When you swallow food, it travels down the esophagus and passes through a muscular ring known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This structure opens to allow food to pass into the stomach. It is supposed to remain closed to keep stomach contents where they belong. If the valve is weak or damaged in some way, it may open and allow stomach contents and acid to travel back up, or reflux, into the esophagus. Acid reflux produces a burning sensation.
Onset of GERD can occur when lying flat on the back, after meals, or bending forward and is usually worse at night. It is important to note that reflux or GERD is often confused with angina or a heart attack and should be reported to the doctor. GERD is not typically exercise induced and is relieved with antacids; this can help differentiate between angina/heart attack and reflux.
Some patients notice reflux when some of the contents of their stomach â€˜repeatâ€™ by coming back up the oesophagus as far as the throat or even the mouth. A few patients notice discomfort or pain as they swallow and may often experience frequent throat clearing, coughing and choking.
EndoscopyEndoscopy is a broad term used to described examining the inside of the body using an lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope. Endoscopy procedure is performed on a patient to examine the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum; and look for causes of symptoms such as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or intestinal bleeding.
After trying the first for 3 weeks I stopped as there was no change at all and it ended up making me feel worse. With the second I have been on them for almost a month (2 a day 30mg) and again no change whatsoever. It is making me very low.
If your symptoms are severe, you may have to undergo some tests. Heartburn and GERD may make you feel like it’s difficult to swallow or you may feel a tightness in the throat, as if food is stuck in your throat or esophagus. Visit our Acid Reflux / GERD category page for the latest news on this subject, or sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest updates on Acid Reflux / GERD.
Even though the majority of the esophageal pain pathways are probably located in the spinal nerve, some actually may be in the vagus nerve. Visceral afferents often travel with somatic afferents from the body wall, which explains why esophageal pain may be referred to the chest wall. The phenomenon of referred visceral pain is the basis for secondary allodynia or hyperalgesia. Acid-induced esophageal pain is likely to be mediated by vanilloid receptor 1 (VR1) and by anion-sensing ion channels (ASICs). Mechanical distention, acid exposure, temperature, and osmolality-related stimuli can all induce esophageal pain.
Itâ€™s very easy to confuse the two issues so let a doctor rule out the most severe possibility. This is an especially important message for women.