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Main > Specialty Areas > Gastroenterology >
Heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

What is Heartburn?

Heartburn is the common ailment of esophageal disorder. Heartburn is officially known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Heartburn is caused by acidic stomach acid irritating the Lower Esophagus Sphincter (LES). These digestive stomach acid remains in stomach until come down to the intestines. When the valve at the top of the stomach which is called Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) doesn't close, these stomach acid can reflux upward. Either the stomach lining or the Lower Esophagus Sphincter (LES) is not protected from the corrosive effects of stomach acid. The result is a heartburn. Heartburn is the most common symptom of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)-which affects millions of people at least once a week.

Organ Info:
Esophagus, or gullet is a muscle-lined tube that extends from the mouth to the stomach. Food passes through the esophagus to the stomach by a process known as peristalsis – a wave-like series of involuntary muscular contractions that move the food down. The junction between the esophagus and the stomach is called a cardia or the Lower Esophagus Sphincter (LES). That is where the stomach (gastric) acid sometimes gets pushed into the esophagus, often resulting in heartburn.

Causes of Heartburn ››

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Acyclovir is a medication that is used to treat herpes infections of the skin, lips and genitals, chicken pox and shingles. It comes in the form of ointments, tablets, capsules or liquids. It relieves pain and itchiness and promotes healing; however, it does not cure the condition. Possible (but not common) side effects include headaches, upset stomach, vomiting and diarrhea. Severe side effects, such as severe rash or itching, blood in the urine, stomach pain or fever are even less common, but require prompt medical attention.

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