Acid reflux, also referred to as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), is a condition affecting the gastro-intestinal system. It effects roughly 20% or 1 in 5 of the UK population. Although people of all ages can experience symptoms of acid reflux, including young children, it most commonly effects adults aged 40 and over. There is also a greater prevalence in men than in women.
For more information on the causes of acid reflux and common associated symptoms, see our detailed information below.
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What is Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (Acid Reflux)
When does it occur?
Acid reflux (GORD) is caused by two contributing factors. The first is a build-up of excess acid in the stomach, and the second is the weakening of the lower sphincter muscles of the oesophagus which work to prevent the escape of stomach acid. Both these factors together result in stomach acid travelling up and into the oesophagus. The oesophagus is the tube which connects the mouth to the stomach and is where the commonly associated burning sensation with Acid reflux is experienced.
The common symptoms of GORD (Acid Reflux)
- Heartburn – a burning pain or discomfort below the breastbone, usually worse after meals,or when bending down, or when lying down
- An unpleasant taste in the mouth, caused by reflux of acid from the stomach
- Pain and difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)