2016-06-08 15:40:29 UTC

GERD 103: Causes

View PDF Copy PDF Link

 
 

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

More on GERD

More Data on PPI Use and Kidney Disease

Nov. 8, 2017

A new meta-analysis on PPIs and kidney disease makes mainstream headlines. Here is what you, and your patients, need to know.

New PPI Study on Gastric Cancer Generates Media Attention

Nov. 2, 2017

AGA provides talking points to help your patients understand the science behind the PPI study.

Image Challenge: Chronic Abdominal Pain and Cutaneous Swelling

Sept. 27, 2017

What caused five to eight week episodes of intermittent abdominal pain, diarrhea, and associated nontender, non-itchy cutaneous erythema and swelling in patient?