Acid Reflux Health Center

How do I know if I have acid reflux or the more serious GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)?

  • Acid reflux is a much more mild condition usually involving frequent heartburn, or the burning sensation in the chest and back of throat as acid rises from the stomach. GERD is more serious than acid reflux. Some patients with GERD do not even have the symptom of heartburn. Instead, they may experience a dry cough, asthma-like symptoms and trouble swallowing. If you are experiencing these symptoms or are having reflux episodes anywhere from two or three times a week to two or three times a day, you could have GERD and should visit your doctor.

I know to avoid fatty, spicy and acidic foods. Are there any other particular foods I should watch out for?

  • In addition to staying clear of fatty, spicy and acidic foods, try avoiding tomato-based foods such as spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili and pizza. Citrus fruits such as limes and lemons, chocolate, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, fried foods, garlic, onion and mint flavoring can all contribute to reflux reactions as well.
Review Date: 
August 2, 2012
Last Updated:
August 6, 2014