Acid reflux has many known symptoms such as burning in the stomach and belching. But do you know this surprising symptom?
Does it feel like something is caught in your throat? Do you feel like something is stuck, and it only feels better when you are eating?
Acid reflux is more common than most people think. According to webmd.com over 60 million Americans suffer from acid reflux at least once a month. Because so many people suffer from acid reflux we have begun to think it is normal. It may be common, but it is not normal. Our bodies are made for our stomach to keep the acid inside, down in the stomach and not back into the esophagus. Acid reflux is a sign that something is not right in your body.
When acid reflux becomes chronic it can be diagnosed as GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. Usually, when you are diagnosed with GERD, medications will be prescribed. According to this article, proton pump inhibitors, PPIs, are the third most common prescribed drug class after anti-psychotics and statins. Acid reflux is a serious problem in the United States. Therefore, it is so important to know the symptoms, so lifestyle and dietary changes can be made to prevent it from becoming worse, and many times, allow your body to heal and get rid of acid reflux.
Common Signs of Acid Reflux
- A burning in the chest or heartburn. This is what most people think of when they think of acid reflux. It is a common symptom.
- Stomach dyspepsia which is a general term for stomach upset, aches or discomfort.
- Burping or a wet burp. You can almost feel acid coming back up into the throat.
- Bitter taste in your mouth after a meal.
The above are typical symptoms of acid reflux. However, there are other symptoms. The one I had, besides a stomach ache most of my life is not well-known.
One symptom that is not well-known, and rarely mentioned by physicians, is a feeling of something stuck in your throat. Looking back, I had stomach dyspepsia most of my life, so I didn’t realize it wasn’t normal. I also had a bad taste in my mouth most of the time. I would ask my husband if I had breath and most of the time he would say, “no.” However, I still tasted some yuck.
It was only when I developed the symptom of “something caught in my throat” did more testing began. For almost 2 years, I would go, on and off, to doctors for tests. I was told it was throat infections, strep throat, tonsil issues, and other things. But no matter what we did, it didn’t go away.
I started noticing that the only time I didn’t feel that lump in my throat was when I was eating. That seemed strange to me. If it is an infection or strep throat, it seemed it should be worse when I was swallowing. Finally, I was able to have an endoscopic procedure where they put a tube down my throat to see what was happening in the throat, esophagus, and stomach. That is when I was diagnosed with GERD.
I started researching and found that a feeling of something in the throat can be a symptom of acid reflux. Yet, no one….no doctor, no typical web search, no one had told me to look for acid reflux. Since I don’t ever remember having a burning in my chest, which I thought was the only sign of acid reflux, it never occurred to me.
So please, if you or someone you know has a feeling of something stuck or a lump in your throat, and especially if it feels better when eating, please ask to be checked for acid reflux or GERD. The sooner you know, the sooner you can take charge of your health and change it. You can make changes to your diet and lifestyle. You can assist your body in healing and avoid other problems that can result in your body because of what is causing the acid reflux.
It is serious.
Heartburn or acid reflux should not be taken lightly. Mine had gone on so long I was diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus, a scarring of the esophagus where it meets the stomach. Traditional medicine says once you have it, you can’t undo the damage and it can lead to more serious problems including esophageal cancer. The last time I was checked, there was no longer evidence of Barrett’s. Our bodies are truly amazing.
Please help me get the word out. There are other signs of acid reflux. There are ways of managing it without medications. There are ways to assist your body in healing. You just have to take charge, find a great health team, and stop waiting for the white coat cure.
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