What Is the Definition of "GERD"?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, a digestive disorder. GERD is caused by a malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, a circular muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus. When this muscle does not close properly, the stomach content may flow back into the esophagus.

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Full Answer

The main symptoms of GERD consist of heartburn and indigestion, according to WebMD, which can be relieved through medication. The causes for this condition include dietary or lifestyle choices and other disorders such as hiatal hernia. Cigarette smoke, fried and fatty foots, chocolate, peppermint, and drinks such as coffee or alcohol may trigger heartburn and acid reflux. Pregnancy and obesity increase the risk for GERD.

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