• Consumer Health: What’s the difference between acid reflux and GERD?

a young woman sitting on a park bench holding her chest because of heartburn or discomfort

Acid reflux and GERD
Acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, are closely related, but the terms don't necessarily mean the same thing. Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat and stomach. Sometimes acid reflux progresses to GERD, a more severe form of reflux. Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications may help symptoms of acid reflux. For GERD, your health care provider may recommend prescription medications or surgery. Learn more from Dr. Purna Kashyap, a Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist.


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Are poinsettias poisonous?
Poinsettias are less toxic than once thought. In most cases, poinsettia exposure causes only discomfort, including a mild, itchy rash; mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea; or eye irritation. Some people are more sensitive to poinsettias, though, and may experience an allergic reaction. Learn more from Dr. Jay Hoecker, an emeritus Mayo Clinic pediatrician.

Slideshow: Tips for choosing and using canes
A cane can improve your balance as you walk or help you compensate for an injury or disability. It's important to choose a cane that best serves your needs and situation. In addition to recommendations from your health care provider, here are some examples of different types of grips and ways to ensure your cane fits you correctly.

7 strategies to prevent heart disease
Almost half of U.S. adults have heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. And it's the leading cause of death in the U.S. But that doesn't mean it's inevitable. Although you cannot change some risk factors, such as family history, sex or age, there are some key heart disease prevention steps you can take to reduce your risk. You can avoid heart problems in the future by adopting a healthy lifestyle today. Here are seven heart disease prevention tips to get you started.

Soy and breast cancer risk
It once was thought that soy foods increase the risk of breast cancer. However, studies show that a lifelong diet rich in soy foods reduces the risk of breast cancer in women. In addition, soy contains protein, isoflavones and fiber — all of which provide health benefits. Learn more from Katherine Zeratsky, a Mayo Clinic registered dietitian nutritionist.

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