It is unusual for chronic acid reflux to not be accompanied by the traditional heartburn, but President Obama has shown that it is possible. The President was treated at Walter Reed hospital recently to trace the source of a chronic sore throat. The physicians there determined that the president suffered from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Under normal circumstances, the sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus closes tightly and prohibits the contents of the stomach from reentering, or refluxing, back into the esophagus. Occasionally, that sphincter fails and stomach acid comes in contact with the tender lining of the esophagus; the resulting pain is known as heartburn. When the reflux becomes chronic it is referred to as GERD.
There are the usual symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, and nausea; but there can be symptoms that appear totally unrelated such as:
- chronic hoarseness
- sore throat
- adult onset asthma
- chest pain
These seemingly unrelated symptoms can hide a potentially serious issue. Overtime, the exposure to the stomach acid can permanently scar and damage the soft tissue of the upper gi tract.
The doctors of ADH are specially trained in the treatment of GERD and other gastrointestinal diseases and illnesses. If you suspect you are experiencing reflux, make an appointment today.