10 Symptoms of Acid Reflux and Heartburn You May Not Know About

Do you experience frequent heartburn or acid reflux? If so, you’re not alone! It is estimated that up to 20% of adults in the United States experience symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Many people are aware of common symptoms like chest pain. However, there are many other symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn that you may not be aware of. In this blog post, we will discuss 10 symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn you should know.

1. Difficulty swallowing

One of the more common acid reflux symptoms is difficulty swallowing. When your esophagus is regularly exposed to stomach acids, it can become inflamed or irritated. This can cause a burning sensation or discomfort in your throat and make swallowing food difficult. This can also feel like something you ate is stuck in your throat or chest.

If this symptom persists, you should see your doctor. Difficulty swallowing can have some serious complications if left untreated, and there are medications and simple procedures that can help.

2. Sore throat

People with acid reflux often experience pain and discomfort in their throat, sometimes accompanied by a burning sensation that can last for several hours. The pain may get worse after eating or laying down, when acid reflux is likely to be more severe and come in contact with your throat. In some cases, the acid may even cause small abrasions in the throat, leading to even more discomfort. If you find yourself with a persistent sore throat that doesn’t seem to improve with home remedies or over-the-counter medications, you could be having acid reflux.

3. Hoarseness

Hoarseness is one of the more subtle acid reflux symptoms. It can often be mistaken for a symptom of allergies or a sinus issue, but hoarseness and other issues with voice quality can occur when acid is often coming up and reaching the vocal cords. Irritation of your vocal cords often makes your voice sound raspy, scratchy, weak, or lower in pitch.

If you experience hoarseness or other irregularities with your voice for more than a few days, please mention it to your healthcare provider as it can be a sign of a more serious condition.

4. Persistent cough

Coughing is a sign of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or silent acid reflux that is often missed or misdiagnosed. Many people with GERD experience a chronic dry cough that gets worse at night. It is caused by irritation from stomach acid coming up into the throat and sometimes also making its way to the windpipe (going down wrong) as you sleep.

If you’re experiencing frequent coughing at night and wonder if it could be acid reflux, ask your doctor about possible treatment options. I first noticed this symptom after having a respiratory illness and the cough just would not go away, even after a few weeks. Changing to a different, stronger acid reducer helped a lot within just a few days.

5. Wheezing

Wheezing is another subtle sign of acid reflux that many people do not know about. It’s especially noticeable when you exhale and can be an indication that your airway is being narrowed due to irritation caused by acid reflux. Wheezing is often accompanied by chest tightness and/or difficulty breathing, making it a symptom that should not be ignored.

If you are experiencing wheezing, talk to your doctor as it can be a sign of a number of respiratory conditions that require prompt treatment. Be sure to mention any other symptoms you are experiencing as well. My doctor thought that I could have asthma at first until I mentioned that my acid reflux also seemed to be flaring up more.

6. Chest pain

signs and symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn

Chest pain is probably the most alarming symptom for people who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. Pain in the chest area can be sharp, burning, or a general feeling of discomfort or tightness. This kind of pain is often mistaken for a heart attack or other heart-related issues, which can be an extremely frightening experience.

To help differentiate the two, be aware that chest pain caused by acid reflux usually gets worse when you lie down or bend over. If you experience chest pain. However, if chest pain is sudden, severe, or persists for more than 30 minutes after taking antacids, it is very important to seek medical attention right away as it could be serious.

7. Bad Breath

When your stomach acid is routinely making its way to the back of your throat, it can cause very persistent bad breath that may also come with an unpleasant taste in your mouth. This is often referred to as halitosis and can be difficult to get rid of even after brushing your teeth and using mouthwash or breath mints.

It’s important to speak with a doctor if you are experiencing any acid reflux symptoms, including smelly breath, to make sure there isn’t a more serious underlying issue. Your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes or medications to help reduce your acid reflux, thereby helping reduce or eliminate symptoms like bad breath.

8. Nausea

Nausea is one of the common symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. It is often accompanied by other acid reflux symptoms such as stomach pain, chest pain, and/or burping. When these symptoms become chronic, it’s important to seek medical advice. Your doctor may run tests to make sure it isn’t a sign of something more serious and recommend lifestyle changes or medications to help if it is related to indigestion or acid reflux.

9. Vomiting

When acid reflux and the accompanying gastrointestinal symptoms get more severe, you can experience vomiting or regurgitation of stomach contents. A sour taste in your mouth and feeling sick to your stomach commonly occur along with vomiting that results from acid reflux. This is more like to happen within a few minutes to a couple of hours after eating.

It is important to remember that vomiting can also be a sign of numerous other health conditions, so it is best to see a doctor if it is persistent or becomes a recurring issue.

10. Burping

Burping is probably the most common sign that you could be suffering from acid reflux. It is caused by the release of air from the stomach when it is filled with food and liquid. The occasional burp is likely not a cause for concern, especially if it happens after drinking soda or chewing gum. However, if you find that you frequently experience burping after meals or if it is accompanied by other symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn included in this post, be sure to check with your doctor.

Did you find this list helpful? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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