GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), commonly referred to as 'heartburn' and locally referred to as 'acid stomach', is a chronic disease where stomach acid/stomach contents or, occasionally, bile, flows back (refluxes) into the oesophagus (the tube from the mouth to the stomach). This results in damage to the mucousal lining of the esophagus and causes heartburn and other symptoms. When these signs and symptoms occur at least twice each week or interfere with your daily life, doctors call this GERD.
A Peptic Ulcer is a defect in the lining of the stomach or the first part of the small intestine, an area called the duodenum.
A peptic ulcer in the stomach is called a gastric ulcer. An ulcer in the duodenum is called a duodenal ulcer.
GERD occurs when the entrance to the stomach does not close properly. When food is swallowed,the lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of the esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach. Then it closes again. Abnormal relaxation of the sphincter allows stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, causing frequent heartburn and disrupting daily life. This constant backwash of acid irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing it to become inflamed (oesophagitis). Over time, the inflammation can erode the esophagus, causing complications such as bleeding or breathing problems.
Peptic Ulcers occur when the lining of the stomach and/or small intestines, a layer that protects these organs from the irritating acid of the stomach, begins to break down and stops working properly. Inflammation (gastritis) may also result from this breakdown.
Most ulcers occur in the first layer of the inner lining. A hole that goes all the way through the stomach or duodenum is called a perforation. A perforation is a medical emergency.
The most common cause of such damage is infection of the stomach by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori). Most people with peptic ulcers have these bacteria living in their gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Yet, many people who have these bacteria in their stomach do not develop an ulcer.
Risk Factors that promote GERD
Risk factors that promote Peptic Ulcers
Symptoms of GERD
Symptoms of Peptic Ulcers
For further reading and research into the causes, nature and risk factors of GERD and Peptic Ulcers, you may visit the links below, among others.