Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD, Heartburn)
What Is It?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is commonly called heartburn. This digestive disorder most often causes a burning and sometimes squeezing sensation in the mid-chest.
In GERD, acid and digestive enzymes from the stomach flow backwards into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. This backward flow of stomach juices is called "reflux". These caustic stomach juices inflame the lining of the esophagus. If GERD is not treated, it can permanently damage the esophagus.