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What is the Cause of Acid Reflux?

by on February 28th, 2009
What is the Cause of Acid Reflux?

The presence of hydrochloric acid in the esophagus is what causes acid reflux. The esophagus is that part of the body that moves the food from your mouth to your stomach where it is processed. When hydrochloric acid gets into the esophagus, it damages the lining of mucus and causes pain and discomfort.

If acid reflux goes untreated, a more serious condition like cancer can develop. What can cause acid reflux, and how can you prevent acid reflux?

  • Your Diet
    What you eat has an impact on acid reflux. Foods such as tomatoes and citrus fruits are high in acid and therefore increases the acid levels in your digestive system. Avoid or limit your intake of such foods. Also avoid eating chocolate, spicy foods and those that contain caffeine.
  • Your Habits
    Habits like smoking or eating too much at one sitting can make acid reflux worse. The nicotine in cigarettes increases acid production. When you eat too much or if you are overweight, the acid in your stomach is more likely to go up in the esophagus.
  • Hernias
    In some cases, hernias increase the likelihood of acid reflux. Still, science still has not proven the correlation between the two.
  • Your Sleeping Position
    If you tend to sleep on your back, you are more likely to have acid reflux. You should either sleep in a different position or make sure your head is propped up slightly while you lie on your back in order to prevent acid from getting into the esophagus.
  • Tight Clothing
    Wearing tight clothes may cause acid reflux. Tight clothing puts a strain on your midsection, making acid reflux more likely to occur, especially after you’ve had a large meal.
  • Overeating
    The more food you eat at once, the more likely you are to suffer from acid reflux. It is better to eat several small meals throughout the day. Eating smaller meals means your digestive system produces less acid. Acid reflux is common among pregnant women who overeat. The baby in the womb pushes on the other organs as the mother’s stomach becomes full.

You can improve your diet, ditch bad habits, avoid activities that can cause hernias, sleep in a better position, wear loose-fitting clothes and avoid overeating to reduce acid reflux. However, these things may not get rid of it altogether. You may need to treat the acid reflux with medication. It’s best that you talk to your doctor for the right acid reflux treatment.

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