Published on July 11, 2020
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The stomach is built to withstand acid. The food pipe is not, and when acid rises into it (acid reflux), a person experiences burning pain.
The muscle at the end of the food pipe is called the 𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘴𝘰𝘱𝘩𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘴𝘱𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳. This sphincter allows food into the stomach and helps to keep it from backwashing up into the esophagus.
High amounts of pressure on the abdomen, however, can cause the sphincter to grow slack, or weak, allowing the acid to backwash up into the esophagus. This is why acid reflux is common in people who are overweight, obese, or pregnant. This is also why weight loss helps reduce symptoms because it decreases pressure on the food pipe.
When acid irritates the lining of the esophagus the result is GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Gastritis is an inflammation, irritation, or erosion of the lining of the stomach (and gastritis can worsen to the point of causing an ulcer). I meet many folks who suffer with gastritis, and I’m always prepared to hand this reference sheet to them when I do.