Acid Reflux

What is Acid Reflux?

Description/Overview

term-definitionAcid reflux is a condition of the gastrointestinal tract and esophagus. It occurs when gastric juices or stomach acids back up into a person’s esophagus. This condition may be a part of acid reflux disease, also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease. Acid reflux can also be referred to as heartburn.

Acid reflux is an extremely common condition. Anybody can suffer from acid reflux. However, it becomes more common as a person ages and is a common symptom that occurs during pregnancy. Being overweight or obese may also increase a person’s risk of suffering from acid reflex. Overeating, or eating fatty, spicy, or fried foods can also sometimes trigger a person to suffer from acid reflux.

When a person suffers from this condition, it is because stomach acid contacts the inner lining of the esophagus for a prolonged period of time. This can occur because the end of the esophagus, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, does not properly close off after food passes through the esophagus into the stomach. When that bottom part of the esophagus is not properly sealed, stomach acid can more easily travel up into the esophagus.

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Last Reviewed:
October 09, 2016
Last Updated:
May 30, 2017