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Digestive disorders

Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)- Introduction

More than 40% of all adults experience this uncomfortable, burning sensation at least once a month. For most, it is an occasional occurrence that is easily relieved with an over-the-counter antacid. But for others, heartburn is a daily struggle that has changed the way they live. Their lives, from what they eat to how they sleep, to the type of clothes they can wear.

What Really Is Heartburn?
Heartburn is frequently referred to as acid indigestion. It is generally described as a burning sensation in the chest, usually felt behind the breastbone and sometimes moves upward to the neck and throat. Heartburn may last as long as two to three hours and can occur after eating a large meal or when you bend over or lie flat. Smoking, caffeine and alcohol may increase the level of acid in your stomach, causing even more heartburn. While heartburn is typically not serious, but when accompanied by a sour-tasting fluid in your throat and difficulty swallowing, it can be more serious. Although ?heartburn? is often used to describe a variety of digestive problems, in medical terms, it is actually a symptom of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (This also is known as reflux disease). Other symptoms may also include regurgitation, difficulty swallowing and chronic coughing or wheezing. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GORD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GORD and it can eventually lead to more serious health problems.

So what is gastroesophageal reflux?
Gastro-Oesophageal reflux disease, or GORD, is a chronic disease that occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the oesophagus. Anyone, including infants, children, and pregnant women, can have GORD.


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