2016-06-08 15:40:29 UTC

GERD 103: Causes

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Causes

Many things can cause gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Talk to your doctor about what might be causing your symptoms.

Muscle Weakness

  • You have a muscle, the lower esophageal sphincter (valve), which is found between your stomach and esophagus (the tube that links your mouth and stomach). 
  • This muscle is meant to close after food goes into your stomach and stay closed when you are not eating. 
  • If this muscle is weak, the valve does not work the right way and what is in your stomach can come back up (reflux).
  • The muscle can become weak because of:
    • Being overweight, obese or pregnant.
    • Some medications (talk to your doctor and tell him or her exactly what you take).
    • Smoking.
    • Alcohol.
    • Getting older.

Other Causes

  • Reflux can also be worsened by some foods, how fast you eat and how much you eat.
  • A hiatal hernia, which is a bulging of the stomach into the chest through the hole in your diaphragm normally occupied by the lower esophageal sphincter, can cause reflux.
    • This condition is more common with aging and obesity.

 

© AGA, September 2017

©AGA, July 2016

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