ENCOUNTER HEALTH CONTENT LIBRARY – PAGE IS NOT EDITABLE
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) generally stems from just two underlying causes: those that have to do with reflux chemistry and those that stem from anatomical dysfunction.
Chemical causes of GERD can include:
Most of the time, however, GERD can be attributed to a patient's own anatomy.
The biology of swallowing, for healthy patients, is simple. When a person with normal, healthy anatomy swallows, the valve between the esophagus and the stomach (gastroesophageal valve) opens. This allows food to pass. The valve then closes to prevent stomach contents from backwashing or refluxing back up into the esophagus. A normal, healthy valve serves as an effective antireflux barrier and experts consider it the most important factor in preventing GERD.
For people with GERD, this valve becomes dysfunctional and does not close appropriately. This allows abnormal amounts of both acidic and non-acidic fluids to backwash into the esophagus.
Any one of the following factors, or a combination of these factors, can result in disruption of the gastroesophageal valve and abnormal exposure of the esophagus to acid reflux.
If you suffer any symptoms of reflux more than twice a week, you may have chronic acid reflux. Take the GERD-HRQL survey and bring the results to your doctor for a GERD evaluation.