oa SA Pharmacist's Assistant - Heartburn or GORD : gastrointestinal tract
With gravity's help, a muscular valve called the lower oesophageal sphincter, helps to keep stomach acid in the stomach. Normally it opens to allow food to pass into the stomach, then it closes again. If the lower oesophageal sphincter opens too often or does not close tight enough, stomach acid can reflux, or seep, into the oesophagus and cause a burning sensation. The passage of stomach contents into the oesophagus (gastroesophageal reflux) is a normal process. Most episodes are brief and do not cause symptoms, injury, or other complications. However, reflux becomes a disease when it either causes damage to the oesophagus or causes symptoms that reduce the quality of life for the patient.
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