Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease—Overview

(Chronic Heartburn; Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease [GORD]; GERD; Reflux)

See also:


Heartburn is a burning sensation behind the breastbone. It is caused by many different conditions. However, periodic heartburn does not mean there is a problem. Chronic heartburn, with or without other digestive symptoms more than 2 times per week for several weeks, may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux irritates the esophagus, which can cause permanent damage over the course of time.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
si1347 97870 1 gerd
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscular ring between the esophagus and the stomach. It relaxes to let food pass into the stomach, then closes shut to prevent it from backing up. Certain conditions can keep this muscle from closing completely, which allows acid to flow upward, causing heartburn.These conditions may include:
  • Problems with the nerves that control the LES
  • Problems with LES muscle tone
  • Impaired peristalsis—muscular contractions that propel food toward the stomach
  • Abnormal pressure on the LES
  • Increased relaxation of the LES
  • Increased pressure within the abdomen
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »