Causes Of Acid Reflux Disease

August 26, 2011

Causes Of Acid Reflux Disease

When the part of the stomach that’s connected to the esophagus, which is called the cardia, fails to work properly acid reflux results. The angle between the cardia as it enters the stomach and the esophagus is a doorway, creating a valve to prevent stomach acid, duodenal bile and enzymes from going the wrong way up the esophagus. The angle of this connection between the esophagus and the stomach is called the angle of His, and when it is compromised an inflammation results causing mild to severe discomfort from acid reflux.

Acid reflux or GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease, thus occurs when this doorway or barrier protecting the esophagus from the stomach acids has weakened and the lower esophageal sphincter becomes too relaxed. The stomach acids in the esophagus causes what is commonly termed heartburn, a burning sensation in the upper abdomen or the chest. The pain may even be felt in the neck, jaw and throat, and can be profoundly uncomfortable.

Acid reflux can also cause damage to the larynx and the respiratory system. This type of acid reflux is called EERD, extraesophageal reflux disease or LPR, laryngopharyngeal reflux. These forms of acid reflux are referred to as “silent reflux” as they rarely cause heartburn. Acid reflux can also cause dysphagia, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, nausea and excessive salivation.

With pediatric reflux a child may cough, vomit frequently, have bad breath, frequent bowel movements or constipation, gag and have inadequate weight gain. Pediatric reflux can also cause pneumonia, bronchitis and asthma.

Several contributing factors can result in acid reflux. Some of these factors are:

  • Hypercalcemia, which is too much calcium in the blood
  • Scleroderma, a connective tissue disease that hardens the skin, blood vessels, muscles and internal organs
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which increases production of the hormone gastrin
  • Visceroptosis, where the abdominal organs sink below their proper position
  • Helicobacter pylori, bacteria that is the cause of most ulcers and chronic gastritis
  • Obesity

However, lifestyle is probably the single biggest contributor to acid reflux disease. The first negative influence on the list is smoking. Not only does smoking increase the risk of developing acid reflux, but it augments the symptoms for those who have acid reflux disease. Here is a sobering statistic for any smoker, anyone who has smoked steadily for 20 years is 70 percent more likely to have acid reflux disease than people who don’t smoke.

An interesting and fairly recent finding is that consuming a large amount of table salt increases the likelihood of developing acid reflux to a similar degree as smoking. In other words, people who habitually have additional salt on their food are 70 percent more likely to develop acid reflux than people who have average or minimal amounts of salt.

Alcohol consumption is another acid reflux factor as it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and also increases the production of stomach acid. The obvious solution is to moderate alcohol consumption.

Other lifestyle choices for not only preventing acid reflux but all disease process is a healthy diet. Be sure to eat all the different colored vegetables as each color has particular important nutrients. Get regular exercise ? cardio and yoga are great to keep the body in tune, and get adequate and restful sleep.

For more information on what causes acid reflux be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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