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