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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when a muscle located at the end of the esophagus does not close properly. This can allow stomach contents to leak back into the esophagus, causing irritation and heartburn. If left untreated, GERD can lead to more serious medical conditions. You should consult with a physician if you are experiencing heartburn symptoms regularly.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: GERD
Developed by the National Library of Medicine specifically for consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately developed health information for the lay public. It includes and interactive tutorial and numerous articles about GERD.

National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse: Heartburn, Gastroesophogeal Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
This National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse site provides a clear and easy-to-read overview of GERD, including symptoms, treatments, possible long-term complications and GERD in children.

American College of Gastroenterology: GERD
This site is the professional organization for specialists in gastroenterology and provides links to documents outlining common treatment options and medications prescribed for GERD.


  • 100 Questions and Answers About Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Burns D. 2007.
  • American Dietetic Association Guide to Better Digestion. Bonci L. 2003
  • Eating for Acid Reflux: A Handbook and Cookbook for Those with Heartburn. Sklar J. 2003.

Journal Articles

  • “Do you really need that heartburn med?” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter, Health after 50. 22(7):4-5. Sept. 2010
  • “How do I know if it's just heartburn or something more serious?” Mayo Clinic Women's Healthsource. 12(5):8, 2008 May.
  • “The latest word on GERD.” Johns Hopkins Medical Letter: Health After 50, 19(3): 4-5. Anonymous. May 2007.


  • Nighttime heartburn relief effort. 9 min.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the  Health Learning Center  at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateMarch 23, 2012