Updated: Mar 3, 2019
Have you ever had heart burn? Most of us have at one time or another, but most of us also took a tums or some other antacid to treat it, right? Acid reflux is an extremely common health problem, affecting as many as 50 percent of Americans, and like back pain almost everyone has experienced it at some point or another. Some other terms used for this condition are gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcer disease, but they are all essentially the same, just having different degrees of severity.
So, quick anatomy moment. Basically, after food passes through your esophagus and into your stomach, a muscular valve called the cardiac sphincter closes, preventing food or acid from moving back up, or at least it’s supposed to.