The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is regular heartburn. Other symptoms include bad breath, nausea, pain in the chest or upper abdomen, problems swallowing, respiratory problems, vomiting, and the wearing away of teeth.

When the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or relaxes when it shouldn’t, stomach contents can rise up into the esophagus. It can become weak or relax due to increased pressure on the abdomen from being pregnant or overweight. It also can weaken due to taking medications such as those used to treat asthma or high blood pressure, antihistamines, painkillers, sedatives, or antidepressants. Smoking or inhaling secondhand smoke can also contribute. A hiatal hernia can also cause GERD.

See your doctor if you have persistent GERD symptoms that don’t get better with over-the counter medications or a change in diet. Call a doctor right away if you vomit large amounts; have regular projectile, or forceful, vomiting; vomit fluid that is green or yellow, looks like coffee grounds or contains blood; if you have problems breathing after vomiting; if you have pain in the mouth or throat when you eat; or if you have problems swallowing or painful swallowing.

Source: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

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