myFM: Understanding Acid Reflux: Causes and Potential Consequences

by Lianne Phillipson August 09, 2023

myFM: Understanding Acid Reflux: Causes and Potential Consequences

Experiencing discomfort in the center of your chest is not only physically distressing but can also have profound implications for your overall health. Prolonged use of acid-blocking medications, commonly taken to alleviate acid reflux, could inadvertently lead to a deficiency in a crucial vitamin—B12.

This deficiency, in turn, may pave the way for a range of issues including depression, anemia, fatigue, nerve damage, and even dementia, particularly among the elderly population.

Root Causes of Acid Reflux:

The triggers behind acid reflux can be manifold, often tied to our dietary and lifestyle choices. It's essential to be mindful of the following factors:

  1. Dietary Habits:

    • Consuming fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages can contribute to acid reflux.
    • Intake of spicy, tomato-based, or citrus-rich foods might exacerbate the condition.
  2. Lifestyle Choices:

    • Smoking is a known contributor to acid reflux due to its impact on the digestive system.
    • Carrying excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, can exert pressure on the stomach, hindering proper digestion and promoting reflux.
    • The presence of a hiatal hernia, where the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm, can elevate the risk of acid reflux.
  3. Eating Patterns:

    • Eating large meals or consuming food right before bedtime can impede proper digestion, leading to reflux.
  4. Stress Factors:

    • Stress has a noticeable influence on the stomach's sphincters. Increased stress levels can cause the upper sphincter to relax, while the lower one tightens, prolonging the time food remains in the stomach.
  5. Magnesium Deficiency:

    • Emerging research suggests that magnesium deficiency may play a role in triggering reflux. Magnesium aids in relaxing the lower stomach sphincter, facilitating smoother digestion.

If you find yourself grappling with persistent acid reflux, it's prudent to take proactive steps:

  • Consult a medical professional to address your symptoms comprehensively.
  • A comprehensive evaluation can determine if the presence of Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium associated with stomach ulcers, is contributing to your condition.

Understanding the underlying causes of acid reflux can empower you to make informed choices about your diet and lifestyle. Beyond the immediate discomfort, prolonged acid-blocking medication use warrants caution due to its potential to trigger vitamin B12 deficiency and subsequent health complications. By adopting a holistic approach, seeking medical guidance, and making mindful changes, you can take charge of your digestive health and overall well-being.

Listen to segment below!

Leave a comment

Comments will be approved before showing up.

sprout right newsletter