Causes of Acid Reflux


by Richard Wong - Date: 2006-11-30 - Word Count: 515 Share This!

A harmful chronic disease, acid reflux, can be caused by many different factors. In this article, we'll be looking at some of the causes of acid reflux disease.

The improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES muscles, is one of the main reasons that people experience the caustic fluid backup that is characteristic of acid reflux. Found at the base of the esophagus, these muscles provide a method of opening and closing the passageway to the stomach. When weakened, the LES muscles are often unable to close fully. As a result, acid from the stomach can find its way up into the esophagus.

Abnormalities of the esophagus are another cause of acid reflux disease. The esophagus may be malformed in several different parts, but two of the most common abnormalities that lead to acid reflux are peristalsis and a condition known as adult-ringed esophagus. In an adult-ringed esophagus, small rings in the throat can cause an inability to swallow properly.

Another factor that can be responsible for acid reflux is improper functioning of the stomach. Impaired stomach muscles are found in over fifty percent of all acid reflux sufferers. They have difficulty responding quickly to stimuli. This can cause an extended period of time before the stomach is emptied of its contents, often resulting in an acid backup in the esophagus.

Another reason why one may experience acid reflux is hiatal hernias. The hiatus, a hole that is located in the diaphragm, helps to secure the passageway between the esophagus and the stomach. It is usually tight, keeping the organs separate. However, if the hiatus is weakened, it can loosen up resulting in a small part of the stomach protruding through the hole. This occurrence is known as a hiatal hernia. This can lead to a lack of functioning in the LES muscles, which, as discussed previously, leads to acid reflux.

Medical conditions of asthma and diabetes are two other things to take note of when considering the causes of acid reflux. It was found that at least half of all asthma sufferers are known to experience acid reflux. However, we have not yet discovered which disease may be causing the other. As such, diabetes sufferers need to be careful of their eating habits when it comes to acid reflux. Many diabetics suffer from gastroparesis, a condition that causes a delay in the emptying of the stomach. This can cause a backup in the stomach resulting in an acid buildup in the esophagus.

Certain drugs may also be the cause of acid reflux. NSAIDs, or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs may be responsible for the development of acid reflux or a worsening of the condition in those who already have it. These drugs are quite commonly available, and some of the most recognized brands of NSAIDs include Motrin, Nuprin, Advil, and Aleve. A recent research study showed that people who regularly took these medications were twice as likely to experience some symptoms of acid reflux.

The above are some of the causes of acid reflux disease. If you are suffering from acid reflux, you should consult with your medical professional for advice.


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