What is acid reflux?
Also called acid regurgitation, acid reflux is a common condition in which stomach acid flows backward up the esophagus (the tube carries food from the mouth to the stomach), causing symptoms such as a burning feeling in the chest (heartburn) and a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. These symptoms usually last a few hours after a meal and then go away. Most people experience acid reflux from time to time, usually after eating certain foods. Acid reflux that occurs more than twice a week is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a more serious condition that, left untreated, can lead to problems such as inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and a precancerous condition called Barrett’s esophagus. GERD can also worsen asthma, chronic cough, insomnia, and pulmonary fibrosis.
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