GERD Symptoms: Typical and Atypical

Is My Reflux Normal or Something More Serious?

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is more commonly known as chronic acid reflux disease. It is estimated that more than 23 million Americans suffer from the symptoms of GERD. GERD is caused by anatomical changes that result in the body's natural antireflux barrier becoming dysfunctional, allowing stomach fluids to backwash up, or "reflux," into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach), exposing the esophagus to gastric acid.

GERD Symptoms: Typical and Atypical

GERD Symptoms are classified as typical and atypical and each person experiences symptoms differently. They can be mild to severe under different circumstances.

Mild sufferers may experience heartburn and regurgitation on occasion, perhaps after indulging in a heavy meal or greasy or acidic foods. Severe chronic GERD sufferers can experience symptoms as often as several times a week, or even daily.

Typical GERD Symptoms

Typical or common GERD symptoms include the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Regurgitation
  • Gas and bloating
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest
  • Intolerance of certain foods and liquids
  • Bad breath or a sour taste in the mouth

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While heartburn may be a calling card for GERD, you can have GERD without experiencing heartburn. Most GERD sufferers attribute their symptoms to acid reflux, but reflux of non-acid stomach fluids can cause similar symptoms. These symptoms can be just as harmful to the esophagus and you may not realize they are associated with reflux.

Atypical GERD Symptoms

Atypical or other less common GERD symptoms include the following:

  • Hoarseness or laryngitis
  • Frequent swallowing
  • Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
  • Excessive clearing of the throat
  • Chronic dry, irritated, or sore throat
  • Persistent cough
  • Burning in the mouth or throat (acid taste in the mouth)
  • Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation
  • Discomfort in the ears and nose
  • Trouble sleeping

GERD Symptoms: Typical and Atypical

Having heartburn or reflux from time to time is normal. Reflux that becomes chronic and impacts your lifestyle is not normal. If you suffer reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD. Take the GERD-HRQL survey if you suspect a problem and bring the results to your doctor for a GERD evaluation.

For more information on the TIF procedure, view this site:

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