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Acid reflux due to constipation

Can constipation cause acid reflux?
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Doctor Answers (1) on Acid reflux due to constipation

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Ms. Swati Kapoor Bangalore | Dietitian/Nutritionist
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Acid reflux, also known as acid indigestion, is a common condition that affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. it is caused because of --> Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal --> Being overweight or obese --> Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist --> Snacking close to bedtime --> Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications. The association of constipation in the causation of acid reflux has not yet been documented.To undertstand why,you need to understand a bit about acid reflux first. So acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)—the muscle that acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach—either relaxes or doesn’t close properly. This allows stomach contents including acidic digestive juices to back up into the esophagus. As you have experienced, heartburn is a common result of this process, which results from irritation of the mucosal lining of the esophagus and stomach. If the disease process is severe enough, other symptoms can develop as well, such as --> Excessive salivation --> Chronic cough --> Pain with swallowing and --> Difficulty with swallowing. Symptoms of acid reflux are all related directly to changes within the upper gastrointestinal tract (ie, the stomach and esophagus), and have no significant impact on the lower tract (the small and large intestines). As such, acid reflux has no relation to constipation, which most commonly occurs as a result of abnormalities in the large intestine. The only known association between the two are that antacids taken for treating the symptoms of acid reflux could cause constipation . There are also some proposed theories that suggest constipation to cause accumulation of hard stools in the lumen which obstructs the outflow of acid in the stomach from leaving the body and hence causing it to reflux but there is no evidence for the same and this theory has been discarded.Other theories suggest that constipation can eventually cause toxins to build up in the body from a lack of bowel transit time. Slow moving waste through the colon ferments longer, releases excess toxins into the bloodstream because of constant contact with the intestinal wall, and facilitates a greater growth of both good and opportunistic bacteria. The extra growth of biotics and increased fermentation of waste in the colon eventually produces more gas in the bowels. A patient will eventually develop heartburn because of slow gastric emptying, which is caused by excess pressure and bloating in the abdomen area. This extra-added abdominal pressure forces stomach acid through the lower esophageal sphincter and is the cause of acid reflux. There has been no research to prove this theory either. Hence If you are experiencing symptoms of both the conditions, there is a possibility that they may be unrelated. Some measures that you could take to help reduce your symptoms are --> Walk for at least thirty minutes daily. Walking helps stimulate bowel movement --> Increase fibre content of your diet --> Stay hydrated. I Hope this has satisfactorily answered your query.
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