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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, abbreviated as GERD, is a digestive health condition. GERD causes contents of the stomach such as acids and small food particles to flow in reverse motion from the stomach and back up the esophagus. This condition is generally not difficult to diagnose due to the prominence of GERD symptoms that many individuals with this condition endure. Some of the most common GERD symptoms include heartburn, dysphagia and food regurgitation. A feeling of trapped food, nausea, hiccups, coughing and chest pain are also common symptoms of this condition.
Heartburn is generally one of the main GERD symptoms. Individuals with heartburn typically experience a burning sensation in the chest. Sometimes the sensation can radiate to other areas such as beneath the breastbone or in the throat. Often, certain activities can increase the sensations of heartburn. These activities may include eating during a heartburn attack, lying flat or bending.
Another common GERD symptom is dysphagia. Dysphagia is a condition in which a person has difficulty swallowing. Many different conditions can cause dysphagia, although one of the most common causes is GERD. Some people with this symptom may also experience pain as they try to swallow different foods and sometimes drinks.
Food regurgitation is also commonly listed as one of the most frequent GERD symptoms. When a person experiences this symptom, he or she may actually feel sour stomach acids or tiny food particles coming up into the throat. Often, with food regurgitation, a person may complain of having a sour taste in his or her mouth as a result of the sour acids washing up.
Often, individuals with GERD will feel as if they have food trapped in their throat. Some people often identify this as the sensation of a lump or knot in the throat. This feeling may be one of the most uncomfortable GERD symptoms.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms may also include nausea, hiccups and coughing. These symptoms are commonly most persistent immediately after eating. Some individuals with GERD complain of having a sore throat and often hoarseness as well. One of the most worrisome GERD symptoms can be chest pain. This is one symptom of this condition that will generally lead most people to seek medical treatment, as a self-diagnosis should never be attempted for chest pain.
It is important to see a doctor when having symptoms similar to those of GERD. An accurate diagnosis can enable an individual to get proper treatment for his or her symptoms. Prompt treatment can also prevent possible complications of GERD such as esophagitis, which is esophagus inflammation. This complication can lead to serious health problems such as esophagus erosion.