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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.

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You know it all too well. Heartburn. That fiery sensation that grabs hold of your lower chest after you eat something you know you shouldn't have. What often follows is that sour or bitter taste of acid reflux in your throat and mouth that can last minutes (if you are lucky) or hours (if you are not). Yes, millions of us are familiar with the discomfort of heartburn, a condition in which stomach acids back up into the esophagus. The good news is that heartburn is largely avoidable if you steer...

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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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