Ignoring Heartburn Dangers

The Danger of Ignoring Persistent Heartburn Symptoms

Are you living with uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn, like chest pain, burning and bile tastes in the back of your throat, and a long-term cough or hoarseness? 

While it might seem easiest to ignore your condition, especially if you already know that it’s due to acid reflux, there could be a deeper medical disorder to blame. And, allowing the problem to persist could lead to serious consequences later on.

Read on to learn why you should take these symptoms seriously. We’ve also included helpful information on gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which could well be the underlying cause of your discomfort!

How To Identify Heartburn Symptoms

Have you ever felt a burning feeling in your chest after you ate or when you laid down for bed? If so, it might be heartburn.

This condition begins when stomach acid works its way up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Symptoms can last from a few minutes to multiple hours and often include:

  • Chest pain, especially when bending over or lying down
  • Burning in the back of the throat
  • Fluid in the mouth or throat that tastes sour or acidic
  • Long-term sore throat, hoarseness, or dry cough  

Lasting or persistent symptoms could indicate a more severe medical condition known as GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

In some cases, heartburn symptoms can feel extremely intense, and patients may even confuse them for indications of an angina attack or heart attack. If your pain begins to radiate outward toward your arms and neck, or is accompanied by dizziness, lightheadedness, or shortness of breath, you might need emergency medical treatment.

For other patients, acid reflux symptoms will remain subtle and can include hard-to-identify issues like waking up with a sore throat or persistent nausea.

What Happens When Acid Reflux Goes Untreated 

Whether you are experiencing acid reflux or GERD, the dangers of ignoring symptoms are similarly serious.

As the acid in your stomach works its way up your esophagus, it causes more than discomfort. In fact, it can burn your delicate internal tissues causing permanent damage.

Prolonged exposure can cause painful esophageal ulcers and strictures, or lead to esophagitis, a type of swelling and inflammation that makes it difficult to swallow. Untreated acid reflux or GERD can also cause throat pain, vocal changes, difficulty breathing, and tooth decay.

Advanced damage caused by exposure to stomach acid might even include cancer, lowered quality of life, and a rare condition called Barrett’s Esophagus.

If you’re experiencing frequent symptoms of acid reflux or find yourself taking over-the-counter medication for heartburn often, it’s time to seek medical attention. While your discomfort might seem mild, having stomach acid in your esophagus multiple days per week can and will cause internal damage.

Before visiting your doctor, spend a few days keeping track of when you feel heartburn symptoms. Then, look for corresponding triggers in your life.

If you only have issues at night, for example, try eating dinner a few hours earlier. This strategy can also help you identify a sensitivity to less commonly triggering foods like chocolate and peppermint.

Treatment for acid reflux often includes antacids and mild medications that help control the amount of acid in your stomach. These prescription and over-the-counter options are easy to use and help target troubling symptoms, but will not reverse the effects of GERD once it develops.

Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

GERD is not just a strong case of heartburn. It is a chronic health condition caused by repeated acid reflux. 

Each time you swallow, a circular band of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus relaxes, allowing food and liquid to pass through the opening into your stomach. Then it closes again.

When this muscle fails to relax as it should or starts to weaken, stomach acid can flow up into your esophagus. This backwash of acid irritates the esophageal lining, causing inflammation.

Not everybody who experiences frequent acid reflux will develop GERD. Some conditions that can increase your risk include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Obesity
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma

Some additional factors that can make you more likely to experience aggravated acid reflux include:

  • Smoking
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, soda, and coffee
  • Eating large meals, eating late at night, and eating prior to intense exercise
  • Eating hard-to-digest foods that are fatty or fried, spicy, processed, or contain triggering ingredients like tomato and onion
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin

Diet and lifestyle changes can ease the symptoms of GERD. But, medication is often required, as well. There are two primary approaches to treatment, both of which incorporate healthy decision-making and medicine to help keep stomach acid under control.

An esophageal pH test may be required to diagnose GERD. In some cases, imaging such as X-rays and endoscopy may also be used to determine the extent of damage caused by stomach acid. And, manometry can help measure esophageal function.

Stop Living With the Symptoms of GERD 

Now that you know a bit more about the symptoms and long-term effects of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), it’s time to take action. Waiting will only allow your condition to worsen, making it harder to treat!

GerdLi offers natural supplements for acid reflux providing an effective solution that utilizes natural ingredients to ease the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. When used properly, it can help reduce the stomach acid content, alleviating discomfort and slowing internal damage like tooth erosion.

This natural alternative can help you escape the cycle of prescription drugs, while living free from pain and discomfort. And, it’s available for purchase online! Place a one-time order or create a subscription to have your order automatically delivered every month.

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