What causes gastroesophageal reflux disease?
GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux. When you swallow, a circular band of muscle around the bottom of your esophagus (lower esophageal sphincter) relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow into your stomach.
Can heartburn be a sign of something serious?
Many people think nothing of it. Pop a Tums in your mouth and go on with your day. But frequent heartburn can lead to more serious medical conditions. Heartburn can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Barrett’s Esophagus and, in a very small number of individuals, esophageal cancer.
How does GERD affect the digestive system?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract is not functioning properly, causing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube linking the mouth to the stomach. In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this backflow is ongoing.
Can acid reflux make you sick?
People who have acid reflux often experience a sour taste in their mouth from stomach acids. The taste, along with the frequent burping and coughing associated with reflux and GERD, can create nausea and even vomiting in some cases.