Gastroesophageal reflux (GER) is defined as the involuntary passage of gastric contents into the esophagus. GER is a physiological phenomenon, occurring in every individual. Most episodes of reflux are limited to the distal esophagus, and are brief and asymptomatic. The difference between physiological reflux and reflux disease is to a lesser extent defined by the frequency, duration and severity of the reflux episodes, than whether the reflux episodes result in the occurrence of symptoms, signs severe enough to impair the quality of life, or complications. GER disease (GERD) is reflux associated with mucosal damage or symptoms severe enough to impair quality of life.1,2 When this occurs, and the forces overcome the defense, the esophagus may become damaged, with significant consequences for the affected individual.
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for what we know as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach releases its liquid back into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining. The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compoundsbr acid, bile, and pepsin.