You may know it as chronic heartburn or acid indigestion. Whatever you call it, acid reflux disease is a serious digestive disorder that affects the ring of muscle between the esophagus and the stomach. That ring of muscle is a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and it is responsible for opening and closing the lower end of the esophagus. When you swallow, the LES opens to let food enter the stomach, and then it closes again. The LES is essential to maintaining a pressure barrier to prevent regurgitation of the stomach’s contents. But when the LES weakens and loses muscle tone, it cannot close completely, thereby allowing acids from the stomach back into the esophagus.
Common symptoms of acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Caused by stomach acid splashing into the esophagus.
Caused by a damaged LES that allows the return of partially digested food from the stomach back into the mouth.
Bitter taste in mouth
Caused by acid escaping the stomach and making its way to the back of your throat.
Your body produces extra saliva to try to wash out the acid from your esophagus.
Hoarseness (especially in the morning)
Caused by stomach acid seeping into the esophagus and irritating your vocal chords.
Persistent dry cough
Acid reflux can cause stomach acid to get into your lungs and cause chronic respiratory issues.
The coughing and wheezing caused by acid reflux can also trigger asthma.
Post-meal pain in the abdomen
Usually caused by overloading the stomach with too much food.
If your throat aches only after meals and doesn’t come with other cold or flu symptoms, it could be the result of acid reflux.
Caused by scarring and swelling in the lower-esophagus tissue.
Common symptoms of acid reflux in children
Talk to your doctor about your symptoms
It’s important to understand that Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease does not resolve itself. If you experience the above symptoms and think you may have acid reflux disease, talk to your doctor. Treatment and lifestyle changes may help you manage the symptoms, heal your esophagus, and prevent complications.
Additionally, if you suffer from acid reflux disease or other gastrointestinal ailments, we may be able to offer participation in a clinical study at Precision Research Institute in San Diego. For more information on our studies or to see if you qualify, please call us or fill out the contact form on our website.