If you've ever found yourself reaching for the Pepto-bismol or Gaviscon after a big meal due to the heartburn you can feel in your chest, you know just how bad it feels. What you may not know is that heartburn isn't the only symptom of acid reflux that your body is trying to warn you about.
Acid reflux happens for a few different reasons. Whether it's a weakened muscle in your esophagus, an excess of stomach acid, or simply poor eating habits, it's important to know what to look out for because if left unchecked, it can end up being really dangerous.
Here are 5 symptoms you may not have realized were actually signs of acid reflux:
1. Bitter Taste
If you are noticing that there is just this unexplained bitterness that is always there in your mouth, that may actually be a sign of acid reflux.
This happens because the stomach acid is making its way back up your throat and the taste works its way into your mouth. Sometimes when it gets bad enough it can lead to choking in the night, which can be extremely dangerous for obvious reasons.
If your voice is sounding a little off, kind of like how it is when you start to get a cold, it may actually be because the stomach acid in your throat has irritated your vocal cords enough to make them sound different.
3. Chronic Cough
If you have one of those coughs that just won't let up, it may be caused by an excess of stomach acid bubbling up into your throat. It can cause a wheeziness that is hard to diagnose, but if your doctor can do a pH test you might be able to find out that your body has an excessive amount of acid.
If the coughing and wheezing wasn't enough, sometimes it can lead to asthma. The problem is doctors don't know for sure if the asthma leads to the heartburn or vice versa. They suspect it's because the nerves in your chest are constricting, which may be causing issues with the acid levels.
5. Extra Saliva
If your mouth seems to be producing more saliva than usual, it could be because your body is trying to wash the irritant (aka the acid) in your throat away. It's the same reaction that happens when you vomit, only instead of coming back up, it just ends up damaging your insides.
If you're experiencing any of these symptoms regularly or notice an increase in the amount of heartburn episodes you have, make sure you talk to your doctor.
If you are looking to try to find foods that help you with your heartburn, there are actually quite a lot of good options.