Symptoms and Risks

What Is GERD?

Most people get heartburn once in a while, but if you have heartburn two or more times per week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a term used to describe chronic heartburn. Heartburn is caused by stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus (the narrow tube that connects the throat and the stomach). This so-called acid reflux occurs when the valve separating the esophagus and the stomach opens at an inappropriate time.  Read More


9 Reasons Not to Ignore GERD Symptoms

For the 19 million people who have a chronic form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), untreated symptoms can lead to a variety of health complications.   View slideshow


Surprising Heartburn Triggers

More than 60 million people get heartburn at least once a month. Sometimes the cause--say a chilidog--is obvious. Here are some less obvious heartburn triggers, including fish oil supplements, peppermint, and prescription medications.   View slideshow

5 Reasons Why Your Heartburn Medicine Isn't Working

If you have horrible, persistent heartburn, relief can be as simple as popping a pill once or twice a day. But they don’t work for everyone. You can still have “breakthrough” symptoms from time to time, when heartburn flares into an agonizing episode. Find out why heartburn meds can let you down—and what to do about it.  Read More


Sleeping Pills Make Acid Reflux Worse, Study Says

If you have heartburn, you may want to think twice before taking a sleeping pill for insomnia. A prescription sedative at bedtime may lull you into dreamland, but it may also increase your nighttime exposure to stomach acid, possibly damaging the cells lining the esophagus.  Read More