Jul 31, 2017 — Over 20 million adults in the United States suffer from acid reflux. It can cause heartburn, pain and even trouble swallowing. On today's Health Minute, gastroenterologist Dr. Andrew Gawron defines the disease of GERD and acid reflux, and when you should worry.

Interview

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Today on "Define the Disease," acid reflux. Dr. Andrew Gawron is a gastroenterologist. What symptoms should somebody know about, and when should you start worrying?

Dr. Gawron: Acid reflux is a very common condition. In fact, about 20 million adults each year have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. GERD is, essentially, when stomach contents come up into your esophagus and cause symptoms such as heartburn, pain, or even trouble swallowing.

Some of the major symptoms we worry about are symptoms that aren't controlled on medication. So if your doctor prescribes an acid reflux medication and you continue to have severe symptoms, you know, I would get further evaluation.

The other severe symptoms we really worry about, and where I'd want to see somebody in my clinic, is trouble with food getting stuck, what we call dysphasia, or trouble swallowing. If food's getting stuck, you're unable to eat, you really do need to have that evaluated.

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