Reflux Symptoms to Discuss with Your Doctor

07. 10. 2017

Nearly everyone experiences heartburn at some point in his or her lifetime, but for 60 percent of Americans, it’s an all-too-familiar occurrence. That burning sensation behind the breastbone is a telltale sign that digestive acids have escaped from your stomach and slowly crept their way into the esophagus. Over time, this repeated acid exposure can lead to inflammation of the esophagus, ulcers, strictures, and increased risk of esophageal cancer.

Heartburn is one of the most common digestive symptoms, making it fairly easy to identify. However, you may experience other symptoms associated with acid reflux. These include:

  • Hoarseness
  • Regurgitation
  • Sore throat
  • Dry cough
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat
  • Frequent throat clearing

Occasional heartburn is typically no cause for concern, but there are some symptoms that should prompt you to see a doctor. Heartburn episodes that increase in severity or frequency could be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic digestive condition that affects the muscular valve between the stomach and the esophagus. Other symptoms that require further investigation include:

  • Heartburn that occurs two or more times per week
  • Heartburn that persists even after taking prescription or over-the-counter medication
  • Digestive problems that interfere with your daily activities
  • Pain or difficulty swallowing
  • Heartburn accompanied by nausea or vomiting
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Chronic hoarseness or wheezing

There are a variety of treatment options to help manage and prevent acid reflux, so don’t waste time in scheduling an appointment with your primary care physician or gastroenterologist. Early intervention is the best line of defense against long-term complications (Source: WebMD).


Related articles:

When Acid Reflux Becomes GERD and When to See a GI

5 Digestive Issues You Shouldn’t Ignore

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