GERD, Heartburn and Acid Reflux

As food enters the stomach there is a valve made of muscular tissue. In normal circumstances, this valve closes as soon as food enters it. If this valve does not close all the way or opens too often, acid from your stomach can travel up into your esophagus. When this occurs you may feel symptoms such as burning or heartburn. If this happens more than two times a week, it is considered to be acid reflux disease, also known as GERD or GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease.

Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart (although some of the symptoms may be similar to a heart attack). Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus caused by acid that travels up from the stomach. Heartburn may also be a symptom of GERD.

Acid reflux disease is a chronic irritation of the lining of your esophagus by stomach acid. Symptoms may include pain, difficulty swallowing, burping, heartburn, hoarseness, sore throat or cough.