If you buy something through a link on this page, we may earn a small commission. How this works. Acid reflux is a common condition that features a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. It happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux occurs more than twice a week. Exact figures vary, but diseases resulting from acid reflux are the most common gut complaint seen by hospital departments in the United States. The American College of Gastroenterology says that over 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and at least 15 million as often as daily. GERD is most common in Western countries, affecting an estimated 20 to 30 percent of the population. Acid reflux is when some of the acid content of the stomach flows up into the esophagus, into the gullet, which moves food down from the mouth.
This means no naps after lunch, and no late suppers or midnight snacks. It tends to get worse when lying down or bending over. Any reflux is then relatively harmless as it consists of alginic acid and not damaging stomach acid. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. Complications of gastroesophageal reflux in adults. Check if you have acid reflux The main symptoms of acid reflux are: heartburn — a burning sensation in the middle of your chest an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid You may also have: a cough or hiccups that keep coming back a hoarse voice bad breath bloating and feeling sick Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over. Call if your stools are maroon or tar-black or you vomit material that is black and resembles coffee grounds or bloody.
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