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Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) occurs when stomach contents come back up into the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) during or after a meal. A ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus opens and closes to allow food to enter the stomach. This ring of muscle is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This sphincter opens to release gas (burping) after meals in normal infants, children, and adults. When the sphincter opens in infants, the stomach contents often go up the esophagus and out the mouth (spitting up or vomiting). GER can also occur when babies cough, cry, or strain. Most infants with GER are happy and healthy even though they spit up or vomit. Symptoms GER occurs often in normal infants. More than half of all babies experience reflux in the first 3 months of life. An infant with GER may experience these symptoms: Spitting Vomiting Coughing Irritability Poor feeding Blood in the stools Only a small number of infants have severe symptoms due to GER. Mo...
Dr. I have throat pain, hoarseness and an earache that won't go away. I do suffer from heartburn. Can the throat and ear pain be a result of GERD?
While it is not uncommon for gastroesophageal reflux disease to cause sore throat and hoarseness as well as ear pain and even ear infections, other more serious conditions need to be excluded. You can try maximizing treatment of acid reflux with twice a day proton pump inhibitors. If your symptoms resolve completely, then it is likely a result of gastroesophageal reflux. If however, they persist, then evaluation with an ear nose and throat physician to rule out throat cancer is recommended.
I have been taking Aciphex for acid reflux and have developed severe headaches. Can I try other proton pump inhibitors?
All of the proton pump inhibitors (Aciphex, Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium, Prilosec, Zegerid and Omeprazole) have about a 5% incidence of causing headaches. If one of the drugs causes headaches, it doesn't mean that th...
What effect does acid reflux have on the lungs? Acid reflux can cause pulmonary complications such as cough, asthma and aspiration. Refluxed liquid can cause coughing by stimulating nerves that provoke coughing. Additionally, reflux into the lower esophagus can stimulate esophageal nerves that connect to and can stimulate nerves going to the lungs. These nerves to the lungs then can cause the smaller breathing tubes to narrow, resulting in an attack of asthma . The reflux of liquid into the lungs (called aspiration) often results in coughing and choking. Video: What GERD's doing inside your body
You should know
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