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What is acid reflux disease, and what are its serious consequences?

ANSWER

Three out of every 10 people get heartburn on occasion, so it can be somewhat arbitrary to decide when heartburn should be called acid reflux disease.

Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux disease is a chronic irritation of the lining of a person's esophagus by stomach acid. Usually, it's just annoying. GERD can, however, have serious consequences, including esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a condition that makes cancer of the esophagus more likely.

From: Diagnosing Acid Reflux Disease WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES: American Association of Family Physicians: "Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Diagnosis and management." American Gastroenterological Association: "Heartburn." Cleveland Clinic: "Esophageal manometry test." Cleveland Clinic: "24-hr pH monitoring." New York University Medical Center: "pH monitoring."




Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 5, 2018

WAS THIS ANSWER HELPFUL

SOURCES: American Association of Family Physicians: "Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Diagnosis and management." American Gastroenterological Association: "Heartburn." Cleveland Clinic: "Esophageal manometry test." Cleveland Clinic: "24-hr pH monitoring." New York University Medical Center: "pH monitoring."




Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 5, 2018

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