Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Do you have heartburn more than two times a week? If so, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This condition usually develops when there is a problem with the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. When this occurs, acidic stomach juices can flow back up into the esophagus more frequently than normal, leading to symptoms like chest pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing.
Risk factors can include pregnancy, alcohol, and stress, among others. Over time, GERD can lead to bleeding, the formation of ulcers, or scarring and narrowing of the esophagus.
(To read the full eMedTV article that discusses gastroesophageal reflux disease and its causes, diagnosis, and treatment options, click GERD.)