A ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is located right at the entrance of our stomach. This esophageal sphincter is meant to close as soon as the food that we eat passes through it. However, in a condition where the esophageal sphincter fails to close or if it keeps opening regularly, the acids produced by the stomach travels up to the esophagus. This movement of stomach acid can lead to discomfort-causing symptoms such as a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn. If the signs and symptoms of acid reflux last for more than a week or two, the condition is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
While acid reflux is commonly associated with heartburn, there are several other symptoms that can be caused; however, not everyone may be aware of these symptoms. The following are some unique signs and symptoms of acid reflux.
When the stomach acid travels to the esophagus, the most classic symptom of this is a pain in the chest. The chest pain caused by acid reflux can be more severe than expected and last longer than you know. Many people confuse the heartburn caused by acid reflux with a heart attack as well. If you suffer from chest pain, ensure to speak to a doctor at the earliest.
Pain after taking meals
When you eat a meal, especially a heavy one, this often leads to overloading in the stomach. When the acids produced in the stomach with all that extra food intake has nowhere to go, it travels straight to the esophagus. This leads to post-meal pain in the chest and a more severe heartburn sensation. The symptoms can also worsen if you recline after having a heavy meal.
Bitter taste in the mouth
The acid that escapes from the stomach reaches the esophagus and eventually causes heartburn. But sometimes, this can even make its way to the throat and leave a bitter taste in the mouth. In some extreme cases, it can also lead to choking. If you experience choking, especially after having meals at night, you must visit a doctor.
Hoarseness in the voice
While hoarseness in the voice is usually associated with cold and flu, it can also be a symptom of acid reflux. When stomach acid travels to the esophagus, it can have an irritating effect on the vocal cords. Make note of the instances when hoarseness in your voice occurs. If it has taken place right after you have taken your meal, it can be a sign of acid reflux.
Sore throat is also a symptom commonly associated with cold and flu. However, it can also be a sign of acid reflux. If your throat starts paining after consuming meals regularly, there are high chances that you may be suffering from acid reflux. A sore throat caused by acid reflux can also be chronic. If your sore throat is not accompanied by any other symptoms of cold and flu, it should be considered a sign of acid reflux.