Are you showing signs and symptoms of GERD?

You are if your answer is yes to any of the following questions.

Do you experience a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), sometimes spreading to the throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth? Y / N 
Do you experience chest pain? Y / N 
Do you experience difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)? Y / N 
Do you experience a dry cough? Y / N 
Do you experience hoarseness or sore throat? Y / N  
Do you experience regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)? Y / N 
Do you experience a sensation of a lump in your throat? Y / N  

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may have Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). 

Please contact your primary care physician to make an appointment with your doctor to see if you have GERD. Don't have a primary care physician?  Click here to find a primary care physician.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease that occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, bile flows back (refluxes) into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus and cause GERD signs and symptoms.

Signs and symptoms of GERD include acid reflux and heartburn. Both are common digestive conditions that most people experience from time to time. When these signs and symptoms occur more than twice each week or interfere with your daily life, doctors term this GERD.

Most people can manage the discomfort of heartburn with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. But for people with GERD, these remedies may offer only temporary relief. People with GERD may need stronger medications, even surgery, to reduce symptoms.

When to see a doctor
Seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain, especially when accompanied by other signs and symptoms such as shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain. These may be signs and symptoms of a heart attack.

Make an appointment with your doctor if you experience severe or frequent GERD symptoms. If you turn to over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice per week, see your doctor.

Over time, chronic inflammation in your esophagus can lead to complications, including:

  • Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture). Damage to cells in the lower esophagus from acid exposure leads to formation of scar tissue. The scar tissue narrows the food pathway, causing difficulty swallowing.
  • An open sore in the esophagus (esophageal ulcer). Stomach acid can severely erode tissues in the esophagus, causing an open sore to form. The esophageal ulcer may bleed, cause pain and make swallowing difficult.
  • Precancerous changes to the esophagus (Barrett's esophagus). In Barrett's esophagus, the color and composition of the tissue lining the lower esophagus change. These changes are associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The risk of cancer is low, but your doctor will recommend regular endoscopy exams to look for early warning signs of esophageal cancer.

Click here to find a primary care physician.