Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is often mistaken for occasional heartburn but is a serious digestive disorder. The lower esophageal sphincter opens more often that it should, and stomach acid travels up into the esophagus where it can erode the esophageal lining. A layer of mucus protects the duodenum from harsh stomach acid, but H. pylori bacteria damage the protective lining, leading to an ulcer. Endoscopy allows a view inside the esophagus, stomach and duodenum to look for acid damage.
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© Cynthia Turner