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Acid Reflux
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Acid reflux - Heartburn / GERD

From MayoClinic.com

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DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Diseases & Conditions  

Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal phenomenon. It typically occurs transiently after eating. Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the condition where degree of exposure of esophageal mucosa to gastric contents is greater than normal. The most common symptom is heartburn but patients may have other symptoms.

You've just eaten a big meal and leaned back in your favorite chair. Then it happens. Your chest starts to hurt so much it feels like it's on fire.

You may experience a sour taste and the sensation of food re-entering your mouth (regurgitation). It results from gastroesophageal reflux, a condition in which stomach acid or, occasionally, bile salts back up into your food pipe (esophagus). When there's also evidence of esophageal irritation or inflammation, you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter blocks most acid from coming up into the esophagus. This circular band of muscle at the lower end of the esophagus doesn't open except when you swallow. If the sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can back up and cause heartburn.

Most people can manage the discomfort of heartburn with lifestyle modifications, such as improved diet, over-the-counter antacids and weight loss. But if  heartburn is severe, these remedies may offer only temporary or partial relief. You may need newer, more potent medications to reduce symptoms.

 

 

 

 

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This information is provided for general medical education purposes only and is not meant to substitute for the independent medical judgment of a physician relative to diagnostic and treatment options of a specific patient's medical condition.
In no event will The DrEddyClinic.com be liable for any decision made or action taken in reliance upon the information provided through this web site.

 

 



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Last Modified : 05/14/08 07:33 AM