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Acid reflux is a condition where the fluids in the stomach back up into the esophagus. Acid reflux is also known as GERD which stands for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder. The esophagus is located in the upper portion of the digestive tract, and it connects from the lower throat down to the stomach. There is a valve called the esophageal valve located on the lower end of the esophagus and it separates the esophagus from the stomach. It’s a one-way valve that prevents the acids in the stomach from backing up into the esophagus. The stomach has a very special kind of lining that is made to withstand the acids that are produced in the stomach. But the esophagus’ lining is much more delicate. So if the acids in the stomach back up through the valve into the esophagus, the lining of the esophagus will become inflamed and can cause serious damage to it over time.

Symptoms may include heart burn, or burning in the chest. Oftentimes, people fear they’re having a heart attack, because the acids can cause some burning and pain as they pass through the esophagus. Lots of people may notice that the burning is more pronounced when they lie down because the acids don’t have to fight gravity and so they flow up into the esophagus and even into the throat and mouth at times. It can cause sore throat problems and you can even develop polyps on the vocal cords which results in hoarseness and difficulty swallowing.

Oftentimes, acid reflux is accompanied by what’s called a hiatal hernia. That’s where the stomach is riding up too high and it actually protrudes through a muscle called the diaphragm into the chest cavity.

Acid reflux and hiatal hernia can be cleared up with proper diet, supplements and with manipulation of the stomach.