August 26, 2011

Causes of the Acid Reflux

Acid reflux can be known by a lot of names. Heartburn, indigestion, and GERD (short for gastroesophagael reflux disease), are all commonly used terms used for what many people simply call acid reflux. But no matter what you call it, it is not much fun to live with. There are ways to control the symptoms of it, and reduce the uncomfortable flare ups that cause millions of individuals to seek out medical help. Here we’ll discuss the causes of acid reflux. Educating yourself with this knowledge will make living with acid reflux possible.

It may surprise you to learn that food is not the only cause of acid reflux, although it is certainly a contributing factor. Moreover, just because you are suffering with symptoms of acid reflux right now, does not mean that it will continue to affect you for the rest of your life. Acid reflux can be set on by certain medical conditions such as pregnancy, or by prescription or over the counter medications you may be taking. By simply improving your health or switching medications, you may be able to put a stop to your acid reflux symptoms.

Now let’s get down to it. What are some common causes of acid reflux? In all honesty, there are many.

Smoking – Smoking weakens the esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid to easily flow back up into the esophagus. Smoking also stimulates stomach acid and promotes movement of stomach contents, which makes it more difficult to keep them from refluxing out of control.

Overeating – Consuming too much food at one time can cause it to back up out of the stomach and up through the esophagus. This can be easily rectified by eating smaller portions or by eating less food more frequently.

Laying down after eating – Some people only experience symptoms of acid reflux at night, and it is commonly caused by laying down after eating. When you lie down, pressure is placed on the lower esophageal sphincter. When pressed, it can cause food to back up and reflux, which can cause the uncomfortable symptoms of acid reflux.

Eating late in the evening – For the same reasons that it is bad to lay down after eating, one should not eat too late in the evening. Food needs time to digest in the stomach before a person rests and becomes inactive.

Alcohol intake – Drinking alcohol in excess causes an overproduction of stomach acids. As a result, the body finds it difficult to control and it frequently bubbles and moves back into the esophagus.

Obesity – The relationship between obesity and acid reflux is not clear, but overweight individuals are more likely to experience symptoms of acid reflux than those within a healthy weight.

Stress – Stress is a common culprit for many medical conditions, and acid reflux is one of them. Stress is arguably the biggest trigger for acid reflux as it causes an increase in stomach acid production and movement which often results in it backing back up into the esophagus.

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