Gastroesophageal reflux is the return flow of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. This disorder may present occasionally, due to excessive distension of the stomach (for example, after a heavy meal) or to decreased gastroesophageal sphincter tone (which can be caused, for example, by intake of irritant substances).
When gastric fluids come into contact with the esophagus, we note symptoms such as heartburn, a sense of acidity and sometimes pain. Acid reflux may also cause symptoms such as hoarseness and cough, above all at night.
The symptoms generally worsen when we lie down, since the supine position favors backflow of gastric fluids.