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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): What You Need to Know

When stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, it can cause a burning sensation known as heartburn. If symptoms occur several days a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, (GERD) - also known as acid reflux disease. This chronic condition can irritate the lining of your esophagus.


Heartburn and acid regurgitation (may cause a sour or bitter taste), persistent cough, snoring, and breathlessness.

Who gets it

One-third of the population in the U.S.

Gastroesophageal Reflux DiseaseTreatment

Acid reflux can be treated by simple lifestyle changes:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals - large meals expand your stomach and increase pressure on the esophagus.
  • Limit intake of such acid-stimulating foods as orange juice, and fatty foods like french fries and ice cream.
  • Don't lie down for about two hours after you eat -gravity helps digestion
  • Elevate the head of your bed a few inches while you sleep.
  • Maintain a reasonable weight.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Relax! Stress can trigger symptoms.
  • Over-the-counter and prescription medications can also help.