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About Acid Reflux Disease

The more you understand about acid reflux disease, the better you may be able to manage it.

The main cause of acid reflux disease is a problem with the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle. This muscle, which is the “valve” between the stomach and the esophagus, normally closes tightly after food has passed through to the stomach.

The LES does not stay closed in people with acid reflux disease. When this happens, acid and stomach contents may back up (reflux) into the esophagus. This acid backup can sometimes cause the painful, burning sensation known as heartburn or other symptoms. 

Over time, acid reflux can cause tissue damage in the lining of the esophagus, resulting in a condition called erosive esophagitis (EE). EE is a potentially serious condition. NEXIUM can heal most erosions in the esophagus in about 4 to 8 weeks. Your results with NEXIUM may vary.

If you think you may have acid reflux disease, check out this list and then talk to your doctor.

  • Heartburn (a rising, burning feeling in the chest)
  • Sour or bitter taste
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain not related to the heart

Note: If you have chest pain, call your doctor immediately. It may be a sign of a life-threatening condition.

Treatments for acid reflux disease range from over-the-counter antacids to prescription medications like NEXIUM.