Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, affects an estimated 1 in 5 American adults. GERD occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus from the stomach. The lining of your esophagus is more delicate than the lining of your stomach, so acid in your esophagus causes a burning sensation. While many people experience reflux from time to time, GERD is defined by reflux occurring weekly. Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications. But some people with GERD may need stronger medications or surgery to ease symptoms.
On this Mayo Clinic Radio program segment, Dr. Jeffrey Alexander, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist, discusses GERD treatment and prevention.