Acid Reflux Disease
Acid Reflux or Esophageal Reflux
Esophagus is the muscular tube that connects the throat to the stomach. The esophagus moves the food down towards the stomach using a muscular, wavelike movement called peristalsis. Normally the muscle at the junction of the stomach and esophagus blocks the backflow of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. If the lower esophageal sphincter is weak or defective, acid can wash up into the esophagus. This condition in which the acid from the stomach flows into the esophagus is called acid reflux. It is also abbreviated as GERD that stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux. This burning sensation often occurs when an affected person eats, bends or lies down. In some cases heartburn is accompanies by a bitter or sour taste in the back of the throat.
Impacts of Acid Reflux
Esophageal Stricture: Persistent esophageal reflux causes inflammation, ulceration on the esophagus lining. It may further cause the narrowing of the esophagus which is called esophageal stricture.
Dysphagia: Dysphagia is difficulty in swallowing. Acid reflux can cause bleeding too.
If left untreated for long, acid reflux increases the risk of esophageal cancer.