October 14, 2010

Gastroesophageal Reflux Symptoms

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is generally characterized by the onset of heartburn more than twice a week. Its symptoms can be very bothersome and painful, including heartburn, nausea and regurgitation.

Heartburn occurs when acid makes its way back into the esophagus, irritating the nerves found there. GERD sufferers most commonly feel this irritation as pain. The pain of heartburn is generally described as burning in the center of the chest that can start high and move up to the throat.

Regurgitation is when the feeling of acid coming back into the mouth occurs. It can be characterized by a bitter our sour taste accompanied by a wet burp.

Dyspepsia happens to many people with GERD. It is just a general way of defining an upset stomach. It includes burping, nausea, excessive hiccups and an overall feeling of discomfort in the stomach.

Symptoms occur as a result of many day to day things.

? Eating too much results in pressure buildup in the stomach, causing reflux.

? Eating right before bed can also cause heartburn.

? Smoking can aggravate GERD symptoms.

? Certain over the counter medications can also exacerbate GERD. NSAID pain relievers ? such as ibuprofen and aspirin ? as well as vitamins ? like potassium, calcium and iron ? can cause acid build up.

? Some people with certain health problems are more likely to experience symptoms of GERD. Those with Type 1 Diabetes may have a digestive condition that slows the flow of food through the stomach causing pressure to build and acid to move into the esophagus. Pregnant women may also experience a high volume of heartburn. Additionally, there is a link between Hiatal Hernia and symptoms of GERD. A Hiatal Hernia happens when part of the stomach is displaced ? either into the esophagus or up next to it. This condition can cause acid flow and production to be disrupted causing heartburn.

? People who are overweight may experience heartburn simply as a result of the added weight on their chest and abdomen. The weight puts pressure on the stomach, causing reflux.

? Certain foods can also aggravate GERD and bring the symptoms on. Foods like citrus, caffeine, alcohol, garlic and onion are common ones, however GERD sufferers all have their own unique food triggers for heart burn.

If you experience chest pain associated with arm numbness and shortness of breath, please see a doctor immediately. It can be a sign of a heart attack, and not simply heartburn.

For more information on the symptoms of GERD, please reference our Reflux Remedy Report.

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