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Acid Reflux (G.E.R.D)

Acid reflux is a digestive disorder characterized by acidic stomach juices traveling upward from the stomach into the esophagus. It may cause an acidic taste when you burp after a meal. It can also cause a burning sensation that worsens when you lie down.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a disorder that involves a part of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is the ring of muscle that separates the stomach and the esophagus. During digestion, the LES opens to let food pass into the stomach then closes to prevent food and stomach juices from flowing back up. One of the primary causes of GERD is a weakened LES.

Causes and Risk Factors

Your lifestyle and diet may contribute to your GERD symptoms. Fried food, fatty food, coffee, chocolate, and alcoholic beverages can all trigger reflux and heartburn.

Several conditions can increase your risk of developing GERD, including:

  • A hiatal hernia or a bulging of the upper stomach through the diaphragm opening

  • Pregnancy

  • Obesity

  • Connective tissue disorders

  • Drinking and smoking