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Readers Respond: What symptoms led you to your GERD diagnosis?

Responses: 54


Updated October 10, 2010

From the article: Symptoms of GERD
Heartburn is the main symptom of GERD, though some people diagnosed with GERD didn't experience heartburn. Symptoms of GERD can vary from person to person and can include hoarseness in the morning, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent dry cough.

When did you first suspect you were suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)? What symptoms prompted you to go to your doctor about it? Share your experiences with others. Sharing your symptoms could prompt someone else with similar symptoms to see a doctor when they might not otherwise.

GERD symptoms

The other night I woke up with extreme pressure in my chest, I felt like I couldn't breath. I was dizzy, and my palms were sweaty, and slighty sick to my stomach. Went to er, they admitted me into icu, and ruled out my heart, blood clots, did tons of other tests, treated my asthma, everything. Well they discharged me and i still have the feeling. Told to to follow up with my GI doctor. Saw him yesterday, and he said I have Gerd. Does this sound like gerd to any of you?
—Guest Mandy

GORD with constant hoarse throat

I visited the GP with a 5 week old constant hoarse throat (not sore). He struggled to diagnose anything until I asked about why food occassionally got stuck around my solar plexus area, and bad indegstion in the night. He then diagnosed acid reflux (3 weeks ago). He put me on Omeprazole. I still have almost a constant feeling of 'prodding' under my solar plexus area and bloated feeling (feeling of trapped wind quite often). Some of the experiences on this website are quite concerning e.g. GP's simply prescribing various pills and rarely any cure it seems! My GP seems reluctant to refer me to a ENT specialist and for a proper examination. Best put my faith in God instead! :-)
—Guest Steve G

Not really sure.

I became really sick one day without warning. I was unable to get up, vomiting, shaking, unable to think, unable to eat, the list goes on. Well i was sent directly to the hospital, they stabilized me and i was told i just experianced some sort of panic attack. well, i was sent to teh hospital again shortly after because i was well, unable to even play a vidio game. They sent me home saying i will have a check up with a gi series. When i got there i was set again this table and drank some liquid, and, became extreamly sick and in pain. I was in the hospital already so they pumped me up with pain killers and things which i dont really remember. They then told me i had gurd and set me up with pills to help it. This pill has helped, i am able to eat, and teh pain isnt bad. I still have extrem pain when i awake and my left hands ring finger is numb. I was never overweight, and was perfectly healthy, so docters took a while to come up with the diagnosis. If this is odd, please tell me.
—Guest zZnovaZz

Panting when going up stairs

At 59 yeas old, I noticed that I am panting whenever I go up stair, higher ground anything that is going up. I also started to lose my voice (I'm a lady pastor) and it is real hard for me as my job is to talk! At one time when my blood pressure went up to 200/90 I went to see a doctor and told him of my other experiences with my health. He sent me to an ENT and the doctor said it's GERD. Now I know why I have pain in my rib cage, hoarse throat and reflux. Now, at 63 am still on 20mg omeprazole but I tried to change my eating habits, always shun food that could trigger, because I have proven during the holidays that if I eat too much of fatty food, tomato based food,too much coffee and cold drinks...I will have severe heartburn. So it's just a matter of determination on our part that we can get rid of these unusual feeling and have a healthy life.
—Guest Sonia

Has had GERD for many years now

When my symptoms started, it was an odd exhaling sensation, like there was an air bubble in my chest that would pop, & cause me to exhale suddenly. I'd never thought twice about it. Finally, I went to see my physician, who sent me for an endoscopy, & the results were GERD & a moderately sized hiatal hernia! The doctor (a surgeon), told me that he didn't see any reason to remove the hernia, since it is due to GERD; it would inevitably just return. I've been taking Protonix 40 mg ever since, & it works wonderfully! I'm also take Zantac (Ranitidine 150 mg), when I cheat with spicy food. :o) It is now 2012, & I'm pleased with the Protonix. I didn't have to take it for 1 year, due to eating right & lessening stress, etc. but today it has started up again, this time the symptoms are upper left abdomen...I have started my Protonix back up & will not stop again. :o) I guess the spicy food over the holidays were not a great idea! :o) Good Luck to you all & do not panic! :o) It can be controlled
—Guest Kavindra

All of the above.

I have had IBS for years now which doesn't help when you have a Vitamin D Deficiency aswell.. The acid Reflux has helped to cause non stop Dental Problems and for one that take a lot of care of my Teeth, this is causing a lot of Anxiety. Now to top it off, we believe I might have Gerds,or Gords as its called in Australia. 9 months ago whilst working I became Hot Clammy and had Chest Pains (not long after eating) lucky i work next to a Medical Centre. My Blodd pressure was high, always normal, as was my Sugar level, so off to Hospital I went for 3 days of many Test to come back with Angina attack brought on by stress and Reflux. My Reflux, Heartburn, stomach pain, phlem, bloating bad taste, coughing/choking through the night is now getting a whole lot worse. I don't eat much due to the pain, but don't lose weight either. This is getting me down and I know i have to get checked out but its hard to find time. I have researched rhis stuff for ages, but don't get relief from anything I take
—Guest Vicki

Unusual Symptoms

Diagnosed with AR/GERD/Barrett's via endoscopy in March this year following inability to swallow and sore throat. Never, ever had heartburn so did not consider acid reflux. Still no heartburn but have a constant feeling of something in my throat. Also lots of drainage but ENT says not sinus related. I experience a lot of pressure and pain in my chest (right about the rib cage area). Since I don't have heartburn, I have no clue what foods "trigger" as it is almost constant to suffer these symptoms. On 60 mg Dexilant once per day as well as digestive enzymes and probiotics but I don't know if anything is really helping. I sleep on a wedge to keep my upper body elevated. Have lost over 20 pounds so far and I was not big to begin with. Not sure if I want to stay on this medication forever although my GI doc says I will have to. Very depressing situation. Anyone else have these symptoms with this condition?
—Guest southener

All roads lead to ...

i have been treated for chronic sinus conditions for several years. I developed severe pain in my ear canal, which was attributed to my sinuses. While seeing a new ENT I mentioned I'd been having severe heartburn for about a year, and he said, "oh, well tos out the sinus symptoms, your ear pain is caused by the acid traveling up into your esophagus and into the ear canal" He gave me the RX tx but those pills make my hands and arms swell. My symptoms included difficulty swallowing, cough, congestion, hoarseness, pain, sleeplessness, fatigue, fog in thinking and memory difficulty, pressure in my chest, etc etc. I have learned what triggers to avoid, and have pretty much limited myself to milk and water with an occasional attempt to find other things to drink. not much out there that is not caffeinated or citrusy. No chocolate, sodas, citrus, juice, caffeine, tomato based products, etc. While I miss them, it's easier to live without heartburn in my life. I'm on my way to losing weight...
—Guest Whitemoon


I was having pressure in my stomache after being full from eating or smoking. I also would have trouble burping and food would feel stuck in my throat.
—Guest Aliyah

Just found out.....IT'S GERD

A few months ago i was feeling really bad acid burns in the back of my throat. I causally dismissed it as heartburn and bought some over the counter antacid. A few days later the it became worse to the point that i could barely eat. Every time the food went in it burnt so badly that i couldn't even swallow. I finally went to the doctor and he confirmed that it was more that heartburn, it was gerd. I found that to ridiculous and ignored the warning. So i went on the internet to really understand gerd for myself and was shocked. All the types of foods i had been eating contributed to my sickness and i was not helping it anyways. I plan to re-visit my doctor fo more medical advice
—Guest itreally burns

Problem solved!

I was diagnosed with extreme gastritis and a hiatal hernia 16 years ago at Harbor-UCLA Hospital in Carson, CA, and was prescribed Prilosec. Have taken either Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and Nexium since then, kept having endoscopies, developed osteoporosis which I inherited from my mom - finally saw a surgeon who said, Sounds like we need to take care of that hernia! had the surgery 1/13/11, and now NO nausea, NO heartburn, and NO vomiting AND I'm no longer taking those proton pump inhibitors! Yay!

Esophageal Spasms

I spent years constantly chewing antacids, thinking my problem was stress. I began to have attacks that everyone was certain was a heart-attack. I was taken to the emergency room 13 times via car AND ambulance with ER doctors having no idea what was wrong. It was finally diagnosed with esophageal spasms that mimicked a heart attack. I was tested and have gastroparesis and as SOON as I feel the first tightening in my throat or chest I begin swallowing water & it will stop. I take Protonix 2/day (too much) as well as prescription strength Zantac at night. My throat burns frequently. My ENT says my vocal chords have become "mushy." I bought a electric bed raiser and sleep w/my head elevated. I live in great fear of Barrett's esophagus. I know too many who have died from esophageal cancer or have their stomachs relocated in their chest now. Why were we never aware of this terrible disease before? I have a deepened voice now that is so raspy I'm asked by strangers what is wrong.
—Guest Bee

My parthway to GERD

I thought I was doing all the right things by following my doctor's recommendation: take Fosamax to prevent osteoporosis/osteopenia because I fit into certain criteria such as being small-boned. I followed the directions and then-some: I took it on an empty stomach at 5:30am each morning and stood almost motionless for one hour -- reading the morning newspaper on the kitchen counter. During the time -- 8 months I was on the pill I began to experience signs of indigestion but because it was later in the day I assumed it was diet-related. Suffice it to say, unfortunately, I was slowly burning my esophagus, and now must take a prescription medication each day to avoid it returning. I've attempted several OTC suggestions but the burning comes back with a vengeance and I want to avoid what a friend experienced, having her's re-lined! Even worse cancer is a risk.
—Guest pgnimkoff

symptoms of acid reflux

Developed a terrible cough. Antibiotics did nothing and chest x-ray showed nothing. Doc put me on 20mg omeprazole twice a day and cough disappeared. Now take 20mg of omeprazole once a day and the cough hasn't returned and it had definitely been acid reflux that was my problem.
—Guest Irene Grant

GERD - I thought it can be cured but

Four years ago I have nonstopping hiccup, a lot of saliva in my mouth and had to sleep one side, at least 3 times a day water gush out of my stomach hitting my throat, frequent ulcer in the mouth - I was refer to gastrointestine specialist - was diagnosed acid reflux. I traced back two weeks earlier what I eat and drink. I had two slice of pineapple, a glass of orange juice, Nescafe (a coffee brand in Malaysia) three times a day - normally I have twice, two starfruit. I went for endoscopy was given medication (zantac) for three month and then is ok. However, about a year ago, within six month, I lost 3 teeth because the acid weaken the teeth feeling, I feel both my fingers and arm numb, stomach feel uncomfortable, frequent mount ulcer, sleep on on side, - now given zantac. I also feel a lot a saliva (sometimes painful at my tongue) when eating certain food. I just make appointment with dietician. I still want to learn more about this GERD because I want to lead a healthy life.
—Guest Ayob
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