10 Factors That Cause Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux symptoms can be causes by many different and diverse problems. It is a growing concern in today’s society and has been on the increase for a long time. Here are 10 of the most common factors that cause acid reflux symptoms.
1- The amount of acid produced in the stomach: Either too little or too much acid can be a contributing factor. Producing too much stomach acid is called hyperhydrochlorhydria. When we produce too much acid the digestion system cannot send it all into the small intestine and it starts to back up into the esophagus causing acid reflux symptoms. When we do not produce enough acid it is called hypochlorhydria. Acid production is part of the digestive process and if we do not produce enough then food is not digested properly. This in turn prevents a valve called the pyloric valve which is located at the bottom of the stomach from opening so food stays in the stomach longer and can easily return to the esophagus.
2- Hiatus Hernia: A hiatus hernia is caused by a weakened or damaged hiatus (a small hole located at the top of the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to pass through to the stomach. The diaphragm is the strong sheet of muscle that separates the organs of the chest from those of the abdomen. It can be damaged by sudden physical exertion, straining, persistent coughing, or vomiting and protrudes up into the chest through the diaphragm. This in turn prevents a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) from shutting and so lets the contents of the stomach back into the esophagus.
3- Relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (LES): The LES is a valve between the esophagus and stomach that opens and closes to allow for the passage of food into the stomach. If it is weakened and loses its shape it does not close properly and allows stomach contents including hydrochloric acid to flow back into the esophagus causing heartburn.
4- Pregnancy: A lot of women suffer from acid reflux symptoms when pregnant because the growing baby increases pressure on the stomach and the only way that food can go is back up into the esophagus.
5- Bad Eating habits: Because of the pressures of modern living people do not have time to relax or eat proper meals. People are always on the go and some of the bad habits that causes heartburn symptoms include:
Eating too late and then going to bed soon afterwards
Eating too quickly
Overeating or eating very heavy, hard to digest meals
Not relaxing after a meal and then participating in arduous exercise
Eating on the move
Lying back to eat
Not sitting properly at meals
6- Stress: Again modern living is full of stress. To cope with stress the body naturally sends more blood to our muscles. This will slow down the digestive process be removing blood from the stomach were it is needed to aid digestion causing acid reflux. Also when stressed we tend to seek comfort by eating, and usually eating the wrong food which compounds the problem.
7- Gastroparesis: or delayed stomach emptying. Sometimes the muscles of the stomach are weakened or impaired and can no longer aid in the emptying of the stomach properly. The stomach muscles usually move spontaneously but with impaired movement the digestion of food is slowed down and does not flow into the small intestine quickly enough. This in turn can reflux back into the esophagus causing acid reflux symptoms to occur.
8- Foods to avoid: If you are prone to acid reflux symptoms then there are certain foods and drinks you should avoid which can trigger it off.
Some of these foods include the following:
Citrus fruit and citrus juices
Tomatoes and tomato products
Caffeinated beverages including coffee, tea, energy drinks, soda
Spicy food like curry
Fatty and fried foods
9: Smoking: Muscle function of the LES is relaxed because of the contents of cigarette smoke. It also inhibits the muscle function in the esophagus, decreases the production of saliva (part of the digestion process) and it increases acid secretion which all add to an increased likelihood of producing acid reflux symptoms.
10: Obesity. Obesity as we all know is on the rise and can produce a lot of problems for some people, acid reflux being one of those problems. Carrying too much weight causes pressure on the stomach and can force stomach contents to be shoved back into the esophagus.
Acid reflux symptoms conclusion
There are many factors that cause acid reflux however they are not all the same for everyone. If you are suffering from acid reflux symptoms you could start by eliminating the 10 we have mentioned above as a start.
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