We found the article by Amanda MacMillan in to be very interesting: 9 reasons not to ignore GERD symptoms We totally agree, if you have signs of acid reflux, don’t ignore them. Since this is a progressive disease, starting treatment is critical to your quality of life. We speak with far too many adults that wish they had made a total noob the decision to see a GERD expert earlier, so please, don’t make that mistake. Do it today, you will thank yourself for years to come. pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.
One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia , acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease. If your only complaint is mild heartburn and your physical examination is normal, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. You may not need any special diagnostic testing or prescription treatment.
Heartburn pain is sometimes mistaken for the pain associated with heart disease or a heart attack , but there are differences. Exercise may aggravate pain resulting from heart disease , and rest may relieve the pain. Heartburn pain is less likely to be associated with physical activity But you can’t tell the difference, so seek immediate medical help if you have any chest pain. Heartburn, also called acid indigestion , is the most common symptom of GERD and usually feels like a burning chest pain beginning behind the breastbone and moving upward to the neck and throat. Many people say it feels like food is coming back into the mouth leaving an acid or bitter taste.
Townsend CM Jr, et al. Gastroesophageal reflux disease and hiatal hernia. In: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery: The Biological Basis of Modern Surgical Practice. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. Accessed Jan. 17, 2017. It’s time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don’t bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms.