GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid content of the stomach backs up into the esophagus.  The cause of GERD is complex and may involve multiple causes.  GERD may damage the lining of the esophagus, thereby causing inflammation (esophagitis), although this is uncommon.

The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD include:

  • heartburn,
  • regurgitation, and
  • nausea.

Complications of GERD include:

  • ulcers and strictures of the esophagus,
  • Barrett’s esophagus,
  • cough and asthma,
  • throat and laryngeal inflammation,
  • inflammation and infection of the lungs, and
  • a collection of fluid in the sinuses and middle ear.

GERD may be diagnosed or evaluated by a variety of procedures and tests.  GERD may be treated with one or more of these:  life-style changes, diet, over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription drugs (for example, antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), pro-motility drugs), and surgery.