Acid reflux causes include the lower end of the gullet being weak, and/or the stomach being overfull of food plus acid gastric juice.
The last bit of the gullet, just before the stomach, is normally kept tight to prevent reflux. This can be weakened by the body in general being short of the substance Potassium, or when we have a hiatal hernia.
Medications such as diazepam, theophylline, nitrates, and calcium channel blockers may weaken the muscle.
study¹¹ found temporomandibular joint dysfunction in a third of people with
reflux. It is possible that this may interfere with normal propulsion in the
gullet and encourage reflux.
entire abdominal cavity is overfull with fat (visceral obesity,) there isn't as
much room for food in our stomach.
This also encourages reflux.
the top end of the weight scale get 50% more episodes of acid up their gullet, than those with healthy weight¹.
It is extremely likely that our gullet's skin varies between individuals, in how well it can tolerate acid or alkali.
variation is likely also, to be due to a mixture of inherited and environmental
factors. The importance of nutrition as one of these, is underlined by the
usefulness of Siberian pine nut oil in this condition.
continue...re. producing too much acid.
Excessive acidity in the stomach is commonly given as the explanation for GERD. This is partly true. The acid is certainly secreted for too long and in too great a volume, but read on...
The normal process...
The upper part of our stomach makes the acid. The lower end (antrum) just before the Duodenum, measures the strength of the acid (the pH.)
When we eat, the stomach pours out digestive juice containing acid and the digestive enzyme “pepsin.”
The food is able to soak up a certain amount of acid, but as acid secretion continues this “buffering capacity” of the food is exceeded, and the pH of the gastric contents drops (more acid - lower pH.)
pH drops into the range of 1 to 3, the gastric antrum turns off the acid production
and the stomach gets on with digesting our food.
What happens with reflux...
commonly, this reflux problem develops because the stomach can’t get the pH
sufficiently low for the antrum to “throw the switch” to turn off the acid
Not turned off appropriately, the acid production then continues too long and causes havoc, including acid reflux.
situation is commonly due to deficiency of zinc and/or an infection of the
stomach lining with a germ called Helicobactor pylori.
Zinc is part of an enzyme (carbonic anhydrase) in the stomach lining which makes the acid.
gastric antrum switch may malfunction and so be unable to turn the acid off at
an appropriate pH.
This may be due to inflammation from bile reflux (duodenogastric reflux, which can also contain pancreatic juice.) Helicobactor infection, toxicity and food intolerance are also possible causes.