5 Subtle Symptoms of Acid Reflux (GERD)


ID-100188766Most people are familiar with acid reflux and have a good idea what the usual symptoms are – upper stomach pain, dysphasia (difficulty swallowing), frequent belching, feeling bloated, hiccups, and nausea are all very common.

However, sometimes the symptoms of acid reflux (also known as GERD) can be more subtle than those we hear about from family, friends and all of those TV commercials.

When this happens, it’s understandable that patients may not know what they are experiencing and even doubt that acid reflux is responsible.  To clear up the confusion that this condition can cause, we’ve provided a list of five of the more subtle symptoms of acid reflux.

It could be acid reflux if you are experiencing …

Chest Pain

Chest pain is often a serious indication that something is wrong. It is critical that chest pain be taken very seriously to make sure you are not having a heart attack. Please check with your doctor to make sure your chest pain is not a heart attack. When you’ve eliminated that possibility, it may become apparent that your chest pain, often described as “non-burning,” is a symptom of acid reflux.

Bitter Taste 

Is there a bitter taste in your mouth? Does this taste worsen at night? If so, it’s possible you are experiencing acid reflux.

Sore Throat/Losing Your Voice

Sometimes, when you think you are starting a cold, you actually have acid reflux. When acid from your stomach works its way to the esophagus, it can cause irritation to your throat and vocal cords – even causing you to cough. If other cold symptoms do not appear, talk to your gastroenterologist about this symptom.

Feeling Worse While Resting

If your symptoms actually start to worsen when you lie down or when you try to fall asleep, it’s very possible that you have acid reflux. This is because the acid that would normally stay in your stomach travels to the esophagus more easily when you are horizontal.

Feeling Worse after a Meal 

If you start to experience pain shortly after eating a meal, particularly a large meal, then you could have acid reflux. This occurs because the stomach is full now when it wasn’t previously, leaving everything that’s in it to move upward into your esophagus and cause that irritation so familiar to acid reflux sufferers.


Acid reflux (GERD) is treatable, but patients are advised to speak with a gastroenterologist in order to rule out other conditions. Your gastroenterologist may recommend lifestyles changes such as diet modification, medication and/or weight loss.

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