Sour Taste in Mouth - Signs of a Harmful Disease

Sour Taste in Mouth - Signs of a Harmful Disease

When was the last time you had indigestion, acidity or heartburn? Are you noticing sour taste in your mouth? Then you might be suffering from GERD short for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This happens when the contents of stomach or the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) reflux back to the esophagus and reach the back of the throat.

What are the reasons behind GERD?

In normal digestive process, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens to allow the food contents to pass into the stomach and closes itself to prevent contents such as food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. 

The severity of this disease depends on the malfunction of LES and the amount of fluid flown back to the stomach. This neutralizes the effect of saliva and causes sour taste in the mouth. When this chronic condition is frequent enough to interfere with your daily life or appetites, then it’s a reason for concern.

Some people are born with weak LES, but in majority of the cases, it’s the unhealthy habits that are responsible for GERD. A few are mentioned below:

  • Intake of excessive high-fat content
  • Spicy foods
  • Alcohol and smoking
  • Eating foods that often stimulates heartburn such as chocolate, mint and acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits.
  • Obesity

Symptoms of GERD

Frequent heartburn (at least twice or thrice a week) is the most common cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease. But you may also face other symptoms like:

  • Pain in the chest that starts behind the breastbone and goes upto the throat. Generally, the pain occurs shortly after meals and may last from few minutes to even several hours. Sometimes, people can’t differentiate between the chest pains of GERD with that of heart attack. So whenever this happens, it is important to ask for medical support to clear the confusion.
  • You will be having trouble in swallowing food as the food does not pass normally from mouth and through the esophagus to the stomach. When this happens, you might feel something stuck in your throat or in other cases, feeling of choking.
  • Feeling of hoarseness in the morning or feeling of acid refluxing into the throat
  • When acid refluxes back into the throat, you would feel bad smelling in your mouth
  • Wheezing or coughing especially at night

Is GERD treatable?

Prevention or regulation of gastric acidity is the best treatment for GERD. After reviewing variety of factors, your doctor will give a correct diagnosis and start treatment accordingly. The treatment aims at reducing the amount of reflux or decreasing the damage to the esophagus lining. Doctors usually recommend lifestyle and dietary changes as the first phase of the treatment.

You would be told to avoid foods and beverages that aggravate the symptoms. Eating small meals frequently help in steady supply to your acid. There are over the counter medication available to contain the acid reflux and additionally, one can also take medication to increase the strength of LES. 

Your doctor can also tell you to go through endoscopy and other diagnostic tests. In other severe cases where the damage to esophagus is severe, the patient might undergo anti-reflux surgery.

In most of the cases, GERD can be treatable in the initial stages without any problem. So be kind to your stomach in case you are suffering from acidity and heartburn.

Sources

1. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). PubMed health read more
2. Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD (2015, November 18). PubMed health read more
3. Badillo R. and Francis D. (2014, August 06).Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease read more
4. GERD(2017, December 22). Medline Plus read more
5. Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Adults (2014, November). niddk 
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