The symptoms of GERD are similar to those of acid reflux, which are:
Yes, GERD can be painful especially if you experience heartburn or a burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn can often be mistaken for a heart attack, so it is important to know the difference. A heart attack is usually accompanied by shooting pain in your left arm, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, sweating, etc and symptoms worsen with activity/exertion.
Although GERD is very common, there are certain risk factors that make you more susceptible, such as:
GERD can be diagnosed in a number of ways such as:
For most cases of GERD, surgery may not be necessary, small changes and some medication might help. These treatment options are:
By eating healthy and exercising, it might help you to lose weight which can help improve or totally remove your GERD symptoms
Might be able to provide temporary relief
These help block acid release in the stomach
PPIs block the protein required to make stomach acid
Prokinetics help your stomach empty itself faster so there is less food left behind and hence, less stomach acid
Surgery may be recommended if the above options are not working for you or if you have developed other complications related to GERD. Your gastroenterologist will be able to identify the best treatment option for you.