Learning More About GERD Signs and Symptoms
Have you heard of GERD? Perhaps you have heard of it because someone you know is afflicted with the disease. Or maybe you described the pain you are having to one of your friends, and they thought you might have it. If so, there is a lot to know about this disease. Firstly, it is called Gastroesophageal reflux disease, although most people call it GERD for sure. It is a disease that is often mistaken for heartburn. This is because they both have a similar feeling, although GERD is much worse.
Heartburn is generally circumstantial. If you have heartburn, it is usually caused by the food you ate. It hurts for a while, but it goes away and you’re fine. The big difference with GERD, besides the severity, is that it is chronic, and never really goes away. Instead, you have your good days or your bad days, but it is always there, waiting to leap out and cause you pain. You’ll find in GERD information manuals that this disease is actually very technical.
GERD is caused be a malfunctioning valve that connects your stomach to your esophagus. It stays open when it should close, letting harmful stomach acid into your esophagus. This not only causes pain, but it severely damages the organ as well. After a prolonged period of time, this damage can cause other problems, such as esophagus cancer.
It is best to realize the signs and symptoms of GERD right away so that you can manage the disease in a timely manner. This will definitely save you a lot of hassle. The best way to do this is to learn as much GERD information as you can. You will find out the signs as well as the symptoms, which will help you realize if this is what you have, or if you just have a simple case of heartburn.
The pain of GERD is generally localized to the esophagus and the throat. It can reach up as high as the back of the throat and can make you feel as though something is stuck there. You may also have trouble swallowing when your condition is particularly bad. You might feel as though something is stuck in your throat and no matter how many times you labor to swallow, it never goes away.
GERD signs and symptoms are more severe during certain circumstances. For example, if you eat certain foods, your condition will worsen. Vitamin C is a big culprit. If you eat something or drink something that has a lot of citrus, your symptoms will worsen. This is also the case for chocolate as well as other foods.
Your symptoms will also worsen at night. When you lie down, the stomach acid will have an easier time going into the esophagus. If this happens to you, you can avoid the pain by sleeping on your left side. You could also prop up that half of your body with pillows, minimizing the pain.
Now that you know the various signs and symptoms of GERD, as well as what the disease is like in general, you have a much better way of knowing if this is what you are afflicted with. If so, you have quite a bit to do in order to get better. The first step is to see a doctor. Doctors will know what to do, and will often have a lot of tests that you need to go through in order to determine how severe your disease is. They may give you medication, urge you to change your diet, or suggest surgery. At least now you know what to expect.