Causes of Acid Reflux: An Overview

By: limkhim
There are many causes of acid reflux. Understanding what they are can help you seek the appropriate treatment to the pain and discomfort that you are experiencing.

Probably the most common causes of acid reflux results from the physical inability of the lower oesophageal sphincter to stop stomach acid from travelling up the oesophagus. Unfortunately because of the fact that this is a physical abnormality, most medications cannot help address the root cause. It appears that the only solution to this is to use surgery to strengthen the sphincter, so enabling it to open and close properly.

Other physical abnormalities associated with acid reflux causes include a condition called adult-ringed oesophagus. Here the lining of the oesophagus develops hardened rings of cartilage which makes it increasingly difficult to swallow. This means that peristalsis, the rhythmic contraction and relaxation of the muscles in the oesophageal walls, cannot move the food into the stomach effectively and the sphincter remains open for longer than normal. This ultimately results in the stomach acid escaping from the stomach and travelling up the oesophagus and throat.

Another very common cause is an abnormality of the stomach muscles which normally force the food through the lower stomach sphincter and into the small intestine. When these muscles are impaired the food remains in the stomach for too long and the production of acid becomes uncontrollable.

A more serious but less common example of acid reflux causes is the hiatal hernia. This is where a small section of the stomach becomes trapped in a natural hole in the diaphragm. This process in itself is not one of the causes however it affects the lower oesophageal sphincter and results in it not being able to close completely. As mentioned above, this then leads to stomach acid making its way up the oesophagus and causing the damage associated with the condition.

In addition to the physical conditions that are considered to be acid reflux causes there is also the chemical conditions. Certain families of drugs such as the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are widely thought to trigger acid reflux in some people. These type of drugs are often used to combat pain and inflammation associated with hundreds of illnesses; so acid reflux is considered a possible side effect to consuming them.

It has been found that diabetes is often diagnosed at the same time. As diabetics also need to be careful of what they eat, it is quite difficult to plan a healthy diet that does not set off either condition.

Asthma is also commonly associated with acid reflux. However, it is not exactly know whether asthma causes acid reflux or whether acid reflux causes latent asthma to develop. More research will have to be conducted to find out to establish the true cause-effect link.
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