What Causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

When someone asks, “What causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD),” they usually mean what foods are at the root of the problem.

But what you need to look at – instead of foods – are the root causes that result in your body not being able to handle certain foods.

When your lower esophageal sphincter (LES - the muscles that close off your stomach from your esophagus and keep food traveling the right way – down to your stomach) relax too much, it results in the food, along with acids and sometimes bile, to travel back up the way they came.

So what you want to know is what causes your LES to weaken in the first place. Some people have a hiatal hernia that causes GERD to occur because it allows the LES to weaken.

Sometimes obesity is the cause. Researchers believes that the extra fat around the stomach might compromise the sphincter’s ability to close off the esophageal tunnel, therefore allowing the food and acid mix to reenter the esophagus.

Alcohol is one of the off limit foods – and it’s because it can cause GERD to occur in some people.

First, it goes into your stomach and increases the production of acid there, which is the key cause of what irritates the lining and cause pain. Then, it relaxes the LES, enabling the food and acid to move up the esophagus.

There’s a reason that smokers often suffer from GERD more than non-smokers. That’s because smoking helps weaken the LES.

When you smoke, your body produces less saliva, and saliva is what neutralizes the acid in your body, so when the mixture does enter the esophagus, it’s far more acidic and harmful than if you had an ample saliva supply.

Many pregnant women report that they suffer heartburn – or GERD, during pregnancy.

This is usually in the latter stage of pregnancy, where the size and growth of the baby puts pressure on the stomach and forces food and acid back up through the esophagus.

It can also be caused by the change in hormones, which weaken the LES.

One of the causes may be that you simply suffer from abnormal muscle function or nerve reaction in your stomach.

This happens to some people. There’s nothing they can do about it – it just happens to be that way.

GERD can also be caused by medications you’re taking. Whether it’s prescribed or over the counter, check to see if the medicine you’re taking contributes to reflux disease.

This would include things like NSAIDs (aspirin, for example), antibiotics, high blood pressure medications, asthma medications, UTI medicine, dopamine, medicines that treat osteoporosis, and even supplements for iron and potassium.

Learn more here about What is Acid Reflux and Heartburn?


Even when we try to eat well, we're disadvantaged. The nutritional content of most food has been compromised over the years, not only by deficient soils and modern production, transportation, storage and processing methods, but also by the enormous amounts of chemical and artificial substances added to promote growth, storage life, taste and appearance.

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This allows the cells to grow, repair and to perform their functions with the best possible efficiency so that we feel and look better and are more able to prevent and fight disease. Once the body begins to clear itself of toxins it can more efficiently absorb nutrition.

Further reading through our articles on health issues will give you a body of information that will help you decide what options you have to deal with the underlying causes of your problem through giving your body the nutrition products that will assist you body to heal from the inside out.

You can visit our health food products page here: Herbalife Health Nutrition Supplements and learn more about our core nutrition program, the Cellular Nutrition Advanced Program and also check out these targeted products, Florafiber to replace your healthy flora and Aloe Vera Juice to help cleanse your system.
We wish you well in your search for solutions to this problem and your movement towards better health in all areas.


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