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Scared and Have Anxiety, I think I have GERD

I have researched a lot of things due to my "throat problems" I have had acid reflux before, and so had my father. I am overweight and I know this and I am trying to take control over this now. Recently it seems that I have been (burping even more often) My throat is tight often hurts to talk sometimes and I cough a lot (this has been going on for a while but I did not know what it was and did not ask a doctor about this. I don't know why I haven't. Now I am freaking out and am scared and do not know what to do...My voice also gets horse a lot very often and it seems to me I have a post nasil drip. OH my G-D I am freaking out really bad...am I going to be alright? I am only 20 years old....
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thank you for extensively answering my questions! I really really appreciate the long answers you have given me! I am going to see a GI tmw and see what he says, he knows my family and im more comfortable knowing that...! wish me luck.
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Yes, it sounds like GERD, specifically LPRD. However, this is nothing to freak out about.  If you've had this less than 5 years you don't likely have Barrett's Esophagus. (This is in response to my previous answer to a question you had in another thread.) Here are some tips:

1) Losing weight is of UTMOST IMPORTANCE in this. (Take it from me: I went from 324lbs to 240lbs and it's made a WORLD of difference.)

2) Follow a GERD diet and lifestyle changes.

3) If you're having frequent heartburn, go see a gastroenterologist about this. They may do an EGD, which is a good idea. Other tests are not out of the question. Likely you'll be prescribed some PPIs (Nexium, AcipHex) or H2-inhibitors (Zantac, Pepcid), which are great drugs to use while you're losing weight. If you don't have health insurance, you can get Omeprazole (brand name = Prilosec OTC) over the counter. These are safe to take long term, but it should be under the supervision of a doctor. Other OTC medications like TUMS and Peptobismol just cover up the symptoms, they don't actually stop acid. H2 inhibitors and PPIs are the only way to reduce actual esophageal exposure.

4) STOP FREAKING OUT! Seriously, that just makes your digestive problems MUCH worse. This causes your body to stress out, firing up your sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight response), which in turn slows down digestion. Slow digestion = acid reflux. Take yoga and meditate or something. Vigorous exercise helps out.

5) When you exercise, don't overdo the weights. These may make your heartburn worse. Taking some Gaviscon before working out will help reduce acid exposure during the workout process, but skip the powerlifting. Aerobics and toning-lifting are still a good idea, though.

6) Chew gum. Saliva contains bicarbonates and its a good antacid.

Good luck.
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