Little Known Symptoms of Heartburn
If you struggle with chronic acid reflux and heartburn in Albany or Macon, then you are all too familiar with the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. The lingering burning sensation in your chest, the backwashed acid in your throat, the irritation in your esophagus—heartburn affects everyone a bit differently, but such discomforts are the norm.
For those with GERD these symptoms are frequent and severe, but even if you are accustomed to heartburn you may not realize that other ailments you are experiencing could be related to your acid reflux. Acid reflux and heartburn can cause a wide array of uncomfortable symptoms that might not seem like they are related to GERD at first.
Here are a few of the lesser-known symptoms of GERD:
- Coughing: When stomach acids backwash into your esophagus, they can cause coughing. This is especially true if the backwash is excessive and the acid reaches your lungs. In extreme circumstances heartburn can lead to chronic coughing.
- Wheezing: Much like coughing, if acid refluxes into the lungs it can cause a number of respiratory problems like wheezing or asthma. Wheezing is a byproduct of troubled breathing, and could be a symptom of your regular acid reflux.
- Nausea: Heartburn can cause trouble throughout your entire digestive tract. In certain populations acid reflux disease doesn’t lead to traditional heartburn at all, but instead causes severe, chronic nausea.
- Trouble swallowing: In extreme circumstances acid reflux can lead to choking and trouble eating and drinking due to severe difficulty swallowing. This comes as a result of stomach acid that has backwashed up to the throat and severely irritated the esophagus, causing swelling.
- Sore throat: If stomach acid reaches the top of your esophagus it can enter your throat and even your mouth. When the acid reaches the throat it will generally cause irritation, leading to a sore throat.
- Bad taste in your mouth: Stomach acid leaves an acidic, bitter taste in your mouth after regurgitation. If you are experiencing regular acid reflux then you might experience this bitter taste after eating.
- Hoarseness: Much like stomach acid can irritate your throat, esophagus and lungs, it can also irritate and damage your vocal cords. If stomach acid backwashes out of the esophagus it can reach your larynx, resulting in hoarseness.
If you are experiencing a combination of any of these symptoms—even if they are not directly accompanied by traditional heartburn or acid reflux symptoms—contact your GERD specialist to learn more about treatment options. What other symptoms have you experienced as a result of acid reflux or heartburn that took you as a surprise? Share your thoughts and experiences in a comment below.