While occasional heartburn is rarely a cause for concern, patients with persistent acid reflux should see a gastroenterologist to test for more serious conditions like GERD and Barrett’s esophagus. Understanding the causes of acid reflux can help you determine whether or not you have an increased risk of developing the condition.
If you think you may be in danger, or if you want to learn more about potential causes of reflux, don’t hesitate to contact the doctors at La Peer Health Systems’ Reflux Surgery Center of Excellence for help.
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Acid Reflux Causes and Risk Factors
Acid reflux is caused because the sphincter muscle in the stomach fails to close completely. As a result, food, liquids, and stomach acid can slide back up into the esophagus. Over time, the acid backwash can damage the lining of the esophagus and lead to problems such as esophageal bleeding, breathing issues, and other more serious conditions (GERD, Barrett’s disease, and esophageal cancer). Furthermore, a number of dietary and health factors can raise one’s risk of suffering from acid reflux and exacerbate symptoms of the condition.
Dietary Risk Factors
It’s no surprise that what you eat, drink, and ingest can have a profound effect on your digestion. The following foods and beverages have been known to cause acid reflux in some patients:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Fatty and fried foods
- Muscle relaxants
- Tomato sauce
Medical Conditions Linked to GERD
Pre-existing medical conditions can enhance one’s risk for developing acid reflux. People with the following conditions may want to consider seeking treatment at the Reflux Surgery Center:
- Certain connective tissue disorders
- Hiatal hernia
Gastric Disorders Known to Cause Acid Reflux
People who suffer from gastric disorders are more likely to suffer from heartburn symptoms as well. If you have been diagnosed with one of the following conditions, you may want to pursue treatment for heartburn and indigestion:
- Gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying)
- Peptic Ulcers
While making changes to your lifestyle and diet can help reduce your risk and alleviate the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, patients with painful or regular reflux should seek medical attention to protect against more serious conditions.
FAQ on Acid Reflux Causes
Q: What health conditions are likely to cause acid reflux?
A: People with gastric disorders, diabetes or asthma and those who are pregnant or obese may be at a greater risk of developing GERD.
Q: Does my diet really have an effect on my reflux symptoms?
A: Yes! Talk to the gastroenterologists at the Reflux Surgery Center for information about altering your diet to alleviate heartburn symptoms.
Q: Can only adults get acid reflux?
A: People of all ages can develop acid reflux or GERD. In fact, the condition commonly occurs in babies who are under a year old, though it usually resolves itself.
Q: Is there a cure for GERD?
A: Unfortunately, there is no cure for acid reflux or GERD. However, the doctors at the Reflux Surgery Center can do a great deal to alleviate symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Reflux Surgery Center of Excellence
Heartburn and acid reflux can have a profoundly negative effect on your ability to enjoy life and pursue daily activities. Further, when left untreated, these conditions can cause serious damage to the esophagus. If you think you may be at a higher risk for acid reflux, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation with the board-certified gastroenterologists at the Reflux Surgery Center of Excellence.
With unique training from top medical schools, our doctors provide state-of-the-art care that puts the patient first in a newly remodeled, multi-million dollar facility. Call (888) 593-1042 or contact us online to make an appointment at our surgery center in Los Angeles.
Next, read about who gets acid reflux.