Obesity a risk factor for GERD
Several studies have shown that individuals who are obese are more likely to need Nexium and other medications for acid reflux than their thinner counterparts.
Several studies have shown that individuals who are obese are more likely to need Nexium and other medications for acid reflux than their thinner counterparts. However, the mechanisms behind obesity as a risk factor for GERD are unknown among researchers.
A January 2013 study, published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics by researchers at King's College in London, found that obesity measured by waist circumference was associated with increased acid exposure, esophageal issues and reflux. However, researchers said their findings did not support the conclusion that obesity alone produces or causes more acid exposure. In the study, measurements of 582 patients were taken to assess their abdominal obesity levels. Researchers found that, though there was more acid exposure in obese patients, obesity itself was not the cause of increased acid production.
Another study by scientists at Baylor College, which was published in 2005 in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, came to the conclusion that obesity itself is a risk factor for erosive esophagitis and GERD and increased food intake could not be cited as the cause of esophageal erosion and GERD.
A similar study from Baylor College of Medicine, published in the November 2006 edition of Gut, researchers came to similar conclusions: Obesity increases one's risk of GERD by increased acid exposure, but they did not make claims about why acid in the stomach is increased.
Pysicians at Cleveland Clinic reported that there are three factors that might be the causal link between obesity and GERD , in the paper GERD and Obesity. Long-lasting reflux due to a less resistant esophageal sphincter, a decrease of gastric acid emptying due to pressure in the abdomen or fat near the gastroesophageal connection all may alter the anatomy needed to prevent acid reflux.