Many people struggle with a digestive condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, more commonly referred to as GERD.
A person with this condition will suffer from stomach acid regularly flowing into their esophagus. Since stomach acid is harmful and corrosive, over time, this condition can damage your esophagus and pose serious health risks as well as discomfort.
If you suffer from this issue regularly, you may meet the diagnostic criteria for GERD. However, the only way to know for sure and to find an appropriate treatment is to speak with a qualified gastroenterologist. You'll know if you need to do so by being alert for the symptoms of GERD or other related conditions.
Most people have experienced heartburn at one point or another. This burning sensation in the chest is very uncomfortable, despite how common it is.
While experiencing heartburn from time to time might be normal, experiencing it regularly is not and could indicate the presence of GERD.
Pay special attention if your heartburn often occurs or worsens after eating or if it's especially common at night, which are also signs that you might be suffering from GERD.
When people have GERD, they will often find that their food backs up into their throat soon after eating.
Unlike vomiting, GERD causes involuntary regurgitation without any effort or strain on your part.
If you haven't eaten recently, you may regurgitate stomach acid instead. In any case, involuntary regurgitation is a sure sign you need to be checked for the presence of GERD.
Many people with GERD experience chest pain, often in addition to or in place of normal heartburn. This pain is due to the strain and damage that your rising stomach acid is causing to your chest area.
Since chest pain can have many causes, a great deal of them serious, any type of chest pain is always a good reason to see a professional.
Finally, take notice if swallowing becomes difficult or painful. This is often an indicator that your GERD has progressed and caused esophageal damage, meaning that you are more than past due for a gastroenterology doctor's visit.
GERD will often make its presence known. For this reason, you should be on the lookout for the symptoms of this condition, especially if you have suffered from it in the past or have genetic or lifestyle factors that make you more likely to suffer from it.