Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – Symptoms and causes

Overview

How heartburn and GERD occur

How GERD occurs in the esophagus

How heartburn and GERD occur

Acid reflux occurs when the sphincter muscleman at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong fourth dimension, allowing digest acid to back up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn and other signs and symptoms. Frequent or changeless reflux can lead to gastroesophageal ebb disease ( GERD ) .
Gastroesophageal ebb disease ( GERD ) occurs when abdomen acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach ( esophagus ). This slipstream ( acidic ebb ) can irritate the line of your esophagus .
many people experience acidic ebb from time to prison term. GERD is meek acerb ebb that occurs at least twice a workweek, or moderate to severe acerb 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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Symptoms

common 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 acid ebb, you might besides experience :

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

When to see a doctor

Seek contiguous checkup care if you have chest pain, particularly if you besides have shortness of breath, or chew the fat or weapon pain. These may be signs and symptoms of a affection attack .
Make an date 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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Causes

GERD is caused by patronize acid ebb .
When you swallow, a circular dance band of brawn 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, abdomen acid can flow back up into your esophagus. This changeless aftermath of acerb 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 acidic reflux 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

Complications

Over prison term, 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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