GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) occurs when the muscle at the end of the esophagus (the "food tube" that connects the mouth to the stomach) fails to close, allowing stomach acid to leak back up into the esophagus. Many people suffer occasional heartburn or the taste of stomach fluid in their mouth, but when that happens two or more times a week, it is considered GERD. This leaking can feel like a burning sensation, as stomach acid irritates the lining of the esophagus. GERD also can feel like asthma, a dry cough, or difficulty swallowing. GERD can strike at any age, and untreated cases can disrupt daily life and even lead to more serious conditions.
UAB Medicine is known worldwide as a leading center for digestive and liver disorders. Our gastroenterology and gastrointestinal (GI) surgery program is consistently recognized for excellence by U.S. News & World Report. We see more than 20,000 patients and perform more than 12,000 outpatient procedures each year.
UAB has a notable history in this medical specialty. Basil Hirschowitz, MD – who founded our program more than 50 years ago – was the inventor of the endoscope, a tubular, flexible instrument equipped with a tiny camera that is used to look deep inside the body. His invention revolutionized gastroenterology and GI surgery care. Our interventional endoscopy group, which includes endoscopic ultrasound technology, is one of the busiest in the country and has grown to become one of the most respected programs of its kind.
UAB continues to lead the advancement of gastroenterology with many active research trials that offer the latest in drug therapy and treatment for digestive disorders. Our physicians and scientists are searching for causes and cures for many illnesses through basic research, including studies of the bacteria that inhabit our intestines and affect our health.
UAB is an active participant in research and clinical trials for GERD. We encourage you to speak to your physician about research and clinical trial options and browse the link below for more information.View Clinical Trials