Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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Reflux means that stomach acid and juices move back up into your esophagus, the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. This can cause heartburn, regurgitation, ulcers, and pain and inflammation in your esophagus (esophagitis). When you have heartburn or regurgitation that bothers you often, it's called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. You may also hear GERD called acid reflux.

You can treat GERD with lifestyle changes, like quitting smoking and making changes in your diet to avoid foods that make your symptoms worse. You can also change your eating habits, such as not eating close to bedtime. Your doctor may also suggest medicines.

The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.