Although acid reflux is quite common, the range of symptoms heartburn can produce is surprisingly broad, with some symptoms that are easily recognizable, and others that are more unusual and can therefore be difficult to recognize as symptoms caused by heartburn.
If you suspect you may be suffering from symptoms heartburn may have triggered – whether they are common or unusual – it is important that you speak to your doctor for a formal diagnosis. This is to rule out any other underlying condition and to prevent any serious or long-term consequences that may result from the disorder.
GERD can cause you to suffer from reactions that can range from quite mild – almost unnoticeable – to ones that are actually life threatening. Keep in mind, the more dramatic symptoms heartburn causes are typically those that have developed over time, so if you do feel a bit of discomfort you shouldn’t panic. However, make a doctor’s appointment anyway to ensure you know the degree and type of GERD you are suffering from and what your options are.
Aside from typical symptoms heartburn presents, you may also want to watch for these less common symptoms, which can include:
Pain – though pain is one of the more common symptoms heartburn has to offer, there are forms of pain that are considered to be quite unusual. For example, the typical pain felt from GERD includes a burning sensation in the mid to upper chest region, or a burning sensation in the esophagus or lower throat area. However, more rare are pains that migrate to the shoulder blade or overall shoulder area.
Vomiting – among the more unpleasant symptoms heartburn presents is varying degrees of vomiting. This can include wet or sour burps, wet hiccups, or food coming up a bit within an hour of eating. Less common versions of this potential symptom of GERD include feelings of nausea during or soon after eating or sometimes projectile vomiting. Though not common, there have been cases where this has occurred and should be checked if you experience these symptoms and suspect GERD.
Respiratory – the respiratory system is easily impacted by GERD and therefore frequently presents with symptoms caused by heartburn. These commonly include a runny nose, bad breath, recurrent sore throat, sinus infections, upper respiratory infections, wheezing, bronchitis, asthma, a nagging dry cough, coughing at night, frequent throat clearing, labored or noisy breathing, a hoarse or deepened voice, or nodules on the vocal cords. More rarely however, GERD can develop into sleep apnea, aspiration (inhalation of stomach acids into the lungs), pneumonia, and laryngospasm (a brief spasm of the vocal cords that temporarily interrupts breathing, usually lasting up to 30 seconds).
Due to so many different kinds of symptoms – and a range of uncommon symptoms that can easily be mistaken for other illnesses, diseases, and conditions – acid reflux may not be the obvious choice as a diagnosis. Only a doctor can help you know for certain if your symptoms heartburn may be causing are indeed a result of GERD. When in doubt, it is always best to seek the advice of a medical professional. This is especially true in the case of children, who may need different remedy options than adults.
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