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Acid Reflux, GERD and Heartburn

Do you suffer from acid reflux or could it be GERD? Are acid reflux and GERD the same as heartburn? Get the basics about acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD.

What is Acid Reflux?

At the entrance to your stomach is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, as soon as food passes through, the LES closes shut. If the LES doesn't close all the way or if it opens more than it should, stomach acid can move up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as  heartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than a couple times a week, you likely have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What is GERD?

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Many people, including pregnant women, suffer from heartburn or acid indigestion caused by GERD. Doctors believe that some people suffer from GERD due to a condition called a hiatal hernia. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than a couple times a week, you likely have  gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid. This can create a burning discomfort in the upper abdomen or below the breast bone. Occasional heartburn isn't dangerous, but chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can sometimes lead to serious problems.

The Fairfield Medical Heartburn Center offers a thorough evaluation to pinpoint the exact cause of your symptoms. Finding the true cause of your symptoms is the first step towards relief of your discomfort or pain.