You would have probably heard of GERD, or gastroesophageal disease, which is a common inflammatory disease that causes heartburn and a burning feeling in the base of your throat. However, you may not know why GERD happens; when the muscle that connects the esophagus to the stomach malfunctions, GERD develops. The lower esophageal sphincter typically opens to allow food into the stomach and closes to prevent food and acidic stomach contents from returning to the esophagus. However, when the sphincter relaxes too much, irritating stomach fluids rush up into the esophagus, creating inflammation and heartburn, a painful burning sensation behind the breastbone. Heartburn can be excruciatingly painful, but it is not a life-threatening condition but can present with various unusual symptoms that can be confused for other illnesses.
Diagnosis of GERD:
Making a diagnosis relies on the description of your pain and other symptoms, as well as your overall health. For example, suppose your symptoms worsen after eating a large meal or consuming certain foods that are known to cause problems, such as high-fat foods or dairy products, or pains you in bending. If you are having swallowing difficulties, you may consult your doctor right away.
Symptoms of GERD:
- The most common symptom can be heartburn behind the breastbone in the chest. It usually lasts for hours and extends from the lower end of the rib cage to the base of the neck.
- You could feel tightness on the chest or upper abdomen.
- Might detect backflow of sour, stinging stomach fluids into the mouth.
- You could feel a recurring sour or bitter taste in the mouth.
- Difficulty in swallowing.
- You may also experience hoarseness, especially in the morning.
- Sore throat.
- Coughing, wheezing or would need to clear your throat repeatedly.
Home remedies of GERD:
- Smaller meals.
- When you’re eating, take a deep breath and relax.
- In between meals, relax.
- After you’ve finished eating, stand up straight and do not lie down.
- Eat no more than three hours before going to bed. Do not eat right before going to bed.
- Relax and unwind. Avoid wearing clothing with tight belts, waistbands, or other items that put pressure on your stomach.
- Should avoid burning and reflux-causing foods.
- Should avoid foods that are high in fat.
- Tomatoes and tomato-related items.
- Citrus fruits.
- Carbonated drinks.
- Coffee (including decaf) and tea.
Many drugs could protect GERD from attacking you, but you should take that under the doctor’s referral. If you still have symptoms after avoiding the foods and other habits listed above, see your doctor for an overall inspection.