Most people know what GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is. They understand it very well if they have been diagnosed with it. What is lesser know are the different types of acid reflux disease. Some doctors may not specific the type of GERD a person may have, while others will help persons track symptoms. The treatment if most often the same, with some of the treatment being more aggressive depending on the intensity of the symptoms.
The different types of GERD include:
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux disease, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close properly and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, into the esophagus.
- Refractory Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Refractory GERD)
The term refractory gastroesophageal reflux disease (refractory GERD) describes those patients who continue to have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux despite standard treatment with proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
- Nonerosive Reflux Disease (NERD)
For some patients, GERD can cause erosive esophagitis, a condition that causes inflammation, swelling, or irritation of the esophagus. In recent studies, however, it has been found that less than half of GERD patient suffer from esophagitis. They have what is called nonerosive reflux disease, or NERD.
- Larygopharyngeal Reflux (LPR)
When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is not functioning properly, there is a back flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. If this happens two or more times a week, it can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. As with the lower esophageal sphincter, if the upper esophageal sphincter doesn't function properly, acid that has back flowed into the esophagus is allowed into the throat and voice box. When this happens, it's called Laryngopharyngeal Reflux, or LPR.