The holiday season and Thanksgiving in particular, provide many opportunities for over-eating. Have you ever felt that burning in your throat after a big meal? Is that just normal heartburn-- or is it more serious?
Everyone gets heartburn occasionally, but more frequent episodes could actually be the more serious condition, gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD). GERD is fairly common, affecting approximately 20% of adults, but that doesn’t mean you should have to live with it.
What exactly is GERD and what are its symptoms? GERD occurs when acids and fluids flow into the esophagus from the stomach repeatedly.
You might have GERD if …
Your symptoms are persistent (2 times a week or more)
You’re awakened by heartburn
You often experience a bitter taste in your mouth, stomach pain, trouble swallowing, or chronic sore throat
If you think you are experiencing GERD, you might need to consult your doctor. GERD can be managed through medication and simple lifestyle changes such as not eating less than 2-3 hours before bed, cutting back on caffeine, smoking, and trigger foods, and eating smaller meals.
Don’t wait to call one of the doctors at Associates in Digestive Health. Heartburn may be a nuisance, but GERD is a lifestyle changer.