If you have heartburn twice a week or more, you may have GERD.
Heartburn is the most common symptom, but you may also experience:
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Frequent swallowing
- Asthma or asthma-like symptoms
- Sleep disruption (unable to sleep lying down)
- Excessive clearing of throat
- Persistent cough
- Burning in the mouth or throat
- Intolerance of certain foods
- Dental erosions or therapy-resistant gum disease or inflammation
Normally, after swallowing, a valve between the esophagus and stomach
opens to allow food to pass, and then it closes to prevent stomach
contents from "refluxing" back into the esophagus. For people who suffer
from GERD, the valve is dysfunctional and unable to prevent acid from
refluxing into the esophagus.