Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

When the stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth—this is known as acid indigestion. Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain just behind the breastbone.
recommended reading
These articles provide in-depth information and are written to help you make the best healthcare decisions for you and your loved ones.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

decision points
When dealing with an illness or health problem, you have to make decisions—when to call a doctor, which test to have, and what treatment to use. Decision Points are designed to help you learn about your choices and options, and to prepare you to work with your healthcare provider to make the best decision for your care.
Should I use medications or surgery to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

action sets
Action Sets are designed to help you take an active role in managing a health condition. Action Sets provide the tools and information you can use in the day-to-day management of your health conditions.
Lifestyle modifications for gastroesophageal reflux disease
tests & procedures

You doctor may recommend one or more of the following tests to evaluate your condition.

Esophagus Testing
Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Upper Gastrointestinal (UGI) Series

For other tests and diagnostic procedures use the section of this site called Medical Tests A to Z .

RELATED TOPICS
Heartburn
Hiatal Hernia
Smoking Cessation
medication center
medication assistance

This section provides you with an alphabetical listing of more than 1,000 medications, including prescription drugs and those you can purchase over-the-counter. Just "click on" your medications to learn what they are used for, how to take them, special precautions, and some of the possible side effects. You can choose your medication by brand name or generic name.

Medications A-Z

If you are having difficulty paying for your medications you may qualify for financial assistance or free medications. Visit the Medication Assistance Center to learn about available medication and insurance programs.

Don't let financial problems stop you from getting the treatment you need; there are resources and organizations that may be able to help you.

additional resources

This listing provides you with Internet sites that are sponsored by government agencies or are well-known and credible national organizations.

American College of Gastroenterology
Kids Acid Reflux
MEDLINEplus—Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
National Heartburn Alliance
Teens Acid Reflux

Surfing the Internet
When looking at Internet sites, remember that the information can be sponsored by anyone. Take into account the sponsoring group or individual when gathering information or help. Be especially careful about giving out personal or financial information.

Learn more about surfing the web:

INFORMACIÓN EN ESPAÑOL
Dolor en el abdomen (barriga) - [Abdominal Pain]
Acidez - [Heartburn]

Last modified on: 30 June 2015

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