GERD, or heartburn, is a relatively common condition. But is vomiting due to GERD? What are some of the other symptoms? This article will look into how GERD causes vomiting and the ways to prevent it from happening.
What is GERD?
Before we can discuss vomiting caused by GERD, we need to backtrack a bit and learn a thing or two about the condition. GERD stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This is a condition wherein the acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus that connects the stomach to the mouth. The harshness of the stomach acid can irritate the lining of that tube.
A lot of people experience GERD from time to time. When it happens twice each week, then it would be classified as moderate GERD. It is possible to manage the discomfort caused by this condition. For the milder cases, discomfort is the main problem caused by GERD. There are also effective over-the-counter medications that can be used.
There are cases however where the symptoms are quite severe. For those cases, medical attention may be necessary.
Causes of GERD
When digesting food, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens up to allow the stomach to accept food. Afterward, the sphincter shuts to prevent the contents of the stomach from returning to the esophagus, which includes stomach acid. GERD happens when the LES becomes weak or it does not shut or seal properly.
The severeness of GERD depends on several things:
- The condition of the LES, how weak it has become, or how improper it is closing
- The amount and type of juice that is brought back from the stomach
- How the saliva can neutralize the effects of the acid.
There are doctors that believe hiatal hernia can play a role in the development of GERD. Hiatal hernia is a condition wherein a portion of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm. Because the diaphragm supports the lower part of the esophagus, anything that affects it can also have an impact on the esophagus.
Other things can contribute to the development of GERD. For example, some lifestyle choices can trigger acid reflux. Obesity and pregnancy may also play a factor. Studies also suggest that smoking can be a contributing factor in the relaxation of the LES.
Symptoms of GERD
Heartburn is by far the most typical and the most recognizable symptom of GERD. This is a burning sensation that starts from the chest going up to the neck and the throat. Many who experience it say it feels as if the food they have swallowed is backing up into the mouth while leaving a stinging sensation in the throat.
Some people mistake the sensation caused by the heart burns for that of a heart attack and it is understandable why they would make such a mistake.
There are key differences between the pain associated with heartburn and that of a heart attack. For example, the pain caused by a heart attack will be made worse by physical activity. Physical movement, including exercise, is less likely to have an effect on heartburn.
However, in most cases, it is not easy to tell the two apart, so it is best to seek medical attention immediately.
Another symptom of GERD is having difficulty in swallowing. You can also end up feeling that there is a lump in your throat.
GERD and Vomiting
People who experience acid reflux end up getting a sour taste in their mouth, which comes from the stomach fluid which backs up into the esophagus. The taste left in the mouth, combined with frequent burping, will often lead to nausea and even vomiting. Sometimes, the taste left in the mouth alone can be enough to trigger bouts of vomiting.
Of course, vomiting will bring up even more stomach fluid. It can become a vicious cycle.
If you experience acid reflux on a regular basis and it is affecting your daily life then you need to see a doctor. If it is just a mild case, then there are some tips that you can use to manage its effects.
You may have to undergo some changes to your lifestyle and your diet. The aim of the treatment is to minimize the damage to the esophagus and decrease the amount of acid reflux.
Here are some of the things that you can do to manage your GERD:
- Stay away from food that can cause the LES to relax. This includes chocolates, coffee, soft drinks, spicy food, and fatty foods.
- Foods that can irritate the lining of the esophagus when it has been damaged should also be avoided.
- Reduce your meal portions.
- Avoid lying down immediately after meals.
- Try to lose weight if you are overweight.
- Also, avoid smoking.
These are just some of the things that you can do to manage your GERD. These can help to lessen the negative impact of this disorder in your daily life.
Vomiting due to GERD is just one of the many symptoms of the condition, and you should address it immediately as vomiting can further aggravate your condition.
If you do have GERD, don’t be too worried about it because there are several things that you can do which can help lessen its impact. Consult your doctor to discuss the other causes and appropriate treatment plan for your condition.
Learn more about GERD here.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.