Hiatal Hernia, Heartburn & Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It occurs when the lower sphincter (ring-shaped muscle) on the esophagus (the "swallowing tube" that leads from the mouth to the stomach) does not close properly, and stomach contents splash back, or reflux, into the esophagus. When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. Anyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GERD. In most cases, heartburn can be relieved through diet and lifestyle changes; however, some people may require medication or surgery. This pamphlet provides information on GERD-its causes, symptoms, treatment, and long-term complications.
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