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Is Acid Reflux Genetic?

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux – better known as heartburn – occurs when stomach acid moves up into your esophagus. When everything works as it should, a valve at the entrance to your stomach closes after food passes through it. But sometimes when the valve is leaky or doesn’t stay closed, stomach acid can back up into your esophagus. When acid reflux occurs more than twice a week, it’s classified as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

The following are some of the symptoms of acid reflux:

What causes acid reflux?

Acid reflux disease can be caused by many factors, including a hiatal hernia. This happens when the diaphragm loosens and allows the upper part of the stomach to enter the chest cavity. Pregnancy can also temporarily cause acid reflux because it puts extra pressure on your internal organs.  Additional risk factors for acid reflux may include the following:

Is acid reflux caused by genetic factors?

Many diseases are thought to have a genetic link, and acid reflux is no exception.  Researchers believe that your genes may play a role in causing the muscular or structural issues that can lead to acid reflux. For example, one study of identical twins (who have the same DNA) found that one twin was 1.5 times more likely to have GERD if his or her identical twin also had it. Another study found that there was a pattern of inheritance of GERD among multi-generational family members. Both of these studies – as well as others – suggest that there may be a link between acid reflux and various genetic factors.

How can you control your acid reflux and minimize your symptoms?

A gastroenterologist can treat and help to minimize your symptoms. This is important because when acid reflux progresses to GERD, complications are more likely to occur if you don’t receive treatment. The following treatments can help minimize your symptoms:

If you have symptoms of acid reflux, make an appointment today with Gotham Gastroenterology. Our NYC practice strives to provide the highest quality of personalized medical care in a scompassionate manner.

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