Can anyone tell me thier experience with sudden onset of acid reflux. Acid reflux is a fairly common condition that occurs when stomach acids and other stomach contents back up into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a muscular ring located in the digestive tract where the esophagus meets the stomach. The LES opens to allow food into the stomach when you swallow, and then closes to prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. When the LES is weak or damaged it may not close properly. This allows harmful stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux symptoms.
Over a period of maybe 10 years, I had about 6 incidents of mild acid reflux, always at night and always when lying down. Never thought much of it. Than about 6 months ago over a 3-4 month period I started, for the first time in my life, to have heartburn. There were only a few discover more attacks, and I could not associate them with any food intake or time of day. I was getting close to schedule my 5 year colonoscopy so when I saw the doctor I mentioned the recent incidents and he said while I was under he would take a look at the upper end at the same time.
These symptoms should be taken seriously. They can potentially signify the presence of another disorder called peptic ulcer disease Such ulcers cause their own chronic symptoms and can bleed on occasion. In a few cases, if left untreated, they can burrow all the way through the stomach leading to a medical emergency called perforation. In addition to heart attack, GERD symptoms can also signal other serious medical problems. Call 911 if your stools are maroon or tar-black or you vomit material that is black and resembles coffee grounds or bloody. These could be signs you are bleeding into your stomach, often due to peptic ulcer disease.
If GERD is severe and unresponsive to medical treatment, a surgical intervention known as fundoplication may be needed. Eventually small amounts of the stomach chyme passes through the pyloric sphincter into the duodenum. However if the lower esophageal sphincter is compromised or the pressure within the stomach is greater than that caused by the muscle contraction of the sphincter, then the stomach acid will pass up into the esophagus. But sometimes acid reflux symptoms are less than obvious or easy to mistake for something else.