Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also called GERD is the abnormal backflow of stomach acid and juices into the esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs in infants too. Infants who have gastroesophageal reflux disease may not gain weight, have respiratory problems and develop more slowly.

Why Does Backflow Occur?

This backflow occurs when the valve between the lower end of the esophagus and the stomach does not close tightly enough.

Symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease is a frequent heartburn. Heartburn is often described as a feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain just behind the breastbone, commonly referred to as heartburn. The burning sensation usually occurs after eating.

***If you have pain behind your breastbone, it is important to see a doctor to make sure there is not an underlying heart condition.

Occasional heartburn does not mean you have gastroesophageal reflux disease. In gastroesophageal reflux disease, the heartburn lasts longer and occurs more often.

Other symptoms of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • A sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Ear, nose, and throat problems
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea, often in the morning

What Causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Overeating or bending forward after eating occasionally causes heartburn and a sour taste in the mouth.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Running

Running can aggravate gastroesophageal reflux disease. It can aggravates gastroesophageal reflux disease because it jostles the stomach and can slow gastric emptying and digestion.

To prevent aggravation of gastroesophageal reflux disease while running, eat a small, low-fat meal at least an hour before running. (Fatty foods can trigger heartburn). Maintaining good running posture will also help.

Treatment Options for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease are aimed at reducing the abnormal backflow of the stomach acid and juices.

Some of the most common treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease are:

  • antacids
  • acid reducers
  • prescription medication
  • surgery (in severe cases)