Frequently feel a burning in your chest or get a sour taste at the back of your throat, particularly after eating?
Heartburn is a classic symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this condition, the drawstring-like muscle at the top of the stomach doesn’t work as well as it should. This allows the acidic stomach contents to ‘back up’ the esophagus (swallowing tube).
The symptoms, which can include regurgitation, chest pain, and chronic cough, can disrupt sleep, and compromise quality of life.
If you experience these symptoms two or more times per week, and they disrupt your day-to-day life, you may have GERD. Over the course of many years, chronic exposure to stomach acid can cause changes in the esophagus that increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
Fortunately, it’s usually possible to get GERD under control.
A big thank-you to the expert interviewee who so generously shared his time and expertise:
For more information on GERD visit the Canadian Digestive Health Foundation’s website: CDHF.ca