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The Esophagus Pages!

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The Medical Symptoms Staff.

Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be a result of a number of disorders. According to traditional western medicine, this type of symptom is usually the result of either a relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, or due to the presence of hiatal hernia allowing for acid from the stomach to reflux.

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Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia (often referred to as hiatus hernia) is the protrusion (or hernia) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. Symptoms may begin as reflux and dysphagia, but over time the acid returning moving up the esophagus may create a life threatening situation if not treated.

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Heartburn or pyrosis is a painful burning sensation in the esophagus, just below the breastbone. The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck or throat.

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GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is injury to the esophagus that develops from chronic exposure of the esophagus to acid coming up from the stomach (reflux). In contrast, heartburn is the symptom of acid in the esophagus, characterized by a burning discomfort behind the breastbone (sternum). Findings in GERD include esophagitis (reflux esophagitis) - inflammatory changes in the esophageal lining (mucosa), strictures, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and chronic chest pain. Patients may have only one of those findings. Atypical symptoms of GERD include cough, hoarseness, changes of the voice, and sinusitis. Complicatons of GERD include stricture formation, Barrett's esophagus, esophageal ulcers and possibly even to esophageal cancer.

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