Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition that happens when food or liquid sometimes flows back into your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that goes from your mouth to your stomach. This liquid, which is usually stomach acid or bile, comes back up from your stomach into your food pipe. When this happens the acid irritates the lining of the food pipe. It can cause heartburn or burning in the back of your throat.

When you eat, food passes down your throat to your stomach. Once food is in the stomach, a ring of muscle fibers prevent food from moving backward into your throat.

If these muscles become weak or don’t close well, food, liquid and stomach acid can come back up into the throat. This is called reflux or gastroesophageal reflux. Reflux can cause symptoms and it can also cause damage to your throat.

Men have been more likely than women to receive a diagnosis of emphysema. However, in 2008 more women reported a diagnosis of emphysema than men according to the American Lung Association.

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