You may have heard of acid reflux, or heartburn. These are typically used to describe the symptoms that one experiences when they have GERD.
GERD, which stands for "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease," is when an individual experiences stomach acid that comes up into their oesophagus. Gastroesophageal Reflux, or GER, is defined as the return of the content of the stomach and/or the duodenum into the esophagus. It is a physiologic phenomenon, which, in normal conditions, occurs after eating and is asymptomatic. When the number and duration of daily reflux episodes increase, symptoms and/or lesions appear in the mucosae which results in GERD.
Such reflux may consist of food recently consumed, or of gastric content under empty stomach conditions. It may also consist of both at the same time. Sometimes, individuals are aware of reflux, but most of the time the sensory system will not detect it. This will depend on the chemical-physical properties of the reflux material, the distance traveled by it, and the esophageal sensitivity. Sometimes it may reach the upper airway without being detected and cause respiratory disorders such as cough, bronchial spasms, and pharyngitis. This is typically called "silent reflux."
There are many signs of having GERD, or any kind of gastroesophageal reflux. While it may just seem like an inconvenience, it can cause numerous problems in both your stomach, throat, and mouth. Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
Do you belch repeatedly?
Do you have heartburn, or suffer from gastritis?
Do you often feel pain behind your breastbone?
Do you usually have an acidity feeling, or feel like you have an acidic taste in your mouth?
Do you throw up often?
These are all signs that you may have GERD, or are experiencing a form of acid reflux. This may require additional medical attention to be sure and have the issues addressed.
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