Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Acid reflux is more specifically known as gastroesophageal reflux. During an episode of acid reflux, you may taste regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of your mouth or feel a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn).
20% of Americans have symptoms of acid reflux disease at least once a week. Having heartburn more than two times a week is the most common symptom of acid reflux disease or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). These may be the signs:
- Chest pain – especially at night or when lying down.
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Bitter or acid taste in your mouth
- Burning in the back of your throat
- Trouble swallowing or feeling like food gets stuck in your throat
- Symptoms getting worse after eating or when lying down.
Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, just behind your breastbone. The pain is often worse when lying down or bending over.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. Most people can manage the discomfort of heartburn on their own with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. If you already take medicine for acid reflux and your symptoms come back or get worse, it could be a sign that your treatment needs to be adjusted. At each visit, share how you’re feeling with your doctor.