A person may experience chest pain in occasion when they bend over, lie down or even after eating particular foods. Generally speaking, the symptoms of acid reflux are quite numerous.
Table of Contents
- 1 What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
- 1.1 Common Acid Reflux Symptoms
- 1.2 Severe Acid Reflux Symptoms
- 1.3 Acid Reflux Symptoms in Children
- 1.4 Acid Reflux and Palpitations
- 1.5 Coughing and Acid Reflux
- 1.6 When do the Symptoms Occur?
- 1.7 When do the Symptoms Worsen?
- 1.8 Acid Reflux Symptoms and Complications
- 1.9 When to Ask for Medical Help?
What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
Common Acid Reflux Symptoms
The three most common signs of acid reflux are heartburn, dyspepsia and regurgitation. Still, there are other very common symptoms we will discuss below.
Heartburn is the burning pain that moves up from the stomach to the chest and the abdomen. It can also come in the form of a discomfort that moves to into the throat. The name of this symptom has been invented since people often mix this sensation with heart issues, even though heartburn does not affect the heart at all.
People with acid reflux, especially the chronic variant GERD, often suffer from dyspepsia simultaneously. Dyspepsia is stomach discomfort characterized by burping, stomach bloating, stomach fullness, nausea after consuming food and upper body discomfort and abdominal pain.
Regurgitation is the sensation you get when the acid backs up all the way into the mouth or the throat. When this symptom occurs, people experience a bitter taste and a so-called ‘wet burp’. In some cases, you can even vomit.
Other common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Indigestion or feeling sickness after eating
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling like food has been stuck to your esophagus
- Chest pains
- excessive saliva
- sour taste in the mouth
Severe Acid Reflux Symptoms
More severe acid reflux symptoms most often occur in cases of chronic GERD. Some people experience mild, occasional symptoms of the disease, while others are more severe.
Such complications include Barrett’s esophagus, or a condition that occurs when there is a mutation of the throat cells, which can even become cancerous if the patient does not treat this condition. Also, there may be occurrence of ulcers as a more severe symptom of the disease.
As soon as you notice any of the severe acid reflux symptoms, you should immediately consult your doctor. Make sure you pay attention to the frequency of their occurrence since experiencing the symptoms more often can lead to complications if they are not treated. If you are having acid reflux symptoms more times in a single week, you are at risk of developing these complications.
Other health problems that can result from acid reflux are throat inflammation, difficulty breathing, ling infections, wet cough and asthma-like coughing.
Acid Reflux Symptoms in Children
The symptoms of this condition in young children are different from those in adults, especially in cases where the child cannot describe the symptoms. In order to check for acid reflux symptoms in children, you should make sure to keep an eye out for:
- discomfort after eating
- signs of heartburn
When it comes to babies, it is most difficult to determine whether the vomiting is an indication of GERD or something else. Vomiting often happens suddenly, without retching, but you should know that this is also an indicator of acid reflux.
In the majority of acid reflux cases in babies, the discomfort is caused by the food the babies are given. However, in some cases, this may be a result of a serious problem with the functioning of the baby’s intestinal muscles.
If you notice signs of acid reflux in your baby, you should first try changing their diet and see if this will reduce the symptoms. Still, it is always best to discuss the problem with a doctor since GERD in babies can lead to more serious complications than in adults if left untreated. A baby that is not treated for acid reflux may develop breathing problems, pneumonia and slower growth rate.
Acid Reflux and Palpitations
When acid reflux is in the chronic form i.e. GERD, the patient may experience palpitations. However, as we said, acid reflux does not cause heart problems, so this is most often a result of the food you are eating or any substance you may be taking. GERD is very unlikely to cause palpitations directly.
Speeding up of the heart’s beating can also be caused by the main causes of acid reflux. For example, people who are prone to develop acid reflux symptoms after drinking coffee can also develop heart palpitations.
Another scientific opinion is that the two often occur simultaneously because people become anxious due to the acid reflux symptoms, which sets off heart problems.
Whatever the case is, you should contact your doctor if you are experiencing this combination of symptoms. In most cases, the existence of palpitations is an indication of other health problem besides acid reflux.
Coughing and Acid Reflux
One of the complications from acid reflux is coughing. In such cases, the cough is developed after the patient has developed a more serious health problem because of untreated acid reflux.
In these cases, cough is most often accompanied by heartburn.
When do the Symptoms Occur?
In most cases, acid reflux symptoms occur after the person has consumed a heavy meal, when they are lying down on their backs or after bending over. Symptoms can also occur after lifting heavier objects.
The majority of acid reflux symptoms are experienced at night or become most painful at this time. Additionally, symptoms often occur during pregnancy in women because of the increased pressure from the fetus and the level of hormones. In the majority of these cases, the women stop experiencing heartburn after they deliver the baby.
When do the Symptoms Worsen?
There are certain foods that can make the acid reflux symptoms worse in some cases, such as:
- spicy foods
- fatty foods
- citrus fruits
- caffeinated drinks
- fried foods
Acid Reflux Symptoms and Complications
In most cases, the symptoms of acid reflux do not result in complications. Still, there are several cases where it was reported that scarring has occurred as a result of continued damage to the esophagus.
In other cases, the person may develop dysphagia or a sensation of food being stuck in the esophagus. Also, the cells in the esophagus’ lining may turn to Barrett’s esophagus, which can lead to cancer.
When to Ask for Medical Help?
When medications cannot provide you with relief from the symptoms, you should consult your doctor. Additionally, if you experience some alarming symptoms of the condition, you should call the doctor immediately. Such symptoms include:
- blood in the vomit
- unexpected and unexplained weight loss
- difficulty swallowing
- pain while swallowing
- black or maroon-colored stool
- wheezing and dry cough that look like asthma
- chronic sore throat
- hoarseness in the morning
- never-ending hiccups
- long-lasting nausea
- chest pain
- fullness that lasts for more than few minutes
- pressure that goes away and comes back
- sweating and chest pain combined
- shortness of breath
- discomfort in the shoulder, jaw or upper back
- pain in the neck, shoulder or jaw