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Ragui Sadek
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Anatomy of swallowing food

When we swallow, our food travels down the esophagus to the stomach. When the food enters the stomach, a valve or ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closes to keep the food in the stomach.

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is acid reflux that occasionally occurs when you eat spicy or acidic foods, fried or fatty foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Eating a large meal or eating before bedtime can cause these symptoms. Smoking and obesity contribute to the problem. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Heartburn can be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications designed to decrease stomach acid production.

Typical heartburn symptoms include:

  • a burning sensation in the chest that can last for hours
  • a sensation of pressure or pain that gets worse when you lie down or bend over
  • an acid taste in the throat
  • a feeling that food or pills are stuck in your throat or the middle of your chest

What is Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)?
GERD is a chronic and often progressive disease where stomach acid and bile back up into the esophagus due to a weak LES. The acid irritates the esophagus and causes heartburn.

Persistent heartburn symptoms that occur several times a week and do not improve with over-the-counter medications and changes to your diet are GERD. In addition to heartburn, hallmarks of GERD are regurgitation and dysphagia, or a sensation that food is stuck in your esophagus.

GERD is a more serious condition that substantially impairs quality of life.

Left untreated, GERD can cause complications, including inflammation of the esophagus, pain, and a disease called Barrett’s Esophagus (BE), where the esophagus lining erodes. BE can lead to esophageal cancer. BE is more common in white men, people older than 50, smokers, and obese people.

 

Read more: https://www.bariatricsurgerynewjersey.com/acid-reflux/linx-reflux-management-system/

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