Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). Episodes of heartburn tend to happen periodically. This means that the episodes are more frequent or severe for a period of several weeks or months, and then become less frequent or severe or even absent for several weeks or months. This periodicity of symptoms provides the rationale for intermittent treatment in patients with GERD who do not have esophagitis. Nevertheless, heartburn is a life-long problem, and it almost always returns. Gravity, swallowing, and saliva are important protective mechanisms for the esophagus, but they are effective only when individuals are in the upright position. At night during sleep , gravity has no effect, swallowing stops, and the secretion of saliva is reduced. Therefore, reflux that occurs at night is more likely to result in acid remaining in the esophagus longer and causing greater damage to the esophagus.
Acid reflux can occur at any time of day. However, most people tend to experience symptoms at night. This is because lying down makes it easier for acid to move up into the chest. There are potentially injurious agents that can be refluxed other than acid, for example, bile. Until recently it has been impossible or difficult to accurately identify non-acid reflux and, therefore, to study whether or not non-acid reflux is injurious or can cause symptoms. One unresolved issue in GERD is the inconsistent relationships among acid reflux, heartburn, and damage to the lining of the esophagus (esophagitis and the complications).
Acid reflux is such a common problem you’d think it would be simple to spot and treat. The camera can show if the surface of your oesophagus (gullet) has been damaged by stomach acid, although this doesn’t happen to everyone with GORD. Peptic ulcer disease describes deep, craterlike erosions in the lining of the upper digestive tract, most commonly in the stomach or duodenum, the first portion of the small intestine. The same issues that can precipitate gastritis can also lead to peptic ulcer disease. In rare instances, these ulcers can result from certain chronic illnesses, like Crohn disease.
Experts think stomach acid can trigger nerves in the chest to constrict your breathing tubes in order to keep acid from entering. Again, a simple pH test to look for acid in your esophagus may help you get to the bottom of the problem. If refluxed liquid gets past the upper esophageal sphincter, find out this here it can enter the throat (pharynx) and even the voice box (larynx). The resulting inflammation can lead to a sore throat and hoarseness As with coughing and asthma, it is not clear just how commonly GERD is responsible for otherwise unexplained inflammation of the throat and larynx.
Your GP will often be able to diagnose gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) based on your symptoms. Dyspepsia is a burning feeling and discomfort in the upper middle part of your stomach. It’s known as indigestion. Heartburn can be a symptom of dyspepsia. Pain can be intermittent. GERD may damage the lining of the esophagus, thereby causing inflammation ( esophagitis ), although this is uncommon. Tests can help to confirm the diagnosis of GORD, check for other possible causes of your symptoms and determine whether you may be suitable for surgery.