Home » Health & Wellness » What Causes Acid Reflux?


First, let’s dissect the term “reflux”. The word comes from “refluxus”, a Medieval Latin word which in turn is derived from “refluere”, a Latin term, meaning “to recede” or “to flow back”. So when you experience an acid reflux, it means your stomach acid flowing back into your esophagus, causing pain and discomfort.

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More about Acid Reflux

The stomach and esophagus are joined at a junction called the esophagus sphincter. On one end your stomach it is constantly producing powerful acids necessary for food digestion. On the other end the esophagus is the tub between the pharynx and the stomach.

When the lower sphincter, which acts as a kind of valve, becomes too weak to prevent seeping, gastric juices flow upward to the esophagus and cause what is commonly known as heartburn.

Remember, acid reflux is the condition, and heartburn is the sensation. These cannot be used interchangeably.

Causes of Acid Reflux

Many things can cause or increase the risk factor of acid reflux. Take for instance, smoking.

Smoking, especially chain smoking, is a well-known cause of acid reflux for a number of reasons: it reduces salivation, reduces muscle function of LES, increases acid secretion, impair throat muscle reflexes, and damages mucus membranes. It also increases the risk of esophagus cancer in combination with alcohol abuse.

Some particular foods are also known to promote acid reflux, such as spicy foods, coffee, citrus foods, chocolate, alcohol and carbonated beverages. Eating these in large portions and then quickly lying down is a surefire way to encourage heartburn in your body.

Certain body conditions are also potential causes of acid reflux, like exercises that puts pressure along the abdominal cavity, too much intake of ibuprofen and aspirin, eating junk foods close to bedtime, lying down after a heavy meal, as well as being overweight.

The way you combine the particular foods you eat can also cause acid reflux. It takes different enzymes to digest different foods. When you eat fruit you should wait twenty minutes before eating any other kind of food or you run the risks of having an acid reflux issue. Also it is best not to eat a starch with a meat because that can also cause an acid reflux response because each calls for a different digestive enzyme. A safer combination for a meal is to eat vegetables with meat… or vegetables with a starch. The reason why is that they can be digested properly with the same digestive enzymes.

If you wish to avoid the sensation of heartburn, make sure to stay away from the habits mentioned above and non compatible combinations of foods as much as possible.

Heartburns No More

Acid reflux is usually not a serious condition, and it is easily prevented so long as you keep track of your food intake and avoid lying down following a big meal. You don’t always have to suffer with heartburn. You can prevent it. Remember these notes and tips and you should be fine.


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