9. Chest Pain
For many people, the first thing we associate chest pain with is a heart attack, but chest pain can also be a very common symptom of GERD. Chest pain strikes GERD sufferers when stomach acid splashes back up into the esophagus, causing very intense pain that can often be mistaken for a heart attack. “It’s not uncommon to see someone in the ER with terrible chest pain, thinking it’s a heart attack, when it’s actually reflux,” says Josh Murray, MD, to Prevention. Unfortunately, there are many instances where the opposite happens. Someone is experiencing chest pain, but instead of going to the ER, they chalk it up to a minor ailment such as GERD. “When in doubt, go to the emergency room,” says Murray.
10. A Failure to Thrive
Although GERD is not a life-threatening condition, it can significantly affect your quality of life if symptoms, such as heartburn, chest pain, sore throat, and nausea, cause pain, embarrassment, and depression. Nighttime reflux can also cause insomnia, whereas the stress surrounding reflux-triggering foods can be very overwhelming.
WebMD lists heartburn as one of the most common symptoms of GERD and says it “usually feels like a burning chest pain beginning behind the breastbone and moving upward to the neck and throat.” It goes on to share that many people have reported that it feels like food is coming back up into their throat and leaving a bad or bitter taste in their mouth.
For many people, the pain of heartburn is no joke and it can last for up to two hours! Not surprisingly, it tends to get worse after eating. It usually begins once a person lays down or even just bends over. The best way to find relief is to stand upright or take an antacid to clear out the acid.