That Sore Throat Could be Caused by Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux, sore throat, stomach acid, Heartburn,

More than 60% of Americans experience acid reflux every month. If you’ve ever felt a burning sensation or felt as if there were a lump in your throat, chances are high that you’ve had acid reflux.

It’s a common condition in which the acid in your stomach escapes and travels into your food tube, or esophagus. The highly acidic fluid irritates the lining of your esophagus and brings with it common symptoms like burning in the throat, hoarseness, and more. A common, but lesser-known, symptom of acid reflux is a sore throat. If you have a sore throat, you might think you’re getting sick. But, the irritation that acid reflux causes can give you a sore throat.

Though acid reflux itself isn’t life-threatening, it can lead to esophagus damage and discomfort. To learn more about the symptoms of acid reflux and get help finding a treatment plan for you, talk to Yadwinder Kang, MD at First Choice Urgent Care.

Why acid reflux makes your throat sore

Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid travels backward out of your stomach and up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the tube through which food travels, connecting your mouth to your stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter is a small band of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus that typically keeps stomach acid from flowing up. However, the lower esophageal sphincter can weaken, and stomach acid can leak into your esophagus.

Stomach acid is a fluid that helps your body digest food, but when it gets into your esophagus, it can cause discomfort and irritation. Symptoms of heartburn, like a burning sensation in your throat, are due to stomach acid traveling back up your esophagus.

Acid reflux can irritate and damage the lining of your esophagus, and this can cause a sore throat. Other common symptoms of heartburn include:

Although sore throats that come with the flu or other viruses often go away once your body heals, a sore throat from acid reflux is best managed by treating the cause of the discomfort. GERD is a term for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or chronic heartburn.

Managing heartburn

Many patients find relief from GERD and acid reflux by making lifestyle changes. Certain foods and drinks can increase your risk of heartburn, including carbonated or caffeinated drinks. Keep in mind that everyone’s triggers are different. Consider keeping a food journal to learn which foods and beverages might cause your acid reflux symptoms to increase.

Common heartburn remedies include:

Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help aid in digestion. Maintaining a healthy weight and not wearing tight clothes might also help prevent acid reflux. Over-the-counter medications like antacids help neutralize stomach acid with salts and hydroxide or bicarbonate ions. Other medications keep your stomach from producing excessive stomach acid.

For more serious cases of acid reflux, Dr. Kang can give you a prescription medication. These medications can help eliminate or neutralize stomach acid to decrease esophagus irritation. Combined with lifestyle changes, medication can treat a sore throat due to acid reflux.

When you come to First Choice Urgent Care for treatment, our caring team is here to help. Together, you and Dr. Kang review your medical history and symptoms to determine the best course of treatment for your acid reflux. If you think you might have GERD or acid reflux, call our Bakersfield, California office, or schedule your first appointment online today.

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