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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) - Symptoms

The main symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) include:

  • Persistent heartburn. Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling or burning pain behind the breastbone. It may occur after you eat, soon after you lie down, or when you bend forward. Some people have GERD without heartburn.
  • A sour or bitter taste in the mouth. The backflow of stomach acid and juices into the esophagus may cause this sour or bitter taste.

Heartburn caused by GERD is usually felt within 2 hours after you eat. If your heartburn lasts for several hours—for example, all night—you may have severe GERD.

Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

Treatment Tips for Occasional Heartburn Sufferers

You eat a big meal out, late at night. You indulge in seconds and then thirds, have a few too many glasses of wine or cups of coffee, and then go to bed on a full stomach. Wake up a few hours later, and the pain is screaming upward from your chest into your throat. You groan: Sleep is impossible. You finally roll over, get out of bed, and stumble to the medicine cabinet. What can you do to stop heartburn fast?

Read the Treatment Tips for Occasional Heartburn Sufferers article > >

Other symptoms of GERD may include:

  • Chest pain. This may be a dull, heavy discomfort that spreads across the chest. This chest pain may occur with heartburn and may be confused with the pain of a heart attack.
  • Hoarseness.
  • Trouble swallowing. This is more common with advanced GERD.
  • A feeling that you have something stuck in your throat.
  • A cough.
  • Having extra saliva.
  • Nausea.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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