Transient LES relaxation is the primary mechanism of GERD. It results from a vaso-vagal reflex triggered by stretch receptors of the proximal stomach. Studies have indicated that most reflux episodes are acidic. However, according to one study, 28% of episodes were only weakly acidic and 10% of episodes were weakly alkaline.15 Numerous factors may influence the symptoms of GERD. Delayed gastric emptying, volume of gastric content, quantity and acidity of refluxed contents, ability of the esophagus to clear this material, LES function, and the resistance of the esophageal tissue can influence reflux symptoms.16 Some researchers have proposed that patients with GERD can be categorized further as having erosive esophagitis, nonerosive reflux disease, and Barrett's esophagus.17
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Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for what we know as acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when the stomach releases its liquid back into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage to the esophageal lining. The regurgitated acid most often consists of a few compoundsbr acid, bile, and pepsin.