Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Essay

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease Essay

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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Sensitive Gut (Harvard Special Health Reports)
In consultation with Lawrence S. Friedman, M.D. Stanford, CT

     In this article, you are informed about a disease that is occurring more often in our society. It is commonly referred to as “heartburn” but is more appropriately named acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Most people suffer from this disease, but think nothing of it. Perhaps they have felt it after a big meal, lying down after eating, during pregnancy, or even when bending over. Most people feel that GERD occurs after eating spicy foods, when in fact the major cause of GERD is fatty foods and the quantity of foods eaten.
     The main causes of GERD occur because your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), or the sphincter that closes off the esophagus to the stomach becomes weakened or stops functioning correctly. Scientist are finding that different nutrition habits affect the workings of the LES. Things like dietary supplements, drugs, or anything containing caffeine will actually cause the malfunction of the LES.
     A common condition that is associated with GERD and LES problems is having a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is when you have a larger than normal opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus passes through. Since this opening is larger, the stomach begins to enter this opening. When you eat, the stomach and esophagus ...

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