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Friday, February 8, 2008

GERD/Acid reflux facts and figures

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, also sometimes known as GORD) or reflux disease is a clinical condition when gastric juices, containing acid, travel back from the stomach into the gullet (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach) cause troublesome symptoms or complications.

  • In Western countries about 20% (1 in every 5) of people suffer from heartburn at least once a week, the main symptom of GERD and up to half of these will also have reflux esophagitis, a condition where the stomach acid causes damage to the esophageal mucosa (inner lining of esophagus).

  • The incidence of GERD increases after the age of 40.

  • The pain and discomfort caused by heartburn and other GERD symptom may interfere with:

    • manual work, housework, gardening and sport, because symptoms are often worse during physical activity

    • social occasions (such as eating with the family and friends), because symptoms are worse during and after meals

    • sleep, because symptoms are often worse when lying down

    • work, because symptoms disturb sleep and cause tiredness the following day.

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