Identifying the Common Symptoms of GERD

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You may have already heard of GERD and learned about what this disease simply means… but one thing is definite about GERD—it is a very annoying and irritating disease—literally and figuratively irritating.  GERD simply stands for Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease, or more simply known as Acid Reflux. GERD is either an occurrence of a hypersecretion of acids in the stomach which leads to the backflow into the esophagus and throat or, most commonly it is a problem of the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter which becomes weakened and becomes unable to shut completely to prevent backwash.

Acid reflux or GERD is a very common condition that may affect people of all ages and it may present with symptoms which may sometimes be vague and non-specific. Thus, it is important to consult a physician with regard to any symptom which you may experience, especially if it’s GI in nature.  

GERD has many different approaches in terms of treatment and management as it may include diet changes as well as medication regiment… but before we delve into these points, it is primarily important to understand the common symptoms of GERD that should trigger consultation:

In adults, these symptoms of GERD may appear very commonly:

Sour Taste in the Mouth. This is due to the acidic content that backwashes into the throat. Acid has a sour taste thus, the sour sensation. Apart from this sour sensation, it may also irritate the throat linings which may lead to sore throat, hoarseness of the voice and frequent clearing of throat.

Difficulty of swallowing may occur as a result of the irritation that has been brought about the corrosive property of acid. Upon assessment, the throat may appear swollen as if a person has a sore throat.

Children are also prone to developing these symptoms of GERD and as vigilant parents, we have to be watchful about these signs:

A feeling of a lump in the throat can be mentioned by children with GERD. Similarly, they may verbalize that their throat is tight and may render them with troubles breathing and swallowing foods, or even beverages. Chest pain may occur due to the acidic nature of the contents that spill in the cardiac sphincter of the stomach.

As for infants, one must look closely and observe since these infants are unable to verbalize and effectively manifest what they feel:

Symptoms of GERD that are common among infants are refusal to bottle feed or breast feed, irritability, excessive crying, loss of appetite and labored breathing (since most infant and children are mouth breathers).

Treatment of GERD should commence immediately in order to prevent further harms and reverse the damages that have been brought about to the upper GI series. Furthermore, if the stomach continues to backwash acidic content into the upper GI area, it may lead ulcers in the throat as well as in the esophagus leading to further discomforts in eating, drinking and breathing.

GERD is a fairly easily manageable disease—what one needs is an early detection, immediate commencement of treatment and compliance with the recommended treatment modalities.



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