Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, affects millions of people. Its symptoms are very common and are generally left undiagnosed in most patients. The most common symptom of this disease is persistent heartburn. Just about everybody has experienced heartburn at some point, usually after they eat. However, if a person is suffering from heartburn more than once a week, this may be an indication of a much more serious condition.
Not everyone with GERD experiences heartburn. There are other symptoms that they need to look for. Symptoms such as vomiting of bitter acid, bitter taste in the mouth, difficulty in swallowing, and chest pain are also results of GERD. In some cases acid is regurgitated into the lungs, causing wheezing, and dry cough. Other symptoms include bad breath, sore throat, and dissolved enamel of the teeth. This happens when the acid is refluxed into the throat and reaches the mouth.
The most common symptoms in younger patients are vomiting and coughing. In some infants who suffer from GERD, weight development is a concern. They may not gain the appropriate amount of weight, and development may be slower than normal. Also respiratory problems may occur. Asthma and pneumonia could develop among young patients. If the child already suffers from asthma, GERD could worsen the symptoms.
These symptoms by themselves are very common. However, if a person persistently experiences these symptoms, they may be suffering from a much more serious condition, and should seek medical assistance. Many people experience heartburn, or sour taste in the mouth. These instances are not considered GERD. But if they experience these symptoms more than once a week, it may be GERD.
GERD sufferers can lead normal lives. It all depends on getting proper treatment, which starts with recognizing the symptoms and getting appropriate treatment.