• The esophagus carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter is a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach.
  • Gastro Esophageal reflux disease, or GORD, is a disease that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus.
  • When refluxed stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even be tasted in the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion.
  • Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GORD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GORD, and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.
  • Your heartburn happens 2 or more times a week
  • Your heartburn gets worse
  • Your heartburn happens at night and wakes you from sleep
  • You’ve had heartburn now and then, but for several years
  • You have difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Your discomfort or pain interferes with your daily activities

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