GERD Awareness Week
Medical Editor: Leslie J. Schoenfield, M.D., Ph.D.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, or acid reflux, is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up, or refluxes) into the esophagus. The liquid can damage the lining of the esophagus, causing inflammation (esophagitis), although this occurs in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach. (Pepsin is an enzyme that begins the digestion of proteins in the stomach.) The refluxed liquid also may contain bile that has backed-up into the stomach from the duodenum. (The duodenum is the first part of the small intestine that attaches to the stomach.) Acid is believed to be the most injurious component of the refluxed liquid. Pepsin and bile also may injure the esophagus, but their role in the production of symptoms and esophageal damage (esophagitis) is not as clear as the role of acid.
Symptoms of uncomplicated GERD include
Complications of GERD include:
GERD At A Glance
For more information about GERD, please visit the MedicineNet.com GERD Center.
Last Editorial Review: 10/31/2002
- Allergic Skin Disorders
- Bacterial Skin Diseases
- Bites and Infestations
- Diseases of Pigment
- Fungal Skin Diseases
- Medical Anatomy and Illustrations
- Noncancerous, Precancerous & Cancerous Tumors
- Oral Health Conditions
- Papules, Scales, Plaques and Eruptions
- Scalp, Hair and Nails
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
- Vascular, Lymphatic and Systemic Conditions
- Viral Skin Diseases
- Additional Skin Conditions