Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or more commonly GERD, is a common digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (or LES), which is the ring of muscle that lies between the esophagus and the stomach. The most common symptoms of GERD are heartburn or acid indigestion. These occur when the LES is weak and even though it opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, it doesn’t close properly, allowing food and acidic stomach juices to reflux, or return, back up into the esophagus.
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Typically, GERD symptoms occur after eating, and in most cases, symptoms lessen due to the adoption of a healthy diet and lifestyle changes. However, medication and surgery can be recommended in extreme cases of GERD.
The 15 most common symptoms of GERD are…
Dyspepsia, more commonly known as indigestion, causes mild to severe stomach pain, most typically following meals. “Reflux can cause a narrowing of the throat due to damage and scarring, so food is actually being held up on its way down,” says Josh Murray, MD, to Prevention. This can be extremely uncomfortable. Prevention describes it as “feeling like your food has grown claws and is raking at your throat as it heads toward your stomach.” Ouch!