Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) : A figure with visible gastrointestinal tract is shown to compare a healthy esophagus and an inflamed esophagus due to erosion by stomach acid in a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a disorder in which the sphincter muscle at the base of the esophagus relaxes at the wrong time, causing stomach acid to flow backwards into the esophagus. The acid irritates and inflames the lining of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. Changes in diet and lifestyle can help reduce or eliminate symptoms of GERD and also lower the risk of developing the disease in the first place.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), gastric reflux disease, or acid reflux disease is a chronic symptom of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus.

GERD is usually caused by changes in the barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, including abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed, impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatal hernia. These changes may be permanent or temporary.

Treatment is typically via lifestyle changes and medications such as proton pump inhibitors, H2 receptor blockers or antacids with or without alginic acid. Surgery may be an option in those who do not improve. In the Western world between 10 and 20% of the population is affected.

The material on this site is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Consult a licensed medical professional for the diagnosis and treatment of all medical conditions and before starting a new diet or exercise program. If you have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately.