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Common Acid Reflux Causes

Jun 25, 2008
Millions of people are bothered by acid reflux disease. Some common symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn, nausea, vomiting, regurgitation and ulcers of the esophagus. Acid reflux happens when the digestive acids produced in the stomach pushes (refluxes) into the esophagus from the stomach. There are many acid reflux causes, but unfortunately a cure has not been found.

One common acid reflux cause is when the muscle tissue located at the base of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), does not function properly. This band of muscle, when working correctly, contracts and blocks acid from backing up into the esophagus. When the LES becomes weak or fails to operate, the barrier disappears causing acid reflux.

Hiatal hernia is another of the common acid reflux causes. A hiatal hernia happens when the hole where the esophagus meets the stomach, the hiatus, weakens and extends, or blows up like a balloon. Acid is able to enter into the esophagus when the hiatus is weak and not able to block it.

Two separate esophageal abnormalities can be acid reflux causes. The first of these abnormalities is found more often in adult males, but can be found in women, too. This abnormality is when rings form around the esophagus and constrict movement of food down to the stomach. The term for this abnormality is adult ringed esophagus.

A motility abnormality happens when the spontaneous muscle action in the esophagus fails. This motility abnormality and adult ringed esophagus can cause more unusual acid reflux symptoms such as chronic coughing and feeling like food is caught in the throat. The spontaneous muscle of the stomach can fail causing the more common acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. This is called impaired motility.

Asthma is another of the acid reflux causes, or is asthma caused from acid reflux? Both are true. Acid reflux causes asthma because of the upper respiratory problems that people with acid reflux disease often get. On the other hand, asthma can cause acid reflux from the weakening of the LES that is a problem associated with the asthma medicines forcing open the airways and/or from the constant coughing and wheezing that asthma causes.

Genetics can be a factor in people with acid reflux disease. Muscle mass and strength are determined by genetics, including the muscles of the esophagus and the stomach. However, these muscles can be strengthened with regular exercise to include targeted exercises of the stomach, chest and abdominal areas, along with a healthy, low fat diet. Peptic ulcers, some cancers, and diabetes can also be acid reflux causes.

There is no cure for acid reflux disease but the symptoms can be kept under control. Over the counter antacids are available to alleviate heartburn, as are prescription medications. The acid can be blocked by foam tablets taken orally. Surgery might be an option for some people with severe acid reflux disease and who are healthy enough for surgery. The first step in curing the symptoms of acid reflux is finding the cause.
About the Author
Ryan helps you understand acid reflux and how you can avoid acid reflux causes.
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