Medical Dictionary: GERD


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GERD: Another name for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
GERD (condition): Repeated reflux of stomach acid into the throat.
GERD (condition): 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.

GERD: 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

More information on medical condition: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:



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

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