We’re all familiar with acid reflux. It’s one of the most on-the-rise ailments in the United States, with approximately 1 in 5 Americans experiencing weekly symptoms and over 60 million Americans experiencing symptoms at least once a month. Acid reflux happens when stomach acid splashes back up into the esophagus. It can be caused by situational occurrences (such as eating a very large meal) or as the result of a weakened lower esophageal sphincter.
Whether your reflux is occasional or frequent, there’s no denying that it’s incredibly uncomfortable. Acid reflux can present with a number of different symptoms, but the three most common signs of acid reflux are heartburn, regurgitation, and dyspepsia.
You’ve felt it before. That burning, aching feeling in your stomach and chest? Heartburn is by far the most common symptom of acid reflux; it’s essentially the term we use to describe how reflux feels. Most patients experience heartburn directly after eating, but it’s also notorious for keeping people up late at night as well. Thankfully there are some simple natural remedies you can use to keep your heartburn at bay!
People don’t talk about this acid reflux symptom as much because, to be frank, it’s gross. That doesn’t keep it from being the second most common reflux symptom, though! Regurgitation is the sensation of acid backing up into your throat and mouth, and it comes in a few different levels of severity. Your regurgitation could simply result in a sour or bitter taste in your mouth, but some patients may experience wet burps or even vomit back up the contents of their stomachs.
Acid regurgitation can be distressing, especially when it happens in the middle of the night, and unfortunately it’s a symptom that’s difficult to prevent. The good news is that regurgitation doesn’t generally occur in minor reflux cases. Regurgitation is usually an indicator of advanced reflux disease and presents in patients where the lower esophageal sphincter is severely damaged. If you’re experiencing this reflux symptom on a frequent basis, it may be time to talk to an acid reflux specialist about permanent treatment options.
Another one of the most common acid reflux symptoms is dyspepsia. “Dyspepsia” itself is a general term for stomach discomfort. It’s fairly common in patients with acid reflux disease, and it’s a syndrome characterized by the following:
· Bloating or stomach fullness
· Nausea after eating
· Upper abdominal pain and discomfort
Acid reflux is incredibly common, and in many cases it’s not serious, so don’t be alarmed if you’ve experienced one of these symptoms before. That being said, it’s important not to ignore your acid reflux symptoms.
If you’re noticing an increase in the frequency of any of these symptoms, particularly regurgitation, it’s important that you sit down with a reflux specialist to determine what lifestyle changes or treatment options may be necessary to help you maintain your quality of life and put an end to your reflux bouts. We’re always around to walk patients through these next steps! Schedule a consult today and be on your way towards kissing reflux goodbye.