Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms

The most common symptom of Reflux is a burning feeling in the chest beginning behind the breastbone and moves up toward the neck and throat.

This burning sensation is called heartburn and can last 2 hours or more and is often worse after eating or when lying down.  Instead of burning, some people may feel a sharp pressure instead.

The pain of heartburn may be similar to the pain of a heart attack. If you are unsure whether you are experiencing heartburn or a possible heart attack, it is best to be cautious and seek medical evaluation immediately.

As stomach acid refluxes into the esophagus, small amounts of slightly sour liquid called water brash can appear in the mouth.  In severe cases, larger amounts of liquid and food can regurgitate into the mouth.  Over time, this can lead to tooth damage from exposure of tooth enamel to the acidic liquid.

Acid in the mouth and throat can lead to difficulty swallowing, sore throat with hoarseness, dry cough and a feeling of having a lump in the throat. It can also cause hiccups.

Although it is not a common symptom, some people with GERD experience nausea and vomiting after eating.

At a Glance

Common Symptoms:

  • Burning feeling in the lower chest and stomach. This sensation often radiates into the upper chest, neck, and throat.
  • Regurgitation of stomach contents into the mouth.
  • Occasional difficulty swallowing or spasm in the chest

Symptoms are generally worse after meals or with certain body positions such as lying down, bending forward or when exercising. People often report relief from taking antacids or baking soda.

Other less common symptoms:

  • Pain with swallowing
  • Waterbrash (sour, salty, liquid in mouth)
  • Hiccups
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Asthma,
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic bronchitis
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Morning hoarseness
  • Bloating
  • Belching
  • Weight loss

Next: Diagnosing GERD »