Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disease.
GERD occurs when stomach acid or, occasionally, stomach content, flows back into your food pipe (esophagus). The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of esophagus and causes GERD.
Both acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time.
When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with daily life, or when doctor can see damage to esophagus, may be diagnosed with GERD.
*Sings and symptoms*
GERD signs and symptoms include:
*.A burning sensation in chest (heartburn), sometimes spreading to throat, along with a sour taste in mouth
*.Chest pain
*.Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
*.Dry cough
*.Hoarseness or sore throat
*.Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)
*.Sensation of a lump in throat.
GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux — the backup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus.
When swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again.
*Risk Factors*
Conditions that can increase risk of GERD include:
*.Bulging of top of stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
*.Dry mouth
*.Delayed stomach emptying
*.Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma.
Over time, chronic inflammation in esophagus can lead to complications, including:
*.Narrowing of the esophagus (esophageal stricture). *.Damage to cells in the lower esophagus from acid exposure leads to formation of scar tissue. The scar tissue narrows the food pathway, causing difficulty swallowing.
*.An open sore in the esophagus (esophageal ulcer). Stomach acid can severely erode tissues in the esophagus, causing an open sore to form. The esophageal ulcer may bleed, cause pain and make swallowing difficult.
*.Precancerous changes to the esophagus (Barrett’s esophagus). In Barrett’s esophagus, the tissue lining the lower esophagus changes. These changes are associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer. The risk of cancer is low, but will likely recommend regular endoscopy exams to look for early warning signs of esophageal cancer.

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Updated: November 23, 2017 — 2:59 pm

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