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GERD: The Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For

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GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a common condition whereby stomach acid leaks back into the esophagus. If this happens frequently, it can damage the esophagus and cause other symptoms. Check out these symptoms if you think you have GERD :

Heartburn

GERD causes a burning sensation in the chest. It is not the same as a heart attack, although it can feel like one when it gets worse. It can be tied to many causes and lifestyle factors. Heartburn usually feels like something warm but uncomfortable, spreading from your throat to below your breastbone.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation is the feeling of food coming back up into your throat. It can feel like you have food stuck in your throat or as if it is being forced up through your esophagus and toward the mouth. Regurgitation can also occur without any swallowing motion, resulting in a sensation of the food being stuck behind the breastbone or in one’s chest.

Dry Cough

A dry cough is a dry and irritating cough that does not produce any phlegm or mucus. It can be caused by irritation to the throat and upper respiratory tract, especially at night. Dry cough is also a common symptom of acid reflux disease in children.

Trouble Swallowing

Trouble swallowing, or dysphagia, is a common symptom of GERD. Your throat may feel like it has food stuck, or you feel like food is going down the wrong way. Swallowing difficulty may also be because your esophagus has been irritated by stomach acid. This can be painful and make it hard to eat.

Asthma and Recurrent Pneumonia

Pulmonary diseases like asthma and pneumonia can be linked to GERD. Asthma is difficulty breathing due to inflammation of the airways and bronchial tubes. It’s often chronic, meaning it occasionally flares up but won’t go away entirely without treatment. Recurrent pneumonia refers to multiple occurrences of an infection in your lungs over a short period. 

The Sooner You Consult, Sooner You Get Relief

Take note of these signs and symptoms so you pinpoint the early warning and take action before it worsens. But even if you only experience a handful of them, it’s important to visit your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. You should never self-diagnose or treat your GERD without the advice of a professional gastroenterologist, lest you do yourself more harm than good. Contact Beverly Hills Center for Digestive Health, and Los Angeles gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark. Davidson can help you with GERD treatment while maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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