Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, usually occurs when there is a problem with the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach. Common symptoms of GERD include:
- Difficulty or painful swallowing
- Chest pain.
If you have heartburn two or more times a week, or if over-the-counter (OTC) medications aren't relieving your symptoms, you could have GERD. Left untreated, this condition can lead to bleeding, ulcers, or scarring of the esophagus. GERD is generally managed through lifestyle changes and medication. Surgery is recommended in extreme cases that do not respond to other forms of treatment.
(To learn more about this topic, including a detailed description of how this condition occurs, click GERD.)