May also be called: Gastroesophageal Reflux; GER; GERD; Acid Reflux; Chronic
Heartburn; Peptic Esophagitis; Reflux Esophagitis; Dyspepsia
Gastroesophageal (gas-tro-ih-sah-fuh-JEE-ul) reflux disease, or GERD, is
a disorder that results from stomach acid moving backward from the stomach
back up into the esophagus.
More to Know
Food travels down the esophagus to reach the stomach. The valve-like muscle where
the esophagus joins the stomach is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When
the LES opens at the wrong time or does not close properly, it can allow stomach acid
to move backward into the esophagus. This can lead to a burning sensation (heartburn)
in the chest and throat and can eventually cause damage to the lining of the esophagus
if it goes untreated.
Keep in Mind
Almost everyone gets heartburn from time to time. People with GERD have symptoms
more often, but symptoms usually can be controlled or lessened with medications or
diet and lifestyle changes.
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