Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition, where acid from the stomach leaks up into the oesophagus (gullet).
It usually occurs as a result of the ring of muscle at the bottom of the oesophagus becoming weakened.
GORD causes symptoms such as heartburn and an unpleasant taste in the back of the mouth. It may just be an occasional nuisance for some people, but for others it can be a severe, lifelong problem.
GORD can often be controlled with self-help measures and medication. Occasionally, surgery to correct the problem may be needed. This topic focuses on GORD in adults. There are separate topics on reflux in babies and heartburn in pregnancy.
Symptoms of GORD can include:
You can often control the symptoms of GORD by making some lifestyle changes and taking over-the-counter medication.
You don’t necessarily need to see your GP if you only have symptoms occasionally. Ask your pharmacist for advice on treatments.
Visit your GP if you’re worried about your symptoms, or if:
Your GP will usually be able to diagnose GORD based on your symptoms, although they may refer you for some tests.
The main treatments for GORD are:
You may only need to take medication when you experience symptoms, although long-term treatment may be needed if the problem continues.
Surgery to stop stomach acid leaking into your oesophagus may be recommended if medication isn’t helping, or you don’t want to take medication on a long-term basis.
If you have GORD for a long time, stomach acid can damage your oesophagus and cause further problems.
SOURCE: NHS UK