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By Carol Ann Rinzler, Ken DeVault

Part of Heartburn and Reflux For Dummies Cheat Sheet

To better understand things related to heartburn and reflux, recognize the following key terms that describe treatment, symptoms, and basic information about the two conditions:

  • GERD: Gastroesophageal reflux disease

  • Reflux: Stomach contents that slosh back from the stomach to the esophagus through the LES

  • LES: Lower esophageal sphincter; the “trapdoor” between esophagus and stomach

  • Heartburn: Pain caused by reflux

  • Gastroenterologist: Physician specializing in diseases of the digestive tract

  • Antacid: Medicine that neutralizes stomach acid

  • H2 blocker: Histamine 2 blocker; a class of drugs that slows the production of stomach acid

  • PPI: Proton pump inhibitor; a class of drugs that reduces the production of stomach acid and appears to heal reflux damage to the esophagus