Reflux means that stomach acid and juices move back up into your esophagus, the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. This can cause heartburn, ulcers, and damage to your esophagus. When you have heartburn that bothers you often, it's called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
You can treat GERD with lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and making changes in your diet to avoid foods that make your heartburn worse. Your doctor may also suggest medicines.
Last Revised: November 2, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter J. Kahrilas, MD - Gastroenterology
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