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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and acid reflux, is a chronic condition of mucosal damage caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the esophagus.
Occasional reflux causes heartburn, but chronic reflux leads to reflux esophagitis, GERD, and sometimes Barrett's esophagus.
GERD is usually caused by changes in the junction between the stomach and the esophagus, including abnormal relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally holds the top of the stomach closed, impaired expulsion of gastric reflux from the esophagus, or a hiatal hernia.
These changes may be permanent or temporary.