Acid reflux throat is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It usually occurs after a meal or during sleep.
When the muscle that separates your esophagus from your stomach relaxes or does not close properly, food and acid can flow back into your esophagus.
Acid reflux happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (a circular band of muscle that separates your stomach from your esophagus) relaxes or doesn’t close properly.
The sphincter opens to let food and liquid into your stomach, then closes to keep it there. The sphincter relaxes when you swallow, but it shouldn’t open or close too much.
When you have GERD, the sphincter weakens or doesn’t close enough and stomach acids can flow back up into your esophagus. This constant backwash irritates the lining of your esophagus, causing heartburn and other symptoms.
Your doctor may recommend antacids, over-the-counter medicines, or medications that are stronger and available with a prescription. Your doctor can also suggest changing your lifestyle, like smoking cessation or avoiding trigger foods.
Taking care of your weight and getting regular exercise are also important. If you’re overweight, your body has more trouble handling the extra acid in your stomach. You can also reduce your intake of fatty or spicy foods.
If you have acid reflux throat, the feeling of something rising in your throat that burns and tastes acidic can be very unpleasant. It can also feel like a lump is in your throat or make it hard to swallow.
Reflux of stomach acid and food into the esophagus is normal from time to time, but when it happens two or more times a week or if heartburn and other symptoms last for more than a few weeks, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). About 20% of people in the United States have this condition at some point in their lives.
You can control your reflux by avoiding the foods that irritate your esophagus and reducing the amount of time you spend lying down after meals. You can also take antacids or H-2 receptor antagonists, which reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. Lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking, reducing alcohol intake, and eating small meals at regular intervals can also help prevent acid reflux.
Acid reflux throat symptoms can be treated with over-the-counter antacids, histamine blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. These medications are effective in controlling symptoms and reducing the risk of serious complications.
If you have chronic heartburn and the pain doesn’t go away with antacids, your doctor may recommend prescription medications. H2 receptor antagonists (Pepcid, Tagamet) decrease the amount of acid produced in your stomach, while proton pump inhibitors (Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, and Aciphex) slow down the secretion of stomach acid.
In some cases, a special device called the Linx may be used to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter, which prevents acid from flowing back up into your esophagus. This minimally invasive surgery is not recommended for all patients, however, and it can be costly.
Other treatments for silent reflux include medication and dietary changes, including avoiding foods that relax the LES. In addition, stress can be a factor in the occurrence of acid reflux. Reducing chronic stress can reduce the physical effects of acid reflux and help you feel better.
Acid reflux happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. This is a normal part of the digestive process, and it can happen to anyone.
People with acid reflux sometimes experience a sour or bitter taste in their throat. This can make eating seem like a strange or difficult task.
You can prevent the discomfort of acid reflux by avoiding certain foods. These include fatty, spicy and high-fat foods.
Some medications may also cause acid reflux. Antacids (such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Riopan) can help neutralize the acid.
Lifestyle changes can also help. Eat smaller meals throughout the day to reduce the chances of reflux occurring.
Your doctor may recommend medicine that strengthens your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This helps food and liquid stay in the stomach and doesn’t allow it to flow up into your throat.