Acid reflux occurs when the acids that aid digestion flow from your stomach back into your esophagus. This occurrence is generally accompanied by uncomfortable or painful sensations, including heartburn and the taste of sour liquid in the back of the throat.
Everyone experiences acid reflux in some form during their lifetime, but it varies greatly in its severity and frequency. Many people experience occasional mild bouts of acid reflux after eating certain foods. Other people develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a serious form of acid reflux that can have major impacts on lifestyle, sleep and general health.
It is important to treat regular occurrences of acid reflux, since it can lead to other problems, including ulcers in the stomach or esophagus, esophageal inflammation and some cancers.
The symptoms of acid reflux range from the mild to the severe, and include the following:
Although acid reflux is generally associated with adults, children can experience it as well. It is particularly common in newborn babies whose digestive systems are not yet fully developed. Most babies outgrow infant acid reflux by the time they are one year old, but it can persist, especially if there is a family history of acid reflux of GERD.