Gastroesophageal reflux disease, referred to as GERD, is a condition that causes stomach acid to flow back through the esophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth and the stomach. When stomach acid flows back through the esophagus, it is called acid reflux, and this can cause irritation to the lining of the esophagus.
Occasional acid reflux is common and typically does not mean a person has GERD. On the other hand, someone with GERD experiences mild acid reflux at least two times per week, or a moderate to severe bout of reflux at least once weekly.
In most cases, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications can improve GERD symptoms. People who have a more severe case of GERD may require prescription medications or surgery.