Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – Symptoms and causes


How heartburn and GERD occur

How GERD occurs in the esophagus

How heartburn and GERD occur

Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the amiss time, allowing stomach acidic to back up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other signs and symptoms. Frequent or constant ebb can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD ) .
Gastroesophageal ebb disease ( GERD ) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your talk and digest ( esophagus ). This aftermath ( acerb reflux ) can irritate the line of your esophagus .
many people experience acidic ebb from clock to time. GERD is mild acerb ebb that occurs at least doubly a workweek, or moderate to severe acid ebb that occurs at least once a week.

Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with life style changes and over-the-counter medications. But some people with GERD may need stronger medications or operating room to ease symptoms .

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coarse signs and symptoms of GERD include :

  • A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Sensation of a lump in your throat

If you have night acidic ebb, you might besides experience :

  • Chronic cough
  • Laryngitis
  • New or worsening asthma
  • Disrupted sleep

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate checkup wish if you have chest trouble, particularly if you besides have shortness of hint, or chew or sleeve pain. These may be signs and symptoms of a heart attack .
Make an appointment with your doctor if you :

  • Experience severe or frequent GERD symptoms
  • Take over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week

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GERD is caused by frequent acerb ebb .
When you swallow, a circular band of muscle around the bottom of your esophagus ( lower esophageal sphincter ) relax to allow food and liquid to flow into your stomach. then the sphincter closes again .
If the sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus. This changeless wake of acidic irritates the lining of your esophagus, often causing it to become inflame .

Risk factors

Conditions that can increase your risk of GERD include :

  • Obesity
  • Bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
  • Pregnancy
  • Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma
  • Delayed stomach emptying

Factors that can aggravate acerb ebb include :

  • Smoking
  • Eating large meals or eating late at night
  • Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
  • Taking certain medications, such as aspirin


Over clock time, chronic inflammation in your esophagus can cause :

  • Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture). Damage to the lower esophagus from stomach acid causes scar tissue to form. The scar tissue narrows the food pathway, leading to problems with swallowing.
  • An open sore in the esophagus (esophageal ulcer). Stomach acid can wear away tissue in the esophagus, causing an open sore to form. An esophageal ulcer can bleed, cause pain and make swallowing difficult.
  • Precancerous changes to the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus). Damage from acid can cause changes in the tissue lining the lower esophagus. These changes are associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

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