causes for acid reflux

September 9, 2011

Causes For Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, more commonly known as heartburn, is a painful and pesky problem that affects millions of Americans. Although it is not a serious disease, it is annoying and gets in the way of social activities, work and even sleep. There are several causes of acid reflux, which is most commonly caused by food. But there are other, more serious causes too and if you experience acid reflux very often, consult your physician.

1. Food- acid reflux is most commonly caused by eating spicy food, especially late at night without leaving ample time for the food to digest. When you sleep, remnants of this food can back up into the lower esophagus causing a painful burning sensation in the chest. To counter this, eat spicy foods earlier in the day and pair it with a dairy product, like milk or yogurt, which counteract the effects of the spices. Also, over-the-counter medications such as Maalox, TUMS or Pepto Bismol can give some relief. Other foods that commonly contribute to acid reflux include alcohol, any strong flavors like onion or garlic, soda, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, citrus fruits and tomato-based foods and fried foods.

2. Hiatal Hernia- this is a stomach abnormality in which the stomach and lower esophagus move around within the chest cavity. This can cause acid to back up into the sensitive esophagus and cause the characteristic burning sensation.

3. Pregnancy- increased pressure on the stomach and lower abdominal area can cause acid to back up into the esophagus. The higher levels of hormones can also add to the condition.

4. Smoking- inhaling smoke and other harsh chemicals can eat away at the protective mucous lining of the esophagus, increasing its sensitivity to acid and irritation.

5. Loose esophageal sphincter- there is a muscular gate that connects the esophagus to the stomach to allow the passage of food. In normal individuals, this gate only allows for one-way passage and then closes tightly so that food does not back up. In individuals who suffer from acid reflux, this sphincter is not as tight as it should be and allows food and acid to reverse direction and enter the esophagus. In some cases, corrective surgery is needed to reverse this problem and tighten the sphincter.

6. Laying down or going to sleep too soon after eating- you should allow at least thirty to forty-five minutes for digestion after eating before laying down or going to sleep if you are prone to experiencing acid reflux. Sit up straight and allow gravity to work to keep food and acid in the stomach.

7. Not drinking enough water after a meal- saliva is a natural digestive and is needed to begin and continue the process of digestion. If a person is dehydrated, however, this decreases the production of saliva and can slow the digestive process down, increasing the chances of acid reflux. Be sure to drink a glass of water after a meal, and maybe two if it was a spicy meal.

There are several acid reflux triggers. The trick is to find your triggers and avoid them at all cost. For more information on acid reflux triggers visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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April 8, 2011

Causes of Acid Reflux

Though acid reflux is prevalent in thousands of people the causes for the disease tend to vary from person to person. What may send your insides blazing may be a walk in the park for another sufferer of acid reflux and vice versa. The key to determining and tackling the causes for acid reflux would be to determine your specific triggers and take the necessary precautions to eliminate the triggers from your lifestyle thus improving (or eliminating) acid reflux altogether.

If you are unfamiliar with what is happening to your body before and during acid reflux here’s a little bit about what you should know–Acid reflux occurs when the acids in your stomach make way to your esophagus causing a burn that is referred to as heartburn. This heartburn can be felt in the throat (esophagus area), the chest and often times reaches down into the abdomen.

There is a small circular ring known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that is located at the top of your stomach and at the bottom of the esophagus. The key to avoiding acid reflux all relies on the efficiency and functionality of this ring. The ring is a muscle. The job of this muscle is to close immediately after food or drink passes through, leaving the esophagus and making way to the stomach. If this muscle neglects to close or if this muscle opens too often the acids in the stomach have room to escape the stomach area making way to the esophagus causing acid reflux.

There is another way for stomach acids to reach the esophagus. This is by way of a stomach abnormality knows as a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the LES and the upper part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm. One job of the diaphragm is to serve as a muscle that separates the stomach from the chest thus keeping stomach acids in the stomach. If you are suffering from a hiatal hernia, stomach acids can move into your esophagus causing a burning sensation and other acid reflux symptoms including regurgitation, nausea, bloating, burping, dysphagia (a narrowing of the esophagus), hiccups and weight loss.

You may be unaware but there is a possibility that there is something that you are doing that is causing acid reflux to take place. Here are a few tips on things that may need to be altered to eliminate the disorder:

  • Try eating smaller meals instead of larger meals. Smaller meals are more easily broken down by the acids in the stomach.
  • Drink lots of water. Eliminate drinks that are alcoholic or carbonated. Water does an excellent job at stabilizing the stomach acids and aiding in digestion. If you are already experiencing acid reflux symptoms, water may be used to soothe the burn in the esophagus.
  • Don’t eat too close to bed time. Eat at least two hours prior to bed time. This allows sufficient time for your body to digest foods.

Diet can directly affect acid reflux. Alter your diet, alter your life. For more information on acid reflux causes visit

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