I Choked on Acid Reflux While Sleeping Due To GERD!

choking on acid reflux, doctor chat
Medically reviewed by Dr. Fariah Imtiaz

Have you ever choked on acid reflux while sleeping? It’s like a nightmare coming true. 

I am a 34-year-old female with a history of heartburn, but it never raised any red flags.

I had frequent attacks of heartburn and nausea, but I didn’t consider them signs of any severe complications. Almost everyone I know has had heartburn, and I didn’t take it too seriously.

I am already on omeprazole and have been using it for three years. Being slightly overweight and a smoker, my local GP has already told me that these are risk factors for GERD, and I have been working on improving my lifestyle.

One night I woke up choking on acid reflux while sleeping!

Days passed, and one night, I woke up with severe choking. I was unable to breathe properly and was feeling helpless. That night, I thought I would pass out, and no one would know as I live alone.

I tried screaming for help, but that led to acid spitting up into my throat. Immediately, I called an ambulance, and thankfully by the time I reached the hospital, the choking had stopped. 

Upon arrival, I was a bit hazy but could breathe normally. The doctor in the ER examined me and sent me home with a referral to my GP for further examination. 

Are You Suffering From GERD? Chat With Our Doctors And Get Treatment At Home

With many unanswered questions about my choking, I started looking for answers online.

This episode compelled me to seek medical guidance online while I waited for my GP appointment. I couldn’t sleep at all that night. 

I stumbled upon Your Doctors online, connecting me to an online physician immediately. She empathized with my condition and inquired about the frequency of such episodes.

As soon as I mentioned that I had a history of GERD, she put two and two together.

She explained that GERD occurs due to the weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter, so the food in the stomach flows back to the food pipe along with the acid in the stomach. 

The food reaches the throat and mouth, giving a feeling of choking and difficulty swallowing. The condition expresses symptoms, including heartburn, swallowing difficulty, cough, nausea, choking on acid reflux while sleeping, and sore throat.

Chatting with an online doctor made me realize that I was experiencing complications of GERD.

An exciting discovery I made during the chat was that GERD aggravated my coughing. I thought smoking was the culprit, but since Iloped GERD, coughing has worsened.

For further confirmation, she asked me about my diet and lifestyle. Embarrassingly, I had nothing good to tell her. She suspected that I was suffering from severe esophagitis, i.e., inflammation of the food pipe due to the damaging effects of the pushback of acid from the stomach. 

Fear took over me on hearing about this serious medical condition. I had no idea whatsoever that this complication would hinder my swallowing action. As I had suffered from severe heartburn for quite some time, the future of this complication stressed me. My doctor assured me of timely treatment and recovery.

With medications, lifestyle changes, and regular follow-ups, I can now sleep without fear of choking.

Soon, Your Doctors Online physician started my course to relieve my acid burns and choking due to GERD. She prescribed me antacids that neutralize the acidic stomach juice and medications to help decrease acid production in the stomach. She also asked me to get tested for H.pylori, which thankfully came back negative. 

My doctor asked me to avoid foods that irritate the esophagus epithelium and keep a bird’s eye on things that triggered my heartburn. She asked me to avoid the following:

  • Spicy foods
  • Deep-fried foods
  • Sauces
  • Garlic and onion
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Citrus fruits

Regular follow-ups with Your Doctors Online made it easier for me to stick to a healthier lifestyle and fight GERD. By taking medicines as prescribed by my doctor and following the precautions, I escaped GERD complications. 

Now, I am enjoying a peaceful sleep without any symptoms of choking or heartburn. I am still avoiding spicy foods and all those eatables that are disastrous for my newly healed esophagus. With the constant guidance of the doctor at Your Doctors Online, I have successfully made a diet plan that includes tasty and healthy food as well. 

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