If you suspect that you might be suffering from acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, it is important that you make a trip to your doctor for a diagnosis. If acid reflux disease symptoms go unchecked, it can result in more pain and even damage to the esophagus in some cases. Fortunately this is not a difficult disease to identify, and there are many options available for treatment.
What Are The Symptoms To Look For?
Acid Reflux occurs when a sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus fails to close properly, allowing acid from the stomach to come back up into the throat and mouth. There are many possible acid reflux disease symptoms that a doctor will check for, since the signs can vary from person to person. The frequency and intensity of symptoms can also vary from occasionally to daily, and mild to severe. Often a doctor can go through a list of possible acid reflux disease symptoms, and make a diagnosis based solely on those symptoms. Other times, tests may be ordered to confirm the diagnosis and rule out other possibilities for the symptoms.
One of the main symptoms of acid reflux disease is a burning sensation in the chest that occurs after eating. This feeling may last a number of hours and become worse if the person lies down after a meal. The burning can also move up into the throat area, and can be accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth, as if food was rising from the stomach back to the throat. Sometimes a person will develop a cough or become hoarse as a result of this burning in the throat and chest.
If the disease progresses without treatment to the point of damage to the larynx, respiratory problems can develop and medical intervention becomes necessary. If scar tissue builds up in the esophagus, swallowing can become difficult and medical treatment will also be essential to prevent more damage.
What Can You Do?
A person may note that these acid reflux disease symptoms often appear after eating a large meal, consuming fatty foods, drinking alcohol or coffee, and are exacerbated with smoking. In many instances, lifestyle changes that involve avoiding the foods and activities that seem to trigger the symptoms will help alleviate the problem. In other cases, over-the-counter or prescription medications are needed to keep the disease in check.
The good news for acid reflux sufferers is that the disease can be diagnosed and treated fairly efficiently and easily in most cases. The important factor is in getting into the doctor to have your acid reflux disease symptoms checked before the problem gets worse and damage occurs.