Search

GERD Center

What is GERD?

GERD
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic condition that can affect people of all ages, including infants and children. Once GERD begins, it usually is life-long. In fact, estimates suggest that GERD affects about 20% of the adult American population, mostly those in their forties or older. But what is GERD? What causes acid reflux? And what are some of the risk factors associated with this common digestive condition?

What is GERD?
GERD or acid reflux, is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates, backs up, or refluxes into the esophagus. The stomach is filled with acid to help digest food and is built to handle the acid it produces. However, the esophagus isn't. So when acid backs up into your esophagus, it can cause the burning sensation known as heartburn. This action can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus. It is the reflux of acid into the esophagus that produces symptoms of GERD and potential damage to the esophagus.

GERD is caused by both behavioral and physical conditions.  Learn more about how and why acid reflux causes GERD and how can you avoid these factors. Plus, what puts someone at risk of developing GERD?  Learn more about GERD causes and risk factors here.

NEXT: Causes and Risk Factors >>