Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What is it?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a severe form of indigestion, or heartburn, that’s caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. It usually occurs after eating fried or fatty foods, citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, and caffeine-containing products.

Who's at Risk?

Almost everyone experiences heartburn at one time or another. Rarely is it life threatening.


Chest pain, which is often described as a burning feeling, lasts for several minutes and is usually made worse after bending forward or lying flat. Some individuals have a bitter taste in their mouth and the feeling that food is coming back into their mouth. Rarely, pain is felt between the shoulder blades or in the teeth or jaw.


Your physician may be able to diagnose GERD by testing the amount of acid in your esophagus. Ambulatory acid (pH) probe tests use a device to measure acid over a 48-hour period. The tests show when and for how long stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) Health Tips Video

This condition is a chronic digestive disease that results in a painful irritation in the esophagus. It occurs when food or liquid escapes the stomach and pushes upward into the esophagus.