Acid reflux occurs when the acid and undigested food in your stomach flow back upward — or reflux — into your esophagus. The esophagus is the muscular tube that is designed to carry food from your throat down to your stomach.
Reflux is but one of several unpleasant acid reflux symptoms. You probably do not experience these acid reflux symptoms with every meal nor do you experience them every day. You might not even have any acid reflux symptoms for several weeks before flaring up again. Acid reflux is a lifelong condition you will need to treat throughout your lifetime.
Common Acid Reflux Symptoms
Heartburn is the acid reflux symptom most people recognize. This painful burning sensation occurs in your chest after you eat a big meal or if you lie down after one. Heartburn is the result of stomach acid literally burning its way through your esophagus.
Reflux and Regurgitation
Regurgitation occurs when stomach acid backs up from your stomach into your throat and into your mouth. Your throat will burn painfully and you will notice a bitter taste in your mouth. You might even find small food particles coming back up into your mouth. This is characteristic of acid reflux symptom, regurgitation.
A Very General Diagnosis
Nausea is one of the less common acid reflux Acidaburn symptoms you might experience. Sometimes nausea is attributed as an acid reflux symptom if there is no other cause for it.
Long-Term Acid Reflux Symptoms
If you are a long-term acid reflux sufferer, you may experience damage to your esophagus and develop dysphagia or odynophagia. Dysphagia is when you develop difficulty in swallowing. Some dysphagia suffers experience a sensation that food is lodged in the esophagus. On the other hand, odynophagia is when swallowing food becomes painful. In some cases, odynophagia can become so intense that patients may become afraid to eat.
Acid Reflux Related Respiratory Problems
Coughing, wheezing and even pneumonia can be acid reflux symptoms. These symptoms can occur when undigested material or acid is aspirated, or inhaled, into your lungs.
Acid Reflux and Your Mouth
Your gums may become irritated and you may have tooth decay as a result of stomach acid flowing back up into your mouth. You may also find it causes a bad taste in your mouth or you may have the sensation of having too much saliva in your mouth.
Advanced Acid Reflux
If your acid reflux goes untreated, it can progress until this disease damages and alters your esophageal lining. This stage is known as Barrett’s Esophagus. Ten percent of acid reflux sufferers who are diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus will develop cancer. These patients need to undergo periodic tests and receive aggressive acid reflux treatments.