Signs and Symptoms of GERD

Acid reflux, commonly known as “heartburn,” occurs when acids in the stomach move upward into the esophagus and create a burning pain in the throat and chest. When this occurs more than twice weekly, gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) is the likely culprit – and one that can continue to create discomfort while doing substantial damage to the esophagus until it is properly diagnosed and treated.

Some people with GERD develop Barrett’s Esophagus, a condition marked by changes to the cells in the lower esophagus which increases risks for esophageal cancer. While many of the symptoms of Barrett’s Esophagus are similar to other GERD symptoms, this condition may also include dry coughing, pain in the upper abdomen, and general chest pain – all symptoms that should be brought to the immediate attention of one of the gastroenterology specialists at our NYC office.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

The most common cause of acid reflux is dietary choices. Caffeine, alcohol, sodium, carbonated beverages, and acidic foods are all known to increase risks for the condition, which can further be exacerbated by lifestyle choices such as:

  • Smoking cigarettes
  • Obesity
  • General inactivity
  • Going to sleep shortly after meals

Certain medications may also increase the risk of developing GERD.

The good news is, when lifestyle and dietary choices are at the root of your condition, simple changes may be all it takes to alleviate symptoms. In fact, a study published through the JAMA Network found that simple dietary changes were just as effective as Proton Pump Inhibition in the treatment of acid reflux, though combination therapy may be required to fully treat the disorder.

How do I Know if I Have GERD?

Symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulties swallowing
  • A persistent lump in the throat
  • Trouble breathing
  • Halitosis

These symptoms may occur daily, weekly, or just a few times a month, but they are all indications of GERD and, if they persist, should be brought to the attention of one of our experienced doctors for proper diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Symptoms of GERD may be an indication of a larger problem or symptomatic of a more worrisome disorder. If you are experiencing chronic acid reflux, please call Gramercy Park Digestive Disease Center at 212-979-3237 to schedule a diagnostic appointment right away.

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