At least one fifth of the whole population of developed countries endures some of the typical symptoms of acid reflux at least once per week. Acid reflux as a disease is a prevalent condition for many inhabitants of developed countries. Well-being and quality of life is negatively affected for most acid reflux patients. Yet only a few suspect their medical condition and the unpleasant dangers.
Doctors and medical paraprofessionals agree widely that the first diagnosis of acid reflux (also known as GERD – gastro esophageal reflux disease), for the most part via a typical acid reflux symptoms questionnaire, is essential for applying the fastest and most effective treatment for this condition. Some 70% of GERD diagnostics that are made according to the presence of typical symptoms are accurate. Because gastro esophageal reflux disease can lead to a high amount of discomfort and serious complications for patients, it is of great importance to be able to spot its symptoms so as to diagnose it fast and cure it.
The most noticed symptom of gastro esophageal reflux disease is the persistent burning sensation called heartburn. Disagreeable and painful, this is felt in the area of the esophagus. Other typical symptoms of GERD are the following:
1. Dysphagia, meaning problems in swallowing or the sensation as if food were stuck in the throat. 2. Odynophagia, meaning pain when swallowing. 3. Gastric matter leading to complications in breathing in certain situations, because of regurgitation of gastric contents, in other words the uncontrolled backwards flux of stomach or esophageal contents into the throat.
As well as the above, about half of all sufferers from gastro esophageal reflux disease also say they get sinonasal symptoms at the same time (meaning symptoms concerning the sinuses and the nose)
Intense chest pain may be experienced, similar to that of a myocardial infarction and can in error be taken to be a heart attack. Unlike the symptoms of acid reflux however, cardiovascular chest pain is typically exacerbated by physical exercise. Abnormal symptoms concerning acid reflux are also chest pain that is spasmodic but non-cardiac, chronic wheezing and coughing (also known as acid reflux related asthma, the result of gastric content being sucked into the area of the lungs), and lung damage, with concomitant respiratory ailments such as asthma and pneumonia.
Further problems can affect the teeth (decay of the enamel) and the ears (otitis media) as well as damage to the vocal cords (hoarseness, laryngitis, cancer).
GERD symptoms can indicate a serious general lack of internal balance. The ability to see those symptoms as relating to acid reflux is critical to your health and well being in general as well as for avoiding potential complications. Long-standing reflux into the lower part of the esophagus can cause changes in the appearance of the lining cells, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus that can turn into esophageal cancer in about 1 of every 200 cases.
If the reflux reaches the upper parts of the esophagus, it can irritate adjacent structures and cause coughing, wheezing, chronic sore throat or hoarseness, which often leads to misdiagnoses, especially when the usual reflux symptoms are minimal or absent.
Thankfully, anyone can pinpoint typical acid reflux symptoms on his or her own, before an appointment to see the family physician. Upon identifying one or more of the symptoms above, an appointment is recommended with a certified doctor for a comprehensive examination. While a professional doctor can effectively diagnose initially and often propose relief in the form of drugs and antacids, remember that medication, whether prescription of over-the-counter, only treats the superficial symptoms of your medical condition. In addition, some drugs such as antacids can lead to various side effects.
The other way is to choose the holistic approach that treats the internal aspects that are responsible for gastro esophageal reflux disease in the first place, and that cures the problem at the root of the GERD, to finally solve the issue much more effectively, safely and for the long-term.