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GERD

Also called: Gastroesophageal reflux disease
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Summary

Your esophagus is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) happens when a muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly. This allows stomach contents to leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus and irritate it.

You may feel a burning in the chest or throat called heartburn. Sometimes, you can taste stomach fluid in the back of the mouth. If you have these symptoms more than twice a week, you may have GERD. You can also have GERD without having heartburn. Your symptoms could include a dry cough, asthma symptoms, or trouble swallowing.

Anyone, including infants and children, can have GERD. If not treated, it can lead to more serious health problems. In some cases, you might need medicines or surgery. However, many people can improve their symptoms by

  • Avoiding alcohol and spicy, fatty or acidic foods that trigger heartburn
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Not eating close to bedtime
  • Losing weight if needed
  • Wearing loose-fitting clothes

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
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Diagnosis and Tests

  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) - PDF Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) - PDF Also in
  • Gastroesophageal reflux - slideshow (Medical Encyclopedia) Also in Spanish
  • (Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons) Also in
  • (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy) Also in

Related Issues

  • (American Academy of Family Physicians) Also in
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology) Also in
  • (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • (National Jewish Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute)
  • (American Academy of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery)

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  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

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  • (American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy)
  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health
  • (Society of American Gastrointestinal Endoscopic Surgeons)

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  • (Nemours Foundation)

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