Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD)

Gastro-oesophageal reflux, movement of stomach contents into the oesophagus (food-pipe), is a normal event that particularly occurs following meals.

When the amount of gastric juice exceeds normal, or when it causes pain or damage it is termed gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.

The most common symptom is heartburn, a characteristic central burning chest discomfort, though there may be upper abdominal pain, or atypical symptoms such as cough, wheeze or throat discomfort. Treatment depends on the severity of the symptoms and may involve lifestyle changes and/or acid reducing medications.

One half of patients with heartburn will have erosive disease of the oesophagus, and a small proportion will be at risk of severe complications of reflux damage, including strictures or cancer of the oesophagus.

For further information on GORD see the video explaining the medical condition and the Gastroenterological Society of Australia website.