Symptoms of Heartburn
Heartburn reflects an inherent digestive disorder. It is the most common symptom of GERD or acid reflux in the body. Understanding the exact symptoms of heartburn is very essential to differentiate it from a heart attack. Symptoms of heartburn can also arise from other uncommon problems as intestinal motility. While triggers for heartburn are different, the actual symptoms of heartburn remain the same.
Sharp, burning sensation in the chest
– Usually the sharp, burning sensation starts right behind the sternum or the breastbone and may sometimes travel up to the throat. This usually follows after a meal and can lasts from a few minutes to several hours.
Burning feeling in the throat
– This burning sensation results when the stomach acids reflux up in the throat. This is felt in the neck, and the pain may increase on swallowing.
Acid or bitter taste felt in the mouth
– When the stomach acids reflux into the food pipe and enter the back of the throat, it has a bitter taste in the mouth.
Difficulty in swallowing
– Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, is another symptom of heartburn. Food does not pass normally from the mouth through the esophagus into the stomach. There might be a feeling of food stuck in the throat, pressure in the chest or a sensation of burning or a choking feeling. This symptom could also be a sign of erosive esophagitis or esophageal cancer, and need to be thoroughly evaluated.
– When the stomach acids flow back into the food pipe and aspirated, this leads to chronic coughing. Findings show that 41 percent of non-smokers with GERD are prone to chronic cough.
– Studies show a significant correlation between asthma and GERD and 60 percent of asthmatics have GERD as a condition. When aspiration takes places into the lungs, on acid reflux, it becomes difficult for the patient to breathe and thus lead to wheezing and coughing.
However, if pain or other symptoms last for a long time even after taking medication, the best thing to do would be to visit a physician for a check up.
1. NDDIC. Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).
2. Medline Plus. GERD: also called gastroesophageal reflux disease.