Acid Reflux Causes

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Many people think that food and drink are the main causes of acid reflux. Experts now agree that lifestyle can cause occasional reflux, but that those that suffer from acid reflux every day most likely have a medical issue that is causing the condition. Contrary to popular belief, cutting out large meals, cigars, and alcohol is not a cure for acid reflux. Chewing endless antacids is also not a good way to treat acid reflux. It may mask the problem, but it definitely won’t make it go away.

Acid reflux is the condition that causes stomach acids to rise up into the esophagus. The most common cause by far is a faulty esophageal sphincter. In fact, most doctors today, if asked, would say that the root acid reflux cause is a defective esophageal valve. Some people are born with low pressure in this valve. In others this condition can be caused by pregnancy, blood pressure medication, and depression medication. Doctors do not yet understand why some people have low pressure in their esophageal sphincter, but they do understand how to increase the pressure through the use of modern medicine or surgery, depending on what underlying causes there are.

Another cause of acid reflux is a hiatal hernia. Over 4 out of 10 Americans suffer from this condition, and while not everyone who has one suffers from reflux, there is a certain percentage of the population in whom it causes reflux. A hiatal hernia is usually harmless, but if it is large enough it can easily be removed with a simple surgical procedure.

Gastroparesis can also cause acid reflux. This is a stomach condition which causes naturally produced stomach acid to sit too long before emptying into the small intestines. The longer it sits in the stomach, the more chance it has to go up into the esophagus and cause reflux symptoms.

Pregnancy and obesity can also cause acid reflux. As the stomach expands in both cases, extra pressure is put on the esophagus, which can cause acid to go up into the esophagus. The reflux usually disappears after the pregnancy or if the obese person changes their diet and loses weight.

Lifestyle can create reflux symptoms, but as stated earlier it probably doesn’t lead to everyday acid reflux. There is evidence that eating meals that are too large can cause reflux symptoms.

Cutting down on the size of portions has been shown to reduce these symptoms almost immediately. Smoking and drinking have also been linked to acid reflux. Smokers have less bicarbonate in their saliva, which helps neutralize acid. It can also weaken the esophageal sphincter. Alcohol also exacerbates the symptoms of acid reflux. Many people also report that reflux symptoms are reduced when they cut down on their chocolate or caffeine intake.

Acid reflux is a condition that affects millions of people all over the United States. Having reflux symptoms every day can affect not only your physical health but your mental well-being as well. Luckily, modern medicine finally understands why acid reflux occurs and how to diagnose and treat the problem.

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