Acid reflux, where stomach acid flows backward up into the esophagus, is a common problem many individuals fail to take proper notice of. If left untreated, it can cause a lot of other complications, one of them Barrett’s esophagus, which is a precursor to cancer. Several factors may increase your risk for acid reflux disease. Here are some you have to watch for.
1. Stomach Abnormalities
A common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called hiatal hernia, which happens when the upper part of the stomach and LES, a muscle that separates the stomach from the chest, move above the diaphragm.
Being pregnant can cause an increase in a woman’s level of hormones and this, combined with the pressure from the growing fetus in her womb, can cause acid reflux. The burning feeling is worst during the third trimester, but almost always goes away after delivery.
Smoking damages the mucus membranes and impairs the muscle reflexes in the throat. This increases acid secretion, reduces salivation, which is responsible for neutralizing the effect of acid, and LES muscle function, contributing to the burning feeling of acid reflux.
4. Some Food
Some food items can increase your risk for acid reflux disease. Citrus fruits, tomato, mint, and spicy food are the biggest probable reasons behind acid reflux. Chocolate, fatty food, onions, and garlic are also other possible risk factors.
5. Being Overweight
Obesity can be a reason for your acid reflux, too. Studies show that adults who piled on a bit of extra pounds are increasing their risk of heartburn or acid reflux. Excess body fat around the belly increases the pressure around the stomach, causing the fluid to be forced up.
6. Taking Muscle Relaxers
Muscle relaxants affect the LES and cause acid reflux. Medication for asthma and urinary tract infection, blood pressure prescription, painkillers, and antidepressants can increase your risk to heartburn, as well.
Exercise increases the pressure in the abdominal cavity, causing the unpleasant effect of acid reflux. The pressure on the sphincter, especially if you do strenuous activities after a full meal, can give rise to acid reflux symptoms.
8. Eating Habits
If you like to lie on your back after eating or snack close to bedtime, it’s time to ditch these unhealthy eating habits as they may be causing your acid reflux symptoms. Intake of alcohol and tobacco after a big, fatty meal, may also lead to the sensation of heartburn.
It is always best to consult with a doctor you trust if you are prone to acid reflux to avoid any worsening of your condition. You need to be conscious of the things that affect your help because no one else will do it for you. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.