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Symptoms of GERD

by Daniel on April 19th, 2012

The cardinal symptom of GERD is heartburn, a burning sensation in the upper abdomen that radiates up into the chest in the mid-line behind the breastbone. Heartburn typically occurs after large meals or at night when there is no food to counteract the effects of the acid that is produced.

Other important symptoms related to the esophagus include non-cardiac chest pain (a condition which may mimic a heart attack, but in which heart disease or coronary artery disease has been excluded), dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), water brash (a sudden spurting of saliva production in an attempt to buffer acid that has refluxed into the esophagus), and other extra-esophageal manifestations (symptoms attributable to organ systems other than the esophagus).

Extra-esophageal manifestations are becoming more commonly recognized and can be considered in terms of the upper or lower respiratory tract.

Upper respiratory tract symptoms include laryngitis or hoarseness, sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), ear pain, and a globus sensation (a feeling of a lump in the throat).

Lower respiratory tract symptoms include asthma (especially that which occurs as a new phenomenon in adults at night) and chronic cough syndromes without any X-ray findings attributing a cause to the lungs.

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