Introduction: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease


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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Reflux refers to the stomach acid rising up the "wrong way" back up the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. When this occurs chronically it is probably caused by Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Symptoms typically include recurrent heartburn, reflux, and regurgitation, but may also include chest pain, hoarseness or swallowing difficulty; see also other symptoms of GERD. Diagnosis of GERD requires consideration of other possible underlying conditions causing symptoms, such as hiatal hernia. Prolonged GERD can be associated with throat damage such as Barrett's esophagus and also stomach ulcers.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly, and stomach contents splash back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a camera shutter between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD, which can eventually lead to more serious health problems. 1

Researching symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Further information about the symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is available including a list of symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.

Misdiagnosis and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, underlying causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (possibly misdiagnosed), or research misdiagnosis of other diseases

Treatments for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Various information is available about treatments available for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, current research about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease treatments, or research treatments for other diseases.

Causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Research more detailed information about the causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, other possibly hidden causes of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or other general information about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Statistics and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: Various sources and calculations are available in statistics about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, prevalence and incidence statistics for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, and you can also research other medical statistics in our statistics center.

         Contents for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:

Footnotes:
1. excerpt from Heartburn, Hiatal Hernia, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): NIDDK

Last revision: May 27, 2003

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