Esophagus: Reflux (Heartburn) and GERD

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Cough Due to Heartburn
Heartburn, GERD and Scleroderma
About Reflux (Heartburn)
Hiatal Hernia
About GERD
Reflux and Atrial Fibrillation
Reflux and Lung Involvement
Reflux Prevention and Treatments
Personal Stories


Clown holding stomachHeartburn (reflux) is very common in the general population. It can often be managed well with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding carbonated soft drinks. Treatments can include medications and surgery.

Chronic heartburn can cause gastroesophogeal reflux disease (GERD). (Also see Scleroderma Gastrointestinal Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, and Systemic Sclerosis)

Heartburn or GERD (Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease)? GERD can develop as a result of chronic heartburn. GERD is associated with more serious complications including stricture (narrowing) of the esophagus or a potentially precancerous condition called Barrett's esophagus. WebMD.

Cough Due to Heartburn

7 Kinds of Coughs and What They Might Mean. While it's impossible to always pinpoint a cough by how it sounds, there are some key differences to give you clues as to what's going on. Time Healthland, 04/18/2015.

Chronic Cough and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: How Do We Establish a Causal Link? It's possible that acid-suppression therapy could benefit patients with chronic cough and rigorous patient selection is necessary to identify patient populations likely to be responsive. Chest Journal, April 2013, Vol 143, No. 3.

Heartburn, GERD, and Scleroderma

Heartburn usually occurs by itself, without any underlying disease. In very rare cases, esophageal problems can be due to systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), which is an autoimmune disease.

Advances in the evaluation and management of esophageal disease of systemic sclerosis (SSc). In addition to reviewing gastroesophageal reflux disease management in patients with SSc, present and potential uses of endoscopy, reflux monitoring, manometry, impedance planimetry, and endoscopic ultrasound are discussed. PubMed, Curr Rheumatol Rep, 2015 Jan;17(1):475.

Trabecular Bone Score (TBS) in Female Patients with Systemic Sclerosis (SSc): Comparison with Rheumatoid Arthritis and Influence of Glucocorticoid (GC) Exposure. SSc-related bone involvement is characterized by an impairment in bone quality in addition to reduced bone quantity, and TBS can identify the negative effect of GC on bone microarchitecture. PubMed, J Rheumatol, 12/01/2014.

Treatment of Systemic Sclerosis Complications: What to Use When First-Line Treatment Fails—A Consensus of Systemic Sclerosis Experts. Symptoms treatment recommendations by over 100 scleroderma experts, for scleroderma renal crisis (SRC), digital ulcers (DU), pulmonary hypertension (PAH/PH), reflux, skin involvement, and arthritis. Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism Volume 42, Issue 1 , Pages 42-55, August 2012. (Also see Scleroderma Renal Crisis, Digital Ulcers, Pulmonary Hypertension, Skin Involvement, Skeletal Involvement, Scleroderma Treatments, and Dr. Janet Pope)

About Reflux (Heartburn)

Heartburn (reflux) is the main symptom of Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Heartburn is a painful, burning feeling in the chest, which is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus (throat). (Source: Columbia Healthcare)

Chest Pain, Chronic Many different types of problems can cause discomfort, shortness of breath, pain with swallowing, and many other symptoms in the chest area. This chart may help you pinpoint your problem as you confirm your symptoms.

About GERD

Nausea and Vomiting Many illnesses can cause stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. Some are mild sicknesses that will pass by themselves, but others are serious and need medical attention.

Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal Hernia. Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes upward into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm. This condition may cause reflux (backflow) of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Medline Plus.

Hiatal Hernia. Most hiatal hernias are asymptomatic and are discovered incidentally. On rare occasion, a life-threatening complication, such as gastric volvulus or strangulation, may present acutely. Medscape.

Paraesophageal Hiatal Hernia. There are two categories of hiatal hernias, sliding or paraesophageal. VeryWell.

Hiatal Hernia Diet Tips. A few quick tips about eating with a hiatal hernia. VeryWell.

Reflux and Atrial Fibrillation

Atrial fibrillation (AF) ablation in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS): the heart to gut connection! 60% of AF patients with GERD and/or IBS triggered AF and a positive vagal response during radiofrequency catheter ablation (RFA), compared to only 13% of matched controls. PubMed, J Interv Card Electrophysiol, 06/06/2013. (Also see Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Scleroderma Heart Involvement)

Reflux and Lung Involvement

Usefulness of pH monitoring in predicting the survival status of patients with scleroderma awaiting lung transplantation. Esophageal pH monitoring could identify those for whom laparoscopic antireflux surgery should be performed quicker to prevent GERD and its detrimental effects in patients awaiting lung transplantation. Journal of Surgical Research, 03/17/2014. (Also see Lung Transplants)

Reflux Prevention and Treatments

Reflux Prevention and Treatments . Heartburn (reflux) is very common in the general population. It can often be managed well with lifestyle changes, such as changing eating habits, sleeping differently, and increasing your activities. ISN

Lifestyle Changes
Reflux and Diet
Reflux and GERD Treatments
Reflux Prevention Forum Discussions

Personal Stories

Scleroderma Personal Stories of Heartburn, Reflux and Esophageal Problems. These are stories about people who are dealing with heartburn (reflux), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or other esophageal problems, caused by systemic sclerosis (scleroderma) and related autoimmune diseases. ISN.

Go to Personal Stories of Heartburn
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