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Acid Reflux (GERD)

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Frequent acid reflux can result in a number of symptoms as well as irritation of the lining of the esophagus. Acid reflux occurs when the valve at the end of the esophagus doesn’t always close properly, and a backwash of acid flows back up through the esophagus. Conditions such as a hiatal hernia or pregnancy can cause the stomach to extend above the diaphragm and increase acid reflux symptoms.

  • Common symptoms of GERD include:
  • Heartburn or chest pain
  • Sour taste in the mouth or regurgitation
  • Sore throat
  • Chronic cough or hoarseness of speech

A few alarming symptoms of GERD include the following. These should be assessed by a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

  • Trouble swallowing or painful swallowing
  • Food getting stuck in the throat
  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Regurgitating or vomiting blood

How is GERD Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing GERD symptoms, be sure to bring this up with your doctor. They will be able to diagnose GERD based on a history and physical exam. If your GERD symptoms are persistent, an upper endoscopy and other testing may be needed to assess the severity of GERD, manage symptoms, and screen for and treat GERD complications. Upper endoscopies are performed by gastroenterology specialists.

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