• Common signs if you have Acid reflux

    by Marc D. Makhani, MD
    on Jan 5th, 2018

Common signs if you have Acid reflux

 

When stomach acid comes into contact with vocal cords and throat, it can cause inflammation leading to symptoms such as: coughing, hoarseness, throat clearing, and the feeling that something is stuck in the throat.

Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week can lead to a diagnosis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which can cause ulcers and permanent damage if left untreated. GERD also increases the risk of esophageal cancer.

Chronic coughing is usually defined as a cough that last for 8 weeks or longer. Although chronic coughing is not a typical symptom of acid reflux, GERD is associated with at least 25 percent of cases of chronic cough, according to some research. Other research suggests GERD is a fact in 40 percent of people who have a chronic cough. While a link exists between chronic cough and GERD, it does not mean that GERD is always the cause of the cough. Chronic cough is a common problem, and a person may simply have two conditions at the same time.

 

Lots of saliva

If your mouth is flooded with saliva after a meal or snack, that’s often a good indicator of reflux, Murray says. For some of the same reasons your mouth starts watering before you vomit, your salivary glands kick into high gear when they detect an irritant in your esophagus. They’re preparing to wash away whatever’s down there or about to come up.

 

Pneumonia

When stomach acids escape your belly, they don’t just irritate your throat, they can also make their way into your lungs. If that happens, you can end up with “a nasty case of pneumonia”, especially if you’ve developed pneumonia more than once without a good explanation, reflux may be to blame.

 

Chest pain

People often mistake heartburn for a heart attack. “It’s not uncommon to see someone in the ER with terrible chest pain, thinking it’s a heart attack, when it’s actually reflux. But the opposite also happens, when someone is having a heart attack, but they don’t to the ER because they figure its indigestion.

 

Bitter taste

The stomach juices that forces their way up into your esophagus can leave a sour or bitter taste in the back of your throat.

 

Asthma

If you experience problems breathing and especially if those problems get worse at night when you are in bed reflux may be to blame. The acid can also go into airways and cause direct irritation, so you could be waking up choking and coughing.

 

Problems swallowing

Reflux can cause a narrowing of the throat due to damage and scarring, so food is actually being held up on its way down. This can feel like your food has grown claws and is raking at your throat as it heads toward your stomach.

 

 

Author Marc D. Makhani, MD Dr. Makhani pursued his bachelor's degree at UCLA with a major in psychobiology. He also volunteered at the Santa Monica UCLA Hospital as an undergraduate. He then went on to obtain his medical degree as a doctor of medicine (MD) at the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He subsequently obtained a board certification in internal medicine after completing his residency at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Makhani then continued his medical training by pursuing a specialty in gastroenterology at Temple University Hospital in Pennsylvania before moving back to Los Angeles to begin his practice. Dr. Makhani is the founder of LA Digestive Health and Wellness and centers his principles on a passion for promoting overall health and wellbeing.

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