Source: Mayo Clinic
Acid reflux: is it the same as GERD?
While they are closely related, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but these terms do not necessarily mean the same thing. Here’s how it works:
Acid reflux is the reverse flow of acid in the stomach back up into the esophagus or throat. In medical terms, acid reflux is better known as gastroesophageal reflux. When acid reflux occurs, you will taste regurgitated food or a sour liquid in your mouth, and you may feel a burning sensation in your chest (heartburn). There are times when acid reflux developes into GERD, which is a more severe form of acid reflux. The common symptom of GERD is frequent heartburn attacks. Other signs and symptoms often include regurgitation of food or a sour-tasting liquid. You may experience difficulty swallowing, coughing or wheezing. Some attacks may include a burning sensation or chest pain. This most-often occurs when you are lying down in bed.
Occasional bouts of acid reflux can be minimized by a few lifestyle changes like losing excess weight, eating smaller portions and avoiding foods you know cause heartburn—like fried and fatty foods. Chocolate and peppermint trigger heartburn in some individuals. And of course, avoiding tobacco use and alcohol may help too.
Occasional acid reflux can be treated with over-the-counter medications, but use extreme caution in what you take.