What are the Symptoms of GERD in Adults?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which the contents of the stomach are allowed to return back up into the esophagus. This happens when the sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus does not close properly.
The main cause of GERD is thought to be a condition known as hiatal hernia. It can occur when part of your stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into your chest cavity.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, including obesity and pregnancy. In some cases, GERD may also be caused by certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, or by certain medications, such as NSAIDs.
Treatment for GERD typically involves lifestyle changes, such as losing weight or avoiding trigger foods and/or medication. Surgery is rarely needed.
What does GERD Damage feel like?
When you have GERD, stomach acid flows back into your esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach). This may make you experience a burning feeling in the throat or chest.
Some people also experience a sour or bitter taste in their mouth. The pain from GERD can last for several hours. This pain is typically worse after eating.
Lying down or bending over might also cause heartburn. Many individuals find that standing up or taking an antacid that removes acid from the esophagus makes them feel better.
If you have heartburn more than twice a week, it could be a sign of a more serious condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that can damage the lining of your esophagus and lead to other health problems.
Heartburn pain is frequently mistaken for heart disease or a heart attack. Although there are some differences that may be helpful if you knew about them.
To begin with, exercise may exacerbate the pain that comes with heart disease, but rest can alleviate it. The pain that comes with heartburn is less likely to occur with exercise.
However, if you experience chest discomfort and can’t really tell the difference, it is best that you talk to your doctor immediately. They can help you find out what’s really causing your discomfort and help you find the ideal treatment. Here are a few more symptoms to look for if you suspect that you could be having GERD:
- Bad Breath: In patients with GERD, stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can sometimes lead to a sour taste in your mouth or even bad breath.
- Difficulty Swallowing: If you have GERD, you may find that it’s difficult to swallow food or liquids and even feel like there is a lump stuck in your throat. This is because the backflow of acid partially obstructs the opening between the esophagus and stomach.
- Wheezing or Coughing: When stomach acid flows back up into your throat, it can sometimes cause a wheezing or coughing sensation. This is because the acid irritates your vocal cords and airways.
- Hoarseness: GERD can sometimes cause a hoarse voice or a sensation of something caught in your throat. This is because the acid from your stomach irritates your vocal cords.
- Chest Pain: The most common symptom of GERD is chest pain or heartburn. This occurs when the stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus and irritates the lining of the esophagus.
If you have any of these symptoms which are common with GERD, it’s important to see your doctor as soon as possible. This way, you have a better chance of the condition being diagnosed and treated on time. GERD is a serious condition that can lead to other health problems, such as esophageal cancer.
What Foods should be avoided with GERD?
If you suspect that you have GERD and want to keep it in control, one question that could be bugging you is; what foods should I avoid if I have GERD? While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as each person’s GERD is different, there are some general guidelines that may help.
In general, it is best to avoid:
- Foods that are acidic, spicy, or high in fat: These foods can trigger GERD symptoms by irritating the esophagus lining.
- Foods that are difficult to digest: Foods high in fiber or fat can be difficult to digest and may trigger GERD symptoms.
- Carbonated beverages: Carbonated beverages can cause gas and bloating, which can trigger GERD symptoms.
- Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can lead to GERD symptoms.
- Caffeine: Caffeine can trigger GERD symptoms by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter.
If you have GERD, it is also important to eat smaller meals and avoid eating late at night. Eating large meals can increase stomach pressure and trigger GERD symptoms. Eating late at night can also trigger GERD symptoms, as gravity will pull the stomach acid back down into the esophagus while you are lying down.
These are just some general guidelines to help you avoid triggering your GERD symptoms. However, it is important to keep in mind that everyone’s GERD is different, so you may need to experiment with different foods to see what triggers your symptoms. If you are unsure about what foods to avoid, it is best to speak to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
Does Water help GERD?
Most people also ask, can water help with GERD? If that has been bothering you too, you may find this answer helpful:
Tap or filtered water can help to reduce acidity and GERD symptoms by diluting the acid that is often present in the lower esophagus. This dilution can result in less heartburn.
However, it is important to drink the water during the later stages of digestion so that it does not interfere with the digestive process. The pH of the majority of water is 7.0 (neutral), which can cause a slight increase in your stomach’s pH.
So, drinking too much water during a meal can actually increase acidity. Therefore, you may want to drink small sips of water throughout the meal and then drink a larger amount of water a little while after the meal. You may also want to drink water with modified pHto help in neutralizing your stomach acid.
The Bottom Line
GERD is a common condition that can cause a variety of symptoms. If you suspect that you have GERD, it is important to see your doctor so they can diagnose and treat your condition.
If diagnosed with GERD, there are a few dietary changes that you can make to help control your symptoms. In general, it is best to avoid acidic, spicy, or high-fat foods as well as carbonated beverages, alcohol, and caffeine. Eating smaller meals and avoiding eating late at night can also help to reduce GERD symptoms.
At Andrea’s Digestive, Colon, Liver and Gallbladder Clinic, our team of specialists is here to help you manage your GERD and get you on the path to feeling your best. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Call: +65 6264-2836 .
Andrea’s Digestive Clinic: Colon, Liver, Gallbladder, GERD/Acid Reflux Specialist
#21-11/12 Royal Square At Novena, 101 Irrawaddy Road Singapore 329565
+65 6264 2836