Blog / What Other Conditions Can Cause Reflux Symptoms
There are quite a few symptoms associated with Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (or GORD), the most well know are heartburn (pain behind the breastbone), regurgitation and nausea. Less well-known symptoms include a chronic cough, persistent sore throat, excessive belching, sore throat, bad taste in the mouth, lump in the throat and earache.
However, there are other conditions that can cause these types of symptoms. For instance, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), where there are too many bacteria growing in the small intestine, can cause a build up of gas which means excessive belching. This belching can push stomach acid into the oesophagus, causing heartburn and a feeling of regurgitation.
Chronic cough can be caused by Asthma but on the other hand reflux is associated with asthma; indeed it is often very difficult to make an accurate diagnosis in these patients as some patients will have asthma and reflux and both may be contributing to the chronic cough.
Sore throats are usually caused by bacterial or viral infections. Bacterial infections as usually straightforward to diagnose as the throat will be inflamed but viral infections are often much less obvious.
Regurgitation is a common symptom in patients with reflux, however this can also be caused by pregnancy and by rumination syndrome. Rumination syndrome is a rare condition in which people repeatedly and unintentionally regurgitate undigested or partially digested food from the stomach, rechew it, and then either re-swallow it or spit it out. Because the food has not yet been digested, it reportedly tastes normal and isn't acidic, as vomit is.
Delayed gastric emptying can cause reflux symptoms and is often overlooked. Sometimes there are specific underlying disorders but sometimes a virus can cause gastroparesis. Symptoms can vary enormously from vomiting, nausea and regurgitation to mild LPR. As with all other causes of reflux the right tests are essential to make the right diagnosis.
If you’re suffering from symptoms and you think they might be caused by reflux, please get in touch. RefluxUK specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of all reflux symptoms using state of the art diagnostic tests and a multi-disciplinary team approach.