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What Is GERD?
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Many people will experience acid reflux at one time or another, which is a health condition that occurs when acid from your stomach flows backward into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that's located between the stomach and the mouth. While acid reflux can occur for any number of reasons, GERD is a problematic condition that is diagnosed when acid reflux develops two or more times per week.

What is GERD?

If you experience a mild form of acid reflux twice per week or more, you're likely suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease. Moderate or severe forms of acid reflux will need to happen at a rate of once per week for you to be diagnosed with GERD. While this condition can be frustrating to deal with and will cause irritation with the lining of the esophagus, some standard over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes may be enough to get rid of the symptoms that you're experiencing. The main symptoms of GERD include:

  • Heartburn after you eat

  • Difficulties with swallowing

  • Chest pain

  • Regurgitating food or a sour liquid

What Causes GERD?

GERD is directly caused by cases of acid reflux that occur on a regular basis. As for acid reflux, this issue can be brought about by eating large meals, being obese or overweight, and eating foods right before you go to bed. The main risk factors associated with GERD include a hiatal hernia, scleroderma or similar connective tissue disorders, and pregnancy.

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How is GERD Treated?

While GERD can be frustrating to live with, there are numerous treatment options that can help you manage the symptoms. For instance, over-the-counter medications like antacids should be able to reduce your symptoms. The same is true of certain prescription medications like proton pump inhibitors or H-2 receptor blockers. Some of the lifestyle changes that you can make to combat GERD include stopping smoking, losing weight, and eating food slowly. If you need help in identifying the right treatments, schedule an appointment today.

A whiteboard explainer video on GERD.
What is GERD?