Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) does more than just give you constant heartburn- chronic acid reflux can create a host of ailments that many people don’t link with symptoms of GERD.
What is GERD?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive system disorder which prevents food from traveling through your stomach and intestines, and instead causes the food you eat, along with digestive enzymes, to seep back through the esophagus, causing irritation, heartburn, and other debilitating symptoms.
Think of your digestive system as a one-way street. Normally, you swallow food, it slips down your esophagus, passes through the stomach where it combines with various stomach acids, and then travels through your intestines.
There are no U-turns in a healthy gastrointestinal tract.
With GERD, however, the esophagus suddenly becomes a two-way lane, as the esophageal sphincter, which is supposed to seal the door between the stomach and the bottom of your esophagus, instead loosens, allowing food…and harmful stomach acids to travel right back up through the esophagus, causing damage to your sensitive esophageal linings and creating debilitating symptoms such as heartburn, stomach cramps, and nausea.
But that’s not all…
GERD led to B12 Deficiency- What do I eat now?
The earliest symptoms of GERD may include the usual heartburn and stomach discomfort.
But left untreated, after several years, chronic acid reflux can cause severe damage to your digestive system, as the continuous flow of acidic stomach contents and undigested food wears away at your esophagus, increasing your risk of stomach ulcers and malnutrition.
Symptoms which indicate the many stages of GERD may include:
- Heartburn- pain in the chest that is worsened at night, while reclining, or while bending over
- Sensation of having food stuck in your chest
- Increased saliva, “water brash”
- Bitter taste in mouth, bile
- Sore throat
- Hoarseness, change in voice
- Difficulty swallowing food
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Like this? Read more:
Acid Reflux Medication Warning: One Big Reason to avoid PPIs
Absorbing Vitamin B12, a Metabolic Gastrointestinal Journey
Gastroesophageal reflux disease- PubMed Health
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