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Acid Reflux vs. GERD
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When working properly the LES
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Hi, I'm Doctor Matt Foster and I'm here today to talk about the differences between acid reflux and GERD for about.com.

Difference Between GERD and Acid Reflux

It can be confusing when trying to differentiate between the terms acid reflux and GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is because acid reflux is a condition that can cause GERD, a disease, but the terms are often used incorrectly in relation to each other.

Acid Reflux Facts

Basically, acid reflux is what happens when stomach acid rises out of the stomach, past the LES and into the esophagus. The LES or lower esophageal sphincter is the ring of muscle that serves to block the contents of the stomach from rising up into the esophagus. When working properly, it remains tight, except to allow food down into the stomach.

Acid reflux is often accompanied by the symptom of heartburn, but this is not always the case. It may also bring up a sour or acidic taste into the back of your throat, or it may produce almost no symptoms. Most people experience acid reflux at some point, however, it is generally something that happens only on rare occasions to most people.

GERD Facts

GERD, on the other hand, is a chronic digestive disease that leaves the LES in a relaxed state, allowing stomach acid to rise up and even remain in the esophagus. GERD is usually accompanied by heartburn and is caused by acid reflux.

If you suffer from GERD, visit your doctor. There are many medications available for those suffering from this condition. These can alleviate symptoms and prevent GERD from causing worsening damage over time.

Thank you for watching and for more information about heartburn, check us out at health.About.com.
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