Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the contents of the stomach back up (reflux) into the esophagus. Acid irritates the esophagus and causes inflammation leading to a burning sensation. Smoking, obesity, pregnancy, and the use of certain medications increase the risk of GERD. Untreated GERD can lead to potentially serious conditions including esophagitis, esophageal stricture, Barrett's esophagus, and respiratory problems. Barrett's esophagus is a risk factor for esophageal cancer.
Text Reference: "Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.