Question

GERD

How do GERD and heartburn affect the body?

A Answers (2)

  • Common symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease are heartburn and/or acid regurgitation. Heartburn is a burning sensation felt behind the breastbone that occurs when stomach contents irritate the normal lining of the esophagus. Acid regurgitation is the sensation of stomach fluid coming up through the chest, which may reach the mouth. Less common symptoms that may also be associated with gastroesophageal reflux include unexplained chest pain, wheezing, sore throat and cough, among others. You should see your doctor immediately if you have symptoms such as unexplained weight loss, trouble swallowing, or internal bleeding in addition to heartburn and/or acid regurgitation. Symptoms that persist after you have made simple lifestyle changes also warrant a visit to your doctor. In addition, if you use over-the-counter medications regularly to reduce symptoms such as heartburn or acid regurgitation, you should consult a physician to determine the best course of treatment for you.

  • AJames Rosser, MD, Surgery, answered
    Heartburn occurs when the faulty valve (lower esophageal sphincter) responsible for keeping acid containing food in the stomach fails to do its job, and acid-laden contents are allowed to reflux into the esophagus (food tube). If heartburn persists, it can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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