Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) FAQs (cont.)
What causes GERD?
We don't know the exact cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease. We do know what makes it worse, either by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter or directly irritating the esophagus.
- Lifestyle - Use of alcohol or cigarettes, obesity, poor posture (slouching)
- Medications - Blood pressure drugs called calcium channel blockers, theophylline (Tedral, Hydrophed, Marax, Bronchial, Quibron), nitrates, antihistamines
- Diet - Fatty and fried foods, chocolate, garlic and onions, drinks with caffeine, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy foods, mint flavorings
- Eating habits - Eating large meals, eating before bedtime
- Other medical conditions - Hiatal hernia, pregnancy, diabetes
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
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