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My friend told me that she experienced gastroesophageal reflux particularly after a meal. I wonder if that is really something that should be considered as normal. Somehow, I believe there must be some problem if reflux occurs after meal. Could you tell me more about problem with reflux?

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when the amount of gastric juice that refluxes into the esophagus exceeds the normal limit. Then it is causing symptoms with or without associated esophageal mucosal injury, known as esophagitis. There are some physiological and anatomical factors, which are able to prevent the reflux of gastric juice from the stomach and into the esophagus. These mechanisms include lower esophageal sphincter, which must have a normal length and pressure and a normal number of episodes of transient relaxation. After this, the gastroesophageal junction must be located in the abdomen so that the diaphragma can assist the action as extrinsic sphincter. The presence of a hiatal hernia disrupts this synergistic action and cause reflux. Abnormal gastroesophageal reflux is caused by the abnormalities of one or more protective mechanisms. Important is to understand that functional or mechanical problem of the LES is the most common cause of GERD. Certain foods such as coffee, alcohol, medications, or hormones can decrease the pressure of the LES and causing reflux to happen. Obesity is also contributing factor in reflux problem, probably because of the increased intra-abdominal pressure.
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