GORD can present itself in a number of different ways. Some people experience mild symptoms that can easily be treated with over-the-counter medicine and self-help methods.
Others have more severe symptoms, and may need stronger medications and, occasionally, surgery to fix the problem.
GORD symptoms include:
- Heartburn – a burning sensation in your chest, usually felt after eating and may be worse at night
- Acid reflux – when you get an acidic taste in your mouth from regurgitated stomach acid
- Feeling sick or sometimes being sick
- A sore throat
- Bad breath
- Sudden increase of saliva
- Pain when swallowing
Other symptoms can include tooth decay and gum disease caused by the acid reflux, if the condition is left untreated for a long time. Asthma sufferers may also find the irritation to their airways caused by GORD makes their asthma worse.
If the GORD gets worse at night, or when you lie down, you may experience disturbed sleep or a cough that you cannot shake off.
Living with GORD
You may find the symptoms of GORD only mildly uncomfortable or a minor annoyance, and you may be able to manage your symptoms by making changes to your diet or by making other lifestyle changes.
It may help to avoid certain foods that are known to trigger the condition, like alcohol, spicy food, or anything that is very fatty. Over-the-counter medications are also available, which could be strong enough to ease your symptoms.
However, if you have tried both diet and lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter medication and your symptoms don’t improve, it is best to speak to a doctor. They may be able to give you stronger prescription medications that will help to rule out any underlying conditions that could be causing GORD.
If you have severe pain, vomiting or any trouble swallowing or your symptoms have a significant impact on the way you live your life, you should also speak to a GP for more advice. People who suffer with long-term or persistent GORD symptoms can experience complications such as ulcers or narrowing of the oesophagus, so it is important to get the condition looked at, so you can treat it.