Reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is characterized by the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, resulting in discomfort and irritation. Symptoms commonly include heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent cough. Hiatus hernias are commonly seen in patients with reflux.

Treatment for reflux typically involves lifestyle adjustments, such as avoiding trigger foods (like spicy or fatty meals), quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight. Dietary modifications, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding late-night eating, can also help. Over-the-counter medications like antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are often used to reduce acid production and alleviate symptoms. Additionally, elevating the head of the bed during sleep can prevent nighttime reflux.

In cases where conservative measures fail to provide relief, surgical options like fundoplication may be considered to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. It’s crucial for individuals experiencing reflux symptoms to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and tailored treatment.

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