• GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a condition in which the contents of the stomach rise up into the esophagus. This condition is linked to a problem with a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter.


    Hiatal hernia, which allows part of the stomach above the diaphragm to move, is a condition that allows stomach contents to rise past the lower esophageal sphincter and into the stomach.

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors for GERD include being pregnant and the disease scleroderma, which affects many of the body's connective tissues.


    Some lifestyle factors, including smoking, being very overweight (obese) and perhaps alcohol consumption, contribute to GERD, according to Medline Plus.


    Several types of medications can contribute to GERD. These include anticholinergics, beta-blockers, bronchodilators, calcium channel blockers, medications for Parkinson's disease, progestin, sedatives and tricyclic antidepressants.


    Complications of GERD, such as the erosion of the esophagus, are caused by the presence of acid in the esophagus due to the defect in the lower esophageal sphincter, according to the Mayo Clinic.


    Medline Plus: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

    Mayo Clinic: GERD Causes

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