Acid reflux also known as pyrosis and acid indigestion is a burning sensation around the chest which caused by the flow of stomach acid back into the food pipe. The burning occurs when the gastro esophageal sphincter which acts as a valve to prevent the back movement of food from stomach to the food pipe fails; this enables the entry of the stomach hydrochloric acid which is responsible for digestion of food and for protection against undesirable microbes; into the esophagus; which in turn cause heart burn.
This disease is common in all age groups and often associated with certain food, drinks and lifestyle. Sometimes it is caused by hiatal, a condition in which a hole in the diaphagram enables the upper part of the stomach to enter the chest cavity. Other causes include smoking, obesity, medications for long term disease.
Sixty percent of the adult population will experience some type of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) within a 12 month period and 20 to 30 percent will have weekly symptoms. Approximately seven million people in the United States have some symptoms of GERD. Children with GERD symptoms who were hospitalized with a primary GERD diagnosis increased by 42 percent in infants and 84 percent in children between the ages of two and 17.