Acid Reflux Throat

Have you ever experienced the discomfort of having a sore throat with heartburn? The acid from your stomach irritates and damages the tissue in your throat.

That is why it is critical to identify and address the source of your acid reflux, and take effective treatment. Doing so can reduce the likelihood of long-term issues like esophageal damage or cancer.


Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. It’s more common after large meals or lying down and could be caused by certain foods or lifestyle choices like smoking, eating late at night, drinking coffee or alcohol and taking certain drugs such as antacids and acid-blockers.

Gerd is a common condition that causes symptoms like heartburn. Unfortunately, GERD can be serious if the acid damages the lining of your esophagus; in extreme cases, this damaged tissue could grow into cancer.

The Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) normally closes tightly after you swallow, keeping food and liquid from going back up into your esophagus. But if it relaxes or weakens, the LES opens, allowing acid from your stomach to flow back up into your stomach.

Your esophagus and throat were not designed to handle acids from your stomach, so they can become irritated by them. In rare cases, these irritations may lead to a narrowing or stricture in the esophagus and lead to dysphagia – difficulty or pain when swallowing.

Some people with GERD may experience an alteration to the cells lining their esophagus, known as Barrett’s Esophagus. This condition is more serious than GERD and may lead to cancer development within the esophagus.

If you have a family history of GERD or are at increased risk for developing it, speak to your doctor. You may be able to reduce your risk by making lifestyle changes such as avoiding spicy or fatty foods and drinking plenty of water.

Obesity increases your risk for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and it can make the symptoms worse. Researchers believe central obesity — that extra fat around your midsection — adds pressure to the stomach, forcing acid up into your esophagus.

Many people with GERD find relief when they shed pounds. If your doctor has recommended that you lose any extra abdominal fat through exercise and a nutritious diet, doctors may suggest doing so as well.

You can reduce acid reflux symptoms by losing weight and eating smaller, more frequent meals. You may also take antacids or acid-blocking medications as needed. If your symptoms are severe or persistent, a doctor may prescribe stronger medication to alleviate them.


Acid reflux throat is an uncomfortable and embarrassing sensation caused by stomach acid rising into your esophagus.

The esophagus is a long tube connecting the mouth to the stomach. It contains the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When functioning properly, this muscular valve prevents food and liquid from returning up into your stomach. The LES relaxes only when you swallow, then closes again for reflux prevention.

When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) isn’t functioning properly, stomach acids can back up into the esophagus, leading to symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation. In up to 20% of people suffering from chronic acid reflux disease – gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – symptoms including heartburn and regurgitation.

Many people with GERD also experience symptoms unrelated to heartburn, such as hoarseness or a sore throat, difficulty breathing or coughing. These signs can be uncomfortable or even dangerous; thus it is essential that you consult your doctor if you experience them.

Infants and young children with GERD may exhibit fussiness or an appetite. They may spit up more than normal, vomit, or have difficulty gaining weight. If this is happening to your child, it would be wise to speak to their pediatrician about how best to treat the issue.

Many times, the symptoms of GERD may seem incomprehensible. Unfortunately, it can lead to complications like peptic ulcers in the esophagus or precancerous changes of the esophagus known as Barrett’s Esophagus.

If you suffer from GERD, the most effective remedy is to avoid foods that exacerbate symptoms and make the condition more serious. These may include alcohol, caffeine and spicy meals.

Your doctor can prescribe medication that reduces stomach acid production. Depending on how severe your acid reflux, you may need to take this medication for up to 4 or 8 weeks.

Your doctor can offer guidance on ways to manage or prevent symptoms. Lifestyle changes like not eating large meals right before bedtime or eating smaller meals throughout the day may help alleviate some symptoms.


Refluxed stomach acids that come into contact with the pharynx (throat) or larynx (voice box) can cause tissue damage and irritation to vocal cords, making them more prone to inflammation.

Acid reflux throat can be treated with a variety of treatments. The aim is to reduce symptoms and avoid serious complications. Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications are often enough to relieve GERD symptoms, but some people may require more intensive measures.

Medication: Over-the-counter antacids such as Alka-Seltzer and Mylanta can quickly neutralize stomach acid and provide temporary relief. They may also help ease heartburn by decreasing the amount of acid splashing up into your throat. Be mindful that overuse of antacids may lead to diarrhea or constipation; thus they should only be taken as directed.

H2 receptor blockers: These medications prevent stomach acid production by blocking histamine, the chemical responsible for creating acid in your stomach. Drugs like cimetidine (Tagamet HB) or famotidine (Pepcid AC) can be purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a healthcare provider.

Long-term usage of these drugs may increase your risk for esophageal cancer, but they do not cure GERD. Your doctor may suggest other drugs to treat GERD such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which reduce stomach acid production.

Surgery: If other treatments are unsuccessful, your healthcare provider may suggest surgery as a possible solution. A minimally invasive procedure called laparoscopic antireflux surgery (or Nissen fundoplication) involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower esophagus to strengthen its sphincter and prevent reflux.

Nonsurgical treatment options for acid reflux include dietary modifications, over-the-counter and prescription antacids, as well as stress management. Dietary modifications can help you steer clear of foods that cause acid reflux and consume smaller meals throughout the day. Exercise also has been known to reduce its effects.

Sleep: Getting enough rest each night is essential for your overall wellbeing. To reduce acid reflux, try sleeping on your side with your head and neck elevated. This may reduce the likelihood of acid coming up into your throat.


When stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus (the muscular tube connecting your throat and stomach), it can cause the uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease. The most common symptom is a burning feeling in your chest; however, other signs and symptoms include coughing or wheezing, sour taste in back of mouth or pain around neck/shoulders.

This condition can affect anyone, both infants and adults alike. It usually results from a weak or non-closed lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which normally prevents food from flowing back up into your stomach.

In some people, the sphincter becomes loose and allows acid to back up into their throat – this condition is known as laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR).

GERD does not typically worsen during the day when you are upright, while LPR may cause atypical throat symptoms like a persistent sore throat, lump in the back of your throat or frequent coughing.

Other signs and symptoms of LPR may include a hoarse or scratchy voice, dry throat, swollen glands in the throat, as well as an irritated larynx (voice box). If these are present for you, speak to your doctor about them.

You can reduce acid reflux throat symptoms with lifestyle changes. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, avoiding foods that trigger your symptoms and staying upright after eating can all help alleviate symptoms. If weight loss or quitting smoking aren’t enough to alleviate them, consider losing some pounds or quitting smoking altogether to see results.

Your healthcare provider can assist you with these changes. They may review your medical history, suggest that you follow a certain diet, and order tests to assess your condition.

One test to check pH balance is pH monitoring, which involves inserting a device into your esophagus that measures acid concentrations there. This procedure typically occurs as part of an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and biopsy.

GERD can sometimes be diagnosed based on your medical history and physical examination, but an endoscopy is also useful to show your doctor what’s happening inside your esophagus and stomach. The test involves passing a long tube equipped with both light and camera down your throat where the doctor then cuts out some tissue to check for signs of GERD.


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