Pres. Obama’s sore throat related to acid reflux

Updated: December 7, 2014
Pres. Obama's sore throat related to acid reflux

Pres. Obama’s sore throat likely caused by acid reflux, Obama’s motorcade left the White House shortly after 2 p.m. for a thirty-minute drive to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that Obama had been complaining of a sore throat, and that Capt. Ronny Jackson, the President’s physician, recommended he visit the hospital for some diagnostic tests.

“The president’s symptoms are consistent with soft tissue inflammation related to acid reflux and will be treated accordingly,” Obama’s doctor, Captain Ronny Jackson, said in a statement.

Acid reflux is a condition in which the stomach contents flow back up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing such symptoms as heartburn and sore throat.

Obama, 53, went to Walter Reed military hospital for a fiber optic exam of his throat and since swelling was detected, doctors decided to perform a CT scan as well, Jackson said.

“The CT scan was conducted this afternoon purely as a matter of convenience for the President’s schedule. The CT scan was normal,” Jackson added.

Jackson said he recommended Obama go to Walter Reed for the tests after the president complained of suffering from a sore throat over the past couple of weeks.

Jackson did not give any cause for Obama’s case of the illness. There are many risk factors for acid reflux, including smoking, use of alcohol and hiatal hernia, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Most people respond to lifestyle changes and medicines, although many patients need to continue on medication to control their symptoms.

Obama had his annual physical exam in June and was given a clean bill of health by Jackson, who noted in a medical report that daily exercise, healthy eating and a tobacco-free lifestyle had helped the president stay in great shape. The president is a former smoker.