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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

10 Tips for When Your Meds Trigger Heartburn

If you take any prescription or over-the-counter medications, you may have side effects. And one of them can be heartburn -- that burning in your chest or throat that happens when acid flows up from your stomach. Don’t assume you’ll just have to live with it. Make a list of all the medications you take, and ask your doctor if one of them may be causing your heartburn. Your doctor can change your medication, says Walter Coyle, MD, at Scripps Clinic Torrey Pines in California.

Read the 10 Tips for When Your Meds Trigger Heartburn 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: 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.
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