Are Acid Reflux & Obesity Linked?

Eight studies from the researchers from the Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, US, indicated that the symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease are increased by having a high BMI or body mass index. Acid Reflux symptoms can increase by as much as 50 percent in overweight people compared to people with normal weight. Obesity is not good news at all.

It was shown in 2006 by Dr. B Jacobson, from Boston University of Medicine, USA, that digestive health is affected by excess weight. A normal weight person gaining a bit of weight, can still look fine and not be considered obese, but could still become more prone to Acid Reflux. Also a person who notices his Acid Reflux symptoms become more severe can shed a few pounds to help relieve those symptoms.

So does being overweight matter?

Picture layers and layers of extra body fat squeezing the stomach, pushing it in, containing and trapping stomach acid in natural folds formed in the stomach. Add the effects of digested food and the results could be a hernia. We’re not even considering hormonal changes in your body that can cause obesity and other problems in your body like digestion.

Twenty percent of Americans today suffer from periodic Acid Reflux disease or GERD. Acid Reflux can then interfere with daily things like eating or sleeping. Obesity is becoming an epidemic today and helps to add to this percentage. Certain cancers including cancer of the esophagus have been linked to obesity.

Overweight people are prone to weaker esophageal sphincters and tend to develop a condition related to Acid Reflux called a hiatus hernia. This is when the upper part of the stomach bulges out above the diaphragm. There is so much to fit in such a limited space, that folds can become permanent hernias.

Another concern for people suffering from Acid Reflux is that research shows that even when undergoing a surgery for weight loss, Acid Reflux can still worsen. Opinions conflict over whether to treat an overweight person through surgery.

Obesity increases abdominal pressure and causes stomach contents to back into the food pipe. Obesity also contributes to slower movement and less exercise as well as loss of various muscled tones. Among those affected could be the Esophageal Sphincter.

Source by Frank Robson

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