Acid reflux is characterized typically either by heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest, or acid tastes in the throat due to the back flow of acidic stomach contents to the esophagus or food pipe from the stomach. Acid reflux develops when the valve at the lower part of the esophagus or food pipe does not close tightly with the stomach contraction allowing the acidic stomach contents to regurgitate or flow back causing damage. You might experience the following symptoms if you have acid reflux.

  • Burning in the chest, or heartburn
  • Burning in the throat or acid taste in the throat
  • Stomach or chest pain
  • Heavy or raspy voice or sore throat
  • Unexplained cough

These symptoms should not be ignored-particularly because it’s often a sign of an underlying condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can lead to various health complications including:

  • heartburn
  • esophagitis
  • ulcers
  • difficulty swallowing
  • esophageal spasms
  • greater risk of esophageal cancer


  • Lose weight if you are overweight
  • Raise the head of the bed by 6-8 inches (by putting blocks of wood or rubber under 2 legs of the bed or a Styrofoam wedge under the mattress)
  • Avoid foods that make your symptoms worse; like coffee, chocolate, alcohol, peppermint, or fatty food.
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol, stop smoking if you smoke
  • Avoid going to bed immediately after a meal. Avoid lying down for 3 hrs after a meal.

Seek immediate attention if you:

  • Have trouble swallowing, or feels as food stuck on the way down
  • Lose weight when you are not trying to
  • Have chest pain
  • Choke when you eat
  • Vomit blood or have bowel movements that are black, or look like tar

Do you need treatment for acid reflux? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!