Common Causes of Acid Reflux

causes of acid reflux

Most of the time, acid reflux occurs due to certain lifestyle factors. However, some sufferers may have an underlying condition that is causing symptoms of GERD, which they are completely unaware of.

Pregnancy

Some pregnant women may find that they suffer from acid reflux; it is usually more likely if you have been pregnant before, are in the third trimester or have had symptoms before you were pregnant.There are two main causes of acid reflux during pregnancy, the first being the hormonal changes your body goes through as certain hormones are known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The other reason is that as the baby grows, more pressure is placed on the stomach, which in turn increases pressure on the LES


Allergies

You may not know it, but there is a possibility that you are allergic to something that you are eating that is is causing your symptoms. Food and pollen allergies are one of the main causes of eosinophilic esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus, which causes difficulty swallowing and symptoms of acid reflux.

How do you know what food you are allergic to? Most will recommend that you should get a food tolerance test but, to be honest, most of the time they are not that reliable. The best way to test if food is causing your acid reflux is to start a food journal. In the food journal, you should note down what foods you are eating and what symptoms, if any, occur after. You should do this for at least three weeks for an accurate result.


Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia also referred to as a hiatus hernia, is a condition in which part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm, a thin muscle located between the abdomen and the chest that aids breathing. It can affect anyone, but you are more likely to develop a hiatal hernia if you are a woman, over 50, a smoker, overweight or pregnant.

A hiatal hernia often remains undiagnosed because it rarely causes symptoms. If you do have severe acid reflux, then it is worth talking to your doctor as the underlying cause may be a hiatal hernia.


Low Stomach Acid

Stomach acid is produced by cells in the stomach lining; it is an essential part of the digestion process. Low stomach acid, also called hypochlorhydria, can be caused by a range of things including stress, a zinc deficiency, a diet lacking nutrients, antacid use, certain medication, candida, chronic illness and more.

While we tend to associate acid reflux with having high levels of stomach acid, a lot of cases of GERD are actually the result of having low stomach acid. If the stomach is not acidic enough, the pyloric sphincter, a valve-like muscle that opens to allow the food in the stomach to empty, stays shut. With food stuck in the stomach, pressure increases which can force contents back up into the esophagus causing acid reflux.

Symptoms of low stomach acid include bloating, gas, GERD, anaemia, a tendency to develop candida infections and certain vitamin deficiencies due to malabsorption.


Final Thoughts…

If your acid reflux is caused by an underlying condition, then it should be resolved once the condition is treated. However, if your acid reflux is not a result of an underlying health condition, then making small changes to your lifestyle is very likely to make a massive difference since most cases of GERD are as a result of the risk factors mentioned above.