You may have heard of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, a common condition sometimes associated with heartburn or a burning sensation in the back of the throat. But you may not know GERD can also have a number of surprising symptoms that may be mistaken for other conditions.
1. Chest Pain That Lasts
GERD can cause chest pain that mimics a heart attack. Described as a squeezing pressure behind the breast bone, GERD-related chest pain can last for hours. And like a heart attack, it can also radiate down your arm to your back.
2. Could Be Asthma, Could Be GERD
When you have GERD, there is always the possibility of breathing stomach acid into your lungs. When this happens, asthma or other breathing problems can develop.
3. Laryngitis – The Voice Box Dilemma
Acid reflux associated with GERD can lead to swelling in your voice box. You may temporarily lose your voice as a result.
4. Not-So-Fresh Breath
Regurgitation of stomach contents into your esophagus can cause you to have a sour taste in your mouth. As a result, you may experience bad breath.
5. Losing One’s Lunch
Although less common, vomiting can occur with GERD. Beware of vomit that is green or yellow in color or looks like coffee grounds, as this may indicate bile or blood.
Because GERD can lead to more serious problems, it’s important to see a gastroenterologist (GI), who specializes in digestive diseases. You may be prescribed medicine to help relieve your symptoms. Your GI may also advise you on the following:
Eat small, frequent meals
Elevate your head while sleeping
If you experience symptoms of GERD more than two times a week, consider an evaluation.
Request an appointment online with a gastroenterologist or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536).