If you experience the heartburn that comes with acid reflux, there’s no mistaking that burning sensation or the sour taste in the back of your throat. However, there are in fact a number of other symptoms that could be linked to your acid reflux, or a less common sign of the condition. Many of these symptoms can cause your acid reflux to be misdiagnosed, as they are so similar to symptoms of other conditions. Read on to see if you’re experiencing any of these problems.
1. Difficulty swallowing
If you have been experiencing acid reflux for a long time, it’s possible that you may have some trouble swallowing. This is because the cyclical damage and repair of your oesophageal tissue causes scarring, which in turn leads to a swelling that narrows the oesophagus. The swollen area can become tender, making swallowing more difficult – a sensation that some have likened to having food stuck in the bottom of the throat.
2. Sore throat and cough
Again related to the throat, a persistent cough or sore throat could be a sign of acid reflux. You may think that you simply have a cold, but paying attention to when you cough or when your voice is most hoarse can shed light on what might be wrong. If you find that symptoms worsen around mealtimes, it’s worth visiting your doctor to see if there is any chance of acid reflux.
For some people, respiratory issues can lead to a diagnosis of asthma. That said, it is common for people who have asthma to also experience heartburn and acid reflux – and vice versa. It is not clear if one directly causes the other, but there is certainly a significant overlap between the two conditions. There has been some suggestion that excess stomach acid causes the brain to restrict breathing in order to prevent acid from accumulating in the lungs.
Even if your asthma is being treated, you should make another appointment with your doctor if trouble breathing is accompanied by any other symptoms of acid reflux.
4. Pain at mealtimes or when resting
Chest pain is never something to be ignored. Much like with the cough, pain at certain times could be linked to heartburn. If you eat a large meal and find yourself experiencing pain, it’s likely that this due to an overload of stomach acid. If lying down causes the pain to worsen rather than ease, it is likely that acid reflux is to blame.
Standing or sitting enables gravity to take control, helping to keep food down rather than causing stomach acid to rise in your chest and throat. For those with a history of acid reflux it is advisable not to eat big, heavy meals, especially before bed.
5. Tooth decay
A recent trip to the dentist may have revealed that you have gum disease, bad breath or even cavities. If you are diligent when it comes to brushing your teeth and don’t consume too much sugar, then you may find yourself at a loss as to why the dentist has identified such problems. However, this may be due to the effects of acid reflux. When the acid rises in your throat and enters your mouth, it can gradually erode your teeth and cause a whole host of dental problems.
Nausea is a frustrating symptom in the sense that it can be a sign of many different health issues. Feeling sick or actually vomiting can be a sign of acid reflux, and for some people it is the only symptom experienced. Unexplained nausea could certainly be a sign of acid reflux, especially if you only experience it after meals.
Whether you have some or all of these symptoms alongside your acid reflux and heartburn, Express Pharmacy can help. Not only do we supply a number of established medications to treat acid reflux – such as Omeprazole, Lansoprazole and Losec – we also stock variations to ease problems with swallowing, including Lansoprazole Orodispersible and Losec MUPS Orodispersible.