What Does Acid Reflux Feel Like

"What does acid reflux feel like?" is a pressing question for people suffering heartburn Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows up into the esophagus. Acid reflux is when stomach acid flows up into the esophagus. While the symptoms can vary in degree from one person to another, there are some commonalities that will allow a doctor to diagnose the acid reflux as part of a greater intestinal disorder, known as gastroesphageal reflux (GERD).

Chest and Stomach Pain
One of the most common feelings associated with acid reflux is pain that starts in the stomach and spreads into the chest. This stinging sensation can be mild or massive, depending on the stage of GERD and other factors, such as whether the patient is standing or lying down. Some people describe the pain as sharp, others describe it as duller; it can appear anywhere from the abdomen and chest to the upper back. Often acid reflux symptoms are worst right after a meal or during sleep, as stomach acid has an opportunity to travel up from the stomach into the esophagus.

Sore Throat and Cough
Because stomach acid, a highly corrosive substance, is being forced into an area not equipped to deal with such strength, the result is irritation and soreness in the throat. This irritation leads to sore throat, worn teeth and coughing - all efforts made by the body to eliminate the unpleasant sensations. Sometimes, the vocal chords can be affected by acid reflux, which means that a patient experiences hoarseness.

Burping, Nausea and Vomiting
Depending on the cause of acid reflux disease in a patient, he or she may feel bloated and uncomfortable. The feeling of nausea may be slight or overwhelming, again depending on the time of day and severity of an episode. The bitterness of stomach bile may trigger a patient's gag reflex and they may feel like vomiting. Acid reflux disease is often associated with a bitter taste in the patient's mouth, which often also causes the impulse to vomit.

Frequency
While most people have experienced the symptoms for acid reflux before, it becomes a serious issue when the symptoms appear more than twice a week and regular antacids don't seem to alleviate the problems. Treatment includes medication, a diet overhaul and insight into other causes of the condition, including an ulcer, diabetes or genetic predisposition.

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