• Entry
  • Reader's guide
  • Entries A-Z
  • Subject index

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • By: Dharmik Desai, Michael Baker & Rebecca Mann
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Gastroesophageal reflux refers to the backward movement of stomach acid into the esophagus. When the reflux causes mucosal damage or physical symptoms, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a common disorder affecting 10% to 20% of the population in America. Certain lifestyle choices such as diet, weight, and postprandial body position can cause or exacerbate GERD symptoms. Therefore, simple lifestyle modifications should be the first-line treatment before implementing pharmacological treatment.

The lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscular valve, separates the esophagus and stomach. The LES remains closed except during the passage of food, preventing stomach acid from moving up the esophagus. When the LES is weakened or opens inappropriately, the stomach contents can pass through into the esophagus. The LES can ...

    • Loading...
    locked icon

    Sign in to access this content

    Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

    • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
    • Read modern, diverse business cases
    • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles