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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid or bile flows back into the esophagus. This backflow of acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat, known as heartburn. GERD can also cause other symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. GERD is a common condition, affecting up to 20% of the population. Treatment for GERD typically involves lifestyle changes, such as avoiding certain foods and eating smaller meals, as well as medications to reduce stomach acid.
All of the following must be considered when interpreting clinical findings and are too extensive to be covered on this site: