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 pain and swelling in your esophagus (esophagitis). 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. You can also change your eating habits, such as not eating late at night. Your doctor may also suggest medicines.
Current as of: September 8, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas MD - Gastroenterology & Steven J. Atlas MD, MPH - Internal Medicine