Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition in which a person experiences heartburn as a result of food returning from the stomach to the food pipe. Food goes via the oesophagus (food pipe) and into the stomach after being chewed and swallowed. The sphincter, or elastic band, at the intersection of the lower oesophagus and the stomach’s entrance, allows food to pass through. The sphincter closes tightly, preventing the contents from flowing back. The contents are combined with the stomach’s acidic secretions and go through an initial digesting process.
The acidic food combination can return from the stomach to the oesophagus if the sphincter at the intersection of the lower end of the food pipe and the upper end of the stomach is not properly closed or disturbed. This produces acid reflux and heartburn sensations.