What is Gerd?

By: William Lagadyn

Gerd or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease affects millions of people each year. This catch-all term encompasses a wide array of complaints ranging from "acid stomach", belching, nausea, bloating, distention, heartburn, hoarseness, esophagitis, gastritis, acid reflux, and asthma-like symptoms.

If you look in a medical encyclopedia that is only a few years old you will not find the word GERD or the term "Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease". However you can break the phrase up into separate words and find the definition for each.

GASTROESOPHAGEAL - Pertaining to the stomach or the esophagus.

REFLUX - A backward flow; regurgitation.

DISEASE - Any interruption of the normal function of any body organ, part, or system that presents an abnormal state.

In other words you have an abnormal function of the stomach or esophagus that is causing reflux.

Indigestion and belching would be considered an abnormal function of the stomach and can make a person feel out-of-sorts or not feeling so well for a short time. If a condition is only temporary how can the medical community label it as a disease? The truth of the matter is, it is not a disease. It is a condition that can be corrected once you find the root cause.

Belching is a natural function of the human body and it happens to every person on the planet without exception. This is also know as reflux!

The stomach is approximately 10 to 12 inches long and approximately 5 inches wide. It holds between 2 and 3 pints of liquid and when food or drink enter our stomach it displaces the liquid contents and the level of liquid rises which increases stomach pressure.

The increased stomach pressure is now exerting more pressure on the Lower Esophageal Sphincter valve. This increase in pressure will force the Lower Esophageal Sphincter valve open and allow the reflux of acidic stomach gases to enter the esophagus. If you feel pain or a burning sensation in the chest cavity when these gases enter the esophagus it is an indication that you have some esophageal damage. This damage is usually in the form of tiny cuts or lesions to the delicate cells of the esophagus, however it can be corrected within 3 or 4 days by eliminating some foods that are causing the problem.

The esophagus or feeding tube is approximately 10 inches long and about 1inch wide and tends to expand when these stomach gases reflux into it. This will cause chest pressure and can even radiate to your left arm or your back. When the acidic stomach gases are present in your esophagus you might also experience a feeling of a lump in your throat near the Adam's apple. This is referred to as Globus Sensation and is quickly relieved once the gases overcome the Upper Esophageal Sphincter and you belch.

To find the root cause of these problems you need to know why your stomach has increased pressure that is causing the reflux. Although there are many things that can cause an increase in stomach pressure the most common one is a person's pH balance is too acidic. The symptoms of being too acidic are belching, bloating and flatulence more than normal. Copyright 2006-2007

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