What are the categories of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?

Updated: Oct 16, 2020
  • Author: Marco G Patti, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Gastroesophageal reflux may be classified into three categories, as follows:

  • Physiologic (or functional) gastroesophageal reflux: These patients have no underlying predisposing factors or conditions; growth and development are normal; and pharmacologic treatment is typically not necessary, though it may be needed to relieve symptoms if lifestyle changes are unsuccessful. [7]

  • Pathologic gastroesophageal reflux or GERD: Patients frequently experience complications noted above, requiring careful evaluation and treatment [26]

  • Secondary gastroesophageal reflux: This refers to a case in which an underlying condition may predispose to gastroesophageal reflux, with examples including asthma (a condition that may also be, in part, caused by or exacerbated by reflux) and gastric outlet obstruction

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