(WYTV)- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is one of the most common digestive disorders you can suffer.

Acid comes bubbling up from the stomach, which is acid-resistant, into the esophagus, which is less acid-resistant.

GERD may be common, but it can come with potentially severe complications. Heartburn is the best known symptom of GERD.

You might feel a lump in the throat, have trouble swallowing, have chest pain, a cough, or asthma type symptoms.

“Complications of GERD include esophagitis, inflammation in the bottom of the esophagus. If this is persistent, you can develop scarring and a stricture,” said Dr. James East of the Mayo Clinic.

But if it lasts and then heals, the lining of the esophagus can change to a more acid-resistant form, which is called Barrett’s esophagus. That affects ten to 15% of people with GERD. And about one in 200 patients with Barrett’s esophagus will each year develop cancer symptoms.

We have new treatments for GERD and medications, such as like proton pump inhibitors.
But first, avoid triggers: coffee, alcohol and smoking.