What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
GERD is a serious form of gastroesophageal reflux (GER). GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices, called acids, in the throat rise with the food or fluid.
GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices, called acids, rise in the throat with the food or fluid. When this happens, food or fluid can be tasted in the back of the mouth. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it may cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn or acid indigestion. Occasional GER is common and does not necessarily mean one has GERD.
Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered GERD and can eventually lead to more serious health problems. Overall, 10 to 20 percent of Americans experience GERD symptoms every day, making it one of the most common medical conditions. People of all ages can have GERD.
Over-the-counter, acid-reducing agents called antacids often relieve GERD symptoms.
Source: AMA Complete Encyclopedia, Copyright 2003, American Medical Association
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