What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)?
Do you often deal with heartburn and acid indigestion? While dealing with gastroesophageal reflux (GER) once in a while is common, if it happens more than twice a week for a few weeks, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Gastroesophageal reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disorder occurs when the contents from your stomach come back up into your esophagus, creating a very uncomfortable condition. Unfortunately, if not treated, GERD can lead to much more serious health problems later on.

The reason behind your GERD can be complicated, as it can involve multiple factors. GERD can be caused by a weak or malfunctioning lower esophageal sphincter, but other potential causes include smoking, pregnancy, hiatal hernia, obesity, diet, medications, hormone replacement therapy, impaired stomach function, and even genetics.

While sometimes there can be no apparent symptoms, some of the common signs and symptoms of GERD include:

• Heartburn
• Acid regurgitation/reflux
• Belching
• Bloating
• Sudden excess of saliva
• Pain in the abdomen and/or chest
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Difficulty or pain when swallowing
• Chronic cough
• Chronic sore throat
• Bad breath
• Laryngitis
• Constant throat clearing
• Inflammation of the gums
• Erosion of the enamel of the teeth
• Chronic asthma
• Wheezing

If you are experiencing heartburn two or more times a week, it is crucial that you see your doctor as soon as possible so you can possibly pinpoint the cause and find a treatment plan. You should also talk to a doctor if you are taking over-the-counter medication more than twice a week. If left untreated, complications can occur such as erosive esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal strictures, respiratory problems, and even esophageal cancer.

Do you have GERD and are looking for natural remedies to give you some relief? Check out our article on Salerno’s website to learn some of the natural ways you can find relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease.