Brief Explanation of What is GERD?
There are many words
thrown to describe this condition and that is a part of the
confusion. Whether you call it heartburn, GERD, reflux or acid
reflux it does not matter, as it is the same exact thing. What
I want you to take away is that any information that you come
across which pertains to any of the above is worth checking out
since you have
It all starts with a meal that is chewed and
makes its way down to the stomach. That food is then worked on
in order to break it down to extract any nutrients, vitamins
and what have you. If what you just ate is calorie heavy fast
food than all that energy spent does not get replaced with
anything worthwhile. Since the stomach isn’t strong enough to
do all of the work by itself, it produces gastric juices and
enzymes which relieve some of the muscular action by helping
out. The most notable ones are pepsin and hydrochloric acid
which directly break down the
everything is working correctly than the sphincter stays closed
to stop the food from wondering in the wrong direction and
escaping its fate. The sphincter is located between the
sphincter or LES which is also called
the stomach and the esophagus, also known as the throat. It
should only open when the food is coming down and as long as it
does we have no worries.
heartburn, this activity changes. The pain comes from excess
acid splashing past an inhibited, malfunctioning or weakened
LES. This either happens
during the actual digestion or after the food has made its way
out of the stomach. There are many reasons why the sphincter
can become damaged but the results experienced are the same.
The acid goes up into throat and irritates the mucosa, which is
the most sensitive lining of the esophagus.
This activity is one with such strong
erosive qualities that the mucosa cannot withstand it and
can become very damaged over time. It can have erosions,
scar tissue or inflammation and if left untreated long
enough turn into esophageal cancer. The statistics here
are not great and it is better to make some lifestyle
changes and get out of the harm’s way as it is not a
chance you want to take.