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Gastro esophageal reflux disease is a digestive disorder affecting the lower or reflux esophageal sphincter, the muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach. The reflux esophageal sphincter is a high-pressure zone that acts as a barrier to protect the esophagus against the backflow of gastric acid from the stomach.
Normally, the reflux esophageal sphincter works something like a dam, opening to allow food to pass into the stomach and closing to keep food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. Gastro esophageal reflux occurs when the reflux esophageal sphincter relaxes when it shouldn't or becomes weak, allowing contents of the stomach to flow up into the esophagus. Scientist aren't sure exactly why this happens.