Millions of people suffer from acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) but not everyone knows all of the signs of acid reflux, as there are several. The most common one, which almost everyone knows about, is the extreme heartburn that happens after you eat, especially if you eat too much rich food. While this is sometimes just regular heartburn, in a lot of cases if you experience this often, it may actually be a sign of acid reflux.
The commonly seen heartburn or chest pain is sometimes mistaken for an actual heart attack, because it can be so severe and is in the same general region of the body. If you have such serious pains, don’t be too certain it’s a sign of acid reflux: go and see a doctor to be sure. Many people each year mistake the symptoms of actual heart attacks with acid reflux, as well as the other way around. But mistaking a real heart attack for acid reflux can be quite deadly. Don’t worry about being embarrassed in the emergency room – it’s better to be safe than sorry. As well, even acid reflux can be quite dangerous if left untreated, so it’s important to see a doctor either way.
Signs of a heart attack may include pain in the arm, and feeling worse after exercise. Signs of acid reflux most often come following eating certain things (like spicy or very fatty foods) and tend to get worse when you lie down after eating. If you know you have signs of acid reflux and have been diagnosed by a doctor, you may feel more able to tell the difference between them.
There are other signs of acid reflux, beyond the commonly known heartburn, and most of these are not mistaken for heart attacks but overlooked entirely or not known to be associated with acid reflux. These may include a bad taste in the mouth, sore throat, a feeling that food is coming up the throat, and tooth damage even when you are taking good care of your oral hygiene. All of these are due to stomach acids entering the throat or even the mouth, where they can do a lot of damage. It is important to deal with acid reflux, because if it goes on too long it can lead to scarring of the esophagus, bleeding ulcers, and even cancer of the throat. Luckily there are many treatment options available.