occurs when a small valve (the lower esophageal sphincter or LES) between the stomach and esophagus leaks, causing digestive fluids and stomach acid to back up from the stomach into the esophagus. This acid can irritate the esophagus leading to symptoms. GERD can also damage the delicate lining on the inside of the esophagus, leading to more serious problems in some patients.
- Frequent heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD and often occurs after meals. It is often described as an uncomfortable rising, burning sensation behind the breastbone.
- Other major symptoms of GERD are:
regurgitation of gastric acid or sour contents in to the mouth,
difficult and/or painful swallowing and chest pain.
If you frequently experience heartburn or other symptoms, see your doctor.