume that your feelings of getting close to passing out have nothing to do with your GERD.
Next, try to rule out the most serious possible cause. This would mean an exam by a cardiologist to check your heart and blood pressure.
While youre at it you should get a blood test to check for diabetes.
Then take it from there, working through the list until a cause is found.
Anxiety as a diagnosis should come only when all other possible causes are ruled out.
If your cardiologist declares your cardiovascular system in top condition, discuss the faint feelings with your primary care physician, as this symptom again, is very unlikely to be caused by GERD.
Dr. Lacy combines his love of science, medicine and people to uncover the causes of symptoms like stomach pain, gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation and regurgitation.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. Shes also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.
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You Feel Nauseous After Meals Often
Nausea is associated with so many things that it can be hard to attribute it to reflux. But, says Dr. Coyle, “in some people, the only manifestation they have of reflux is nausea. If you have nausea and can’t figure out why, one of the things think about is reflux.”
And if the nausea tends to come on right after meals, that’s even more of an indication that it might be acid reflux. If so, a regular antacid treatment such as an over-the-counter acid-countering medicine could cut down on your discomfort.
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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How To Treat Silent Reflux
Its important to begin treatment as soon as possible once you suspect you have silent reflux. This can prevent long-lasting damage to the throat and esophagus. Treatment tends to take one of two routes.
A conventional approach usually involves proton pump inhibitors, also called PPIs, like Prilosec. However, for many people, these medications may at best only be partially effective. At least one systematic review found there was no statistical difference for patients between PPIs and a placebo . Using these medications for a long period of time can also result in worse side effects, like cardiovascular complications, kidney damage, bone fracture, GI distress , and even an increase in all-cause mortality .
Surgical treatment is also possible using a procedure called fundoplication, which wraps part of the stomach around the esophagus to prevent reflux. This procedure has been found to be effective for improving LPR symptoms like cough, throat clearing, and overall quality of life, and most patients were then able to discontinue PPI use after surgery . But ideally, a natural approach to healing silent reflux would make this procedure unnecessary.
However, a natural approach using diet, lifestyle changes, and strategic supplementation can often resolve symptoms without medication or surgery. This means fewer risks and side effects. Lets examine these methods for treating silent reflux and LPR.