What is Acid Reflux?



Acid reflux, or heartburn, happens as a result of a failed lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is located between the esophagus and the stomach. When working correctly, the LES stops acid from moving up from the stomach into the esophagus. A weak LES allows acid to flow upward, causing heartburn.


Causes
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Pregnancy
  • Eating a heavy meal and then lying down
  • Smoking
  • Consuming irritating foods or beverages
    • Citrus fruits
    • Tomatoes
    • Coffee
    • Alcohol
    • Spicy foods
    • Fatty foods
    • Carbonated drinks

Symptoms
  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Asthma
  • Can't eat certain foods
  • Can't drink certain liquids
  • Pain or discomfort in the chest


When to get help

See a doctor if your acid reflux is interfering with your everyday life.


Find a Doctor