Experts say acid reflux—when stomach acids bubble up into your esophagus and throat—is one of the most common health conditions in the US. Almost all of us experience it from time to time, and its hallmark symptom is a burning sensation in your chest or throat.
But reflux can cause other symptoms—including a handful that may surprise you, says Joseph Murray, MD, a GI doctor and researcher at Mayo Clinic. “I also see reflux being blamed for symptoms that have nothing to do with it,” Murray adds. (Heal your whole body with Rodale’s12-day liver detox for total body health.)
Here are the unexpected signs you might be suffering from acid reflux—and some other symptoms you should NOT blame on unruly stomach acids.
Lots of saliva
Yes, it’s a movie cliché that people mistake heartburn for a heart attack. But the cliché holds true in real life. “It’s not uncommon to see someone in the ER with terrible chest pain, thinking it’s a heart attack, when it’s actually reflux,” Murray says. At the same time, the opposite also happens—with tragic results. “Someone is having a heart attack, but they don’t go to the ER because they figure it’s indigestion,” he says. “When in doubt, go to the emergency room.”