All About Acid Reflux

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease, often referred to by the acronym GERD, is a medical condition becoming more and more common and which presently afflicts up to 20 million Americans.

Even small babies can suffer from GERD, and it can produce very distressing symptoms. These symptoms vary with individuals, while infantile GERD may present different symptoms to those seen in adults.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease [GERD] is a chronic medical condition caused by an abnormal state of the lower esophageal sphincter which is composed of a band of muscle. This surrounding muscle relaxes when we swallow to allow food to enter the stomach, after which it closes again. For people who experience GERD the sphincter is weakened, allowing the return of stomach acid back into the esophagus.

This stomach acid, though tolerated by the tough lining of the stomach, can be damaging to the delicate tissue of the esophagus. The damaging acid can even be regurgitated as far up as the mouth and can cause damage there.