Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Font Size

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

Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- the Basics

The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm (a muscle separating the abdomen and chest) that the esophagus, or swallowing tube, passes through to reach the stomach. If the hiatus weakens and stretches, part of the stomach and/or the esophagus can squeeze into the chest cavity, producing a hiatal hernia. There are two main types of hiatal hernias: sliding and paraesophageal (next to the esophagus). In a sliding hiatal hernia, the stomach and the esophagus slide up into the chest through the...

Read the Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- the Basics 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.
1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 06, 2012
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.
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Heartburn illustration
Slideshow
Heartburn Control Assess Your Symptoms
Assessment
 
heartburn foods
Slideshow
Nighttime Heartburn
Article
 
digestive health
Slideshow
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Article
 
heartburn
Article
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Video
 
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
Video
digestive myths
Slideshow
 
Extreme Eats
Slideshow
graphic of esophageal area
Article