By: John Foley
Many people today think they know the symptoms of acid reflux disease since there has been many more facts reported about it in the news as of late. It's still important to review these symptoms if you think you have the disease and to really understand how serious they are so that you can have the condition treated properly. Unfortunately, many today try to treat the symptoms of acid reflux with over-the-counter antacids and other harsh products, many of which are very damaging to your system and can even make the condition worse.
Of all the symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn is the most common. As a matter of fact, chronic and consistent heartburn is referred to as acid reflux. Most people have a case of heartburn from one time or another and typically without any additional problems, but when you have attacks more than once per month, this can now be called acid reflux. There are however other symptoms of acid reflux that should clue in a patient as to how serious the condition really is.
These other symptoms of acid reflux include a squeezing or pressure in the area of the chest. Because acid reflux affects the esophagus, the long tubular muscle that goes from the mouth to the top of the stomach and which sits in the area of the chest, this squeezing or pressure is actually pain from the esophagus when it is in distress. Additionally, a person can develop strictures along the esophagus, which are holes or ulcers. When you have difficulty swallowing and can painfully feel the food going down the esophagus, these too are symptoms of acid reflux as this is the food passing over the area of these strictures. Strictures are very serious as they can lead to internal bleeding as blood passes through these holes or ulcers, and often they do not heal on their own. This can cause permanent damage to the esophagus if left unchecked.
Many of these symptoms of acid reflux mimic those of a heart attack, and unfortunately sometimes a patient will go through many tests for heart attacks or heart disease before a doctor realizes that they have acid reflux. Or worse yet, a person will assume that these feelings of pressure and pain are symptoms of acid reflux when indeed they are having a heart attack! Either way, he or she can be subjected to numerous unnecessary tests and procedures or can have a more serious condition overlooked because of confusing the symptoms of acid reflux with a heart attack, or vice versa.
Of course, it's always better to be safe than sorry. If you have squeezing or pressure and pain in your chest, you should see a doctor immediately. But take note of all the symptoms of acid reflux, including a bitter or acid taste in the mouth, difficulty and pain when swallowing, and erosion of the enamel of the teeth, and then talk to your doctor plainly and openly about all the symptoms you have so an accurate diagnosis can be made.
Article Written by J. Foley
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