I'm a 21 year old male, and I've just recently (over the past two weeks) been experiencing severe pressure and discomfort in the base of my throat and upper esophagus. I'm a hospital corpsman student with the U.S. Navy, so I have a limited medical background, but I'm very concerned about how this may affect my enlistment, and this is far outside my field of practice.
Symptoms I have been experiencing:
-severe and frequent pressure and pain in my upper esophagus
-gastric backflow into my mouth after meals
-difficulty swallowing liquids
-shortness of breath without physical activity
I am a smoker and I do drink, however I am very active and physically fit. I am not on any prescription medications, and the only OTC drug I have been taking is an antacid when the symptoms began. My father was diagnosed with GERD and hiatal hernia years ago, and from what my research has shown me, I'm under the impression that both have hereditary properties.
Is there anything I can do myself to relieve these symptoms or fix this problem without seeing a doctor? I am severely concerned about taking myself to medical due to the fact that I am in the military. If I do indeed have either of these problems, it could easily throw a hitch in my enlistment, and as I am working towards being a FMF Corpsman (field combat medic for the Marines), I don't want to be diagnosed with something that could ruin that for me.
Any insight, educated opinions, or professional expertise would be more than greatly appreciated. Thank you very much in advance.