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What Causes Acid Reflux

Updated on April 13, 2009

Tell Me What Causes Acid Reflux So I Get Rid of This Pain

Before looking at what causes acid reflux it would be useful to consider the definition of acid reflux. Acid reflux (or GERD) is a condition where stomach acids go back to the esophagus because of the improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle.

The band of muscle tissue called the LES is responsible for closing and opening the lower end of the esophagus and is essential for maintaining a pressure barrier against contents from the stomach.

It makes up a interlacing region of smooth muscles and various hormones. If it weakens and loses strength, the LES cannot come together up totally after the food evacuates into the stomach. In these situations, acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. Dietary substances, drugs, and nervous system factors can weaken it and impair its function.

So if you eat zesty, salty food that causes a great deal of stomach acid, you will be more likely to feel the chief sign of acid reflux - heartburn.

Heartburn is defined by the painful sensation that grows from the upper abdomen and to the back of the sternum. Then a burning sensation is felt in the chest. As time passes by, the pain goes upward to the throat until you experience a rancid taste in your mouth. The painfulness radiates totally throughout the back so that you may be come incapable of functioning.

Some of the other signs of acid reflux disease are persistant hoarseness especially first thing in the morning, having a difficult time swallowing, a choking feeling where the food seems to be stuck in the throat, constant dry cough with unknown cause and bad breath.

So when examining what causes acid reflux (or GERD) one can look to ...

... an increase in acidity or gastric acid production in the stomach which then backs up into the esophagus. There is some evidence that using too much salt may be one of the answers to what causes acid reflux.

Anyone who has consumed large amounts of acid-forming foods can have moderate and short-lived heartburn. This is particularly typical when lifting, bending over, or having a snooze after eating a big meal high in greasy, acidic foods. Persistent acid reflux disease, however, could the the result of a number of elements as well, including abnormal biological or functional factors.

Things that might give rise to an increase in gastric acid production include a sedentary life-style, unhealthy diets, consuming a heavy meal, obesity and maternity. If the condition worsens merely bending over or lying down prostrate may bring about an highly unpleasant heartburn attack.

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