Acid Indigestion Symptoms – GERD or LPR?
Acid indigestion symptoms most commonly occur after meals and ace characterized by heartburn and chest pain. Some people find that acid related indigestion symptoms also include a cough that is dry or a sore throat. Acid reflux, which is the up-flow of food or liquid, can also occur. And, the feeling a lump in throat is also not uncommon, according to Mayo Clinic. Stomach bloating and hiccups are also regular signs and symptoms as well as burping. Typically, people encountering these acid indigestion symptoms may attribute them to acid reflux or GERD. But, there is a silent form of the condition that has its own set of symptoms that may be to blame as well.
Acid indigestion symptoms are most commonly caused by the backward movement of stomach acid into the esophagus. The stomach opening is a valve which normally closes once food has passed on by. When this valve malfunctions and remains open after food has made its way through it, acid indigestion can occur. This can lead to heartburn and other common symptoms like stomach gas and burning sensations.
Those wondering what causes acid reflux may be surprised to find that food is not the only culprit. A hiatal hernia, which occurs when the upper part of the stomach and its opening valve move above the diaphragm, can be to blame. Since one of the functions of this muscle is to keep the stomach and chest separated, this odd positioning can create an easy opportunity for acid to escape the stomach and produce acid reflux symptoms. But, this muscle movement is not the only common cause. Being overweight or obese can contribute to the formation of acid reflux symptoms and so can lying immediately following a meal, according to WebMD.
GERD is one of the most common causes of acid indigestion symptoms. GERD refers to acid reflux that happens more than twice each week, although its causes are the same as regular bouts of the condition. For instance, certain foods like tomatoes and citrus as well as chocolate or fatty foods can bring on symptoms, and so can smoking or eating before bed. Indigestion during pregnancy is incredibly common with the symptoms of reflux appearing quite commonly in expecting moms.
Sometimes, the pain of indigestion can be so severe, that it is mistaken for a heart condition or, even a heart attack. And, there are some very important reasons why. Acid indigestion symptoms produced by GERD can cause chest pain that can be trouble to distinguish the precise cause of. While GERD characteristically also creates a burning sensation which can help make differentiating the pain between indigestion or heart attack symptoms easier, there is another kind of reflux that can be much harder to identify.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (LPR) is known as silent reflux, according to WebMD. As it is better known relative, LPR is still identified as a condition in which stomach contents end up upwards in places that they do not belong. However, acid indigestion symptoms caused from LPR are often markedly different than those of GERD. In fact, some of the symptoms associated with LPR may not even seem like they are related to stomach acid. Common symptoms of LPR include chronic cough, trouble gaining weight, difficulty eating, asthma, a sore throat and hoarseness.
Which symptoms are presenting can help determine if GERD is the reason for discomfort or if symptoms could possibly indicate LPR, the silent form of the condition. Because GERD symptoms are much more related to the digestive tract and can often be similar to indigestion, they are relatively easy to identify. A sensation of heartburn is relatively unmistakable and, when it appears more than a couple of times per week, GERD may be the underlying cause. But, LPR should be considered when other symptoms persist, even though they may not be characteristic of acid reflux. These silent warning signs that are often lacking acid indigestion symptoms can indicate that something is wrong although in an area most people normally would not associate with the signs presented.
A health care professional should be consulted if heartburn is persistent or if symptoms of LPR are present. Long term complications of untreated forms of either condition can lead to ulcers, middle ear fluid buildup, persistent ear infections and narrowing of the region found below the vocal cords. It is harder to diagnose LPR than it is GERD because of the prominent display of symptoms with the latter, however because of the risk of long term and worsening symptoms, those who are displaying signs of either should consider medical services to develop long term treatment plans coordinated with beneficial lifestyle changes.