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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that leads from your throat to your stomach. A one-way valve prevents the stomach acid from backing up into this tube. But when you have GERD, this valve does not close tightly enough. This can also cause pain and swelling in your esophagus. (This is called esophagitis.)
If you have mild GERD symptoms including heartburn, you may be able to control the problem with antacids or over-the-counter medicine. You can also make lifestyle changes to help reduce your symptoms. These include changing your diet and eating habits, such as not eating late at night and losing weight.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: February 10, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Thomas M. Bailey MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Arvydas D. Vanagunas MD - Gastroenterology
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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