Attack of the NERD! The Most Common Type of Heartburn

by Leigh Ann Otte

NERD is weird.

“NERD” is the aren’t-scientists-funny acronym for the most common kind of heartburn, non-erosive esophageal disease. And this type of GERD is not like what you’d expect.

In our feature article, witty gastroenterologist Patricia Raymond offers a fun-to-read guide to this not-fun disease. If you have ongoing heartburn and acid-reflux medications don’t get rid of it, this may be your culprit. Here are a few unexpected characteristics you’ll read about:

  • Though it’s painful, NERD doesn’t leave erosions or ulcers in your esophagus.
  • You may have pain with relatively little acid.
  • That little flap on top of your stomach that keeps acid down? It probably works just fine.

Do you have heartburn? Have you seen a doctor about it? What’s helped you?

Leigh Ann Otte is managing editor of

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