Home » Conditions » Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a term to describe the common experience of acid reflux in an individual. Acid reflux typically refers to a single occurrence or instance of acid backflow from the stomach into the esophagus, described as heartburn.
Someone is usually diagnosed with GERD when acid reflux happens in mild cases twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux at least once a week. GERD can occur at any age, but typically begins around age 40.
If left untreated, patients can eventually develop Barrett’s esophagus.
When you swallow food it passes through the esophagus and past the lower esophageal sphincter into the stomach. When the LES becomes compromised it can weaken and allow stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. There usually is not a single cause that leads to this happening often, but you are more likely to have or develop GERD if you meet one or more of the following criteria:
The major symptoms of GERD are similar to acid reflux but happen more often. Those symptoms include:
You should make an appointment with your gastroenterologist today if you experience any of these symptoms frequently and are in pain, or if you take over the counter heartburn medication more than twice a week.
Treatments to prevent or relieve GERD include:
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