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Heartburn/GERD Health Center

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Acid Reflux Symptoms

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Lots of people are intimately familiar with acid reflux symptoms. More than 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month. Acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can produce a variety of symptoms.

What Are the Common Acid Reflux Symptoms?

Heartburn, regurgitation, and dyspepsia are a few of the most common acid reflux symptoms.

Heartburn. Also called acid indigestion, heartburn is a burning pain or discomfort that can move up from your stomach to the middle of your abdomen and chest. The pain can also move into your throat. Despite its name, heartburn doesn't affect your heart.

Regurgitation. Another common symptom of acid reflux is regurgitation -- or the sensation of acid backing up into your throat or mouth. Regurgitation can produce a sour or bitter taste, and you may experience a "wet burp" or even vomit some contents of your stomach.

Dyspepsia. Many people with acid reflux disease also have a syndrome called dyspepsia. Dyspepsia is a general term for stomach discomfort. Symptoms of dyspepsia include:

Symptoms of acid reflux may be a sign that stomach acid has inflamed your esophagus. When that happens, stomach acid can damage the lining of your esophagus and cause bleeding.

Although acid reflux is extremely common and rarely serious, don't ignore your acid reflux symptoms. Making a few lifestyle changes and using over-the-counter antacids usually are all you need to control acid reflux symptoms.

When Do Acid Reflux Symptoms Occur?

Acid reflux symptoms most often occur:

  • After eating a heavy meal
  • When bending over or lifting an object
  • When lying down, especially on your back

People who have frequent acid reflux symptoms most often experience them at night. Nighttime GERD also produces the most pain. However, the level of pain does not always indicate the degree of damage to your esophagus.

More than half of all pregnant women experience heartburn during pregnancy. Increased hormones and pressure from a growing fetus can combine to produce this acid reflux symptom. In most cases, heartburn goes away after delivery.

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