Causes of Acid Reflux
Reflux / GERD
Although there are many factors that contribute to the development of acid reflux, the main cause is inappropriate activity of the lower esophagael sphincter (LES), allowing the stomach acids to reach the upper levels of the body.
When "refluxed" stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. The fluid may even reach the back of the mouth, and this is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is common but does not necessarily mean one has GERD. Heartburn that occurs more than twice a week may be considered GERD.
First, avoid foods and beverages that can trigger reflux, such as:
- Caffeine, carbonated beverages
- Tomatoes and tomato sauces
- Spicy or fatty foods, full-fat dairy products
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Peppermint and spearmint
Next, try changing your eating habits:
- Eat smaller meals
- Avoid eating or lying down within 2-3 hours of bedtime
- Avoid bending over or exercising just after eating
The cause is unknown.
Heartburn is more likely to occur if you have a hiatal hernia, which is when the top part of the stomach protrudes upward into the chest cavity. This weakens the LES and makes it easier for acid to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.
Risk factors are:
- weakening of the supporting tissue
- Increasing age
Hiatal hernias are very common, especially in people over 50 years old. This condition may cause reflux (backflow) of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus.
Stomach problems can make a person absolutely miserable. Conditions like acid reflux disease can make your days long and your sleepless nights even longer. There are a lot of prescription medications available today for such conditions but many people prefer to avoid taking too many pills. Natural acid reflux remedies provide welcomed relief for many sufferers.
Basically, acid reflux disease is a result of inflammation in the esophagus. The irritation is caused by liquid from the stomach working its way backwards into the esophagus. Many people recognize the symptom of this stomach problem known as heartburn. This uncomfortable symptom has many of us running to stores looking for acid reflux remedies.
The disorder can develop for a number of reasons. There is a lot of evidence suggesting that a likelihood to develop the disease can be genetic. Also, any trauma or injury to the esophageal sphincter, the circular muscle responsible for keeping stomach fluids out of the esophagus, can lead to the disorder. Such injury can be caused by frequent vomiting, or by a hiatal hernia.
Acid reflux can cause inflammation, swelling and even scarring of the esophageal soft tissue. Physiological abnormalities seem to be the main cause for acid reflux (weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter, uncontrolled contractions of the sphincter, low pressure at the bottom of the esophagus due to abnormal positioning of the sphincter, etc). If abnormal activity of the lower esophageal sphincter is the cause of acid reflux, surgery can improve its functioning either by tightening the inner walls of the esophagus in order to increase pressure, or by reshaping the sphincter to better seal the lower end of the esophagus.
Left untreated, acid reflux can cause inflammation and deterioration of the esophagus, throat lesions, gastro-intestinal problems, breathing problems and sleep apnea. Being overweight increases abdominal pressure, which can cause stomach contents to be pushed into the esophagus. Clothing that's too tight will squeeze the stomach, forcing food up against the esophageal sphincter, and cause food to reflux into the esophagus.