Health: Reasons for the emergence of heartburn

There are many reasons for the emergence of gastroesophageal reflux disease; some of them are still unknown. Play an important role in organic diseases such as morbid obesity and diabetes mellitus, but also lifestyles and eating habits. The lower esophageal sphincter (lower esophageal sphincter / cardia) in healthy people prevents the reflux of stomach acid and of gastric contents into the esophagus. This does not work properly, the stomach contents pass through the otherwise closed lower esophageal sphincter and thus reaches back into the esophagus.

The reason for this is the morbid (pathological) relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter. As a result, there is no pressure difference between the lower esophageal sphincter and the stomach interior, which stops backflow normally. The result is that the esophagus of gastric mucosa is exposed. Considers this to längfristig reflux, there can be increased mucosal sensitivity, damage to the esophageal mucosa or even inflammation (esophagitis) to ulceration (ulceration). Special attention must be drawn to food and diets.

Frequent beverage consumption, about cigarettes (nicotine), alcohol (especially of spirits) and coffee, as well as fatty and sugary food for the formation of gastroesophageal reflux disease responsible. An occasional and low reflux after oily, very large or sugary food is normal (physiological) and therefore to be distinguished from pathological (pathophysiological) reflux.

The human digestive system

Functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter under normal conditions

The lower esophageal sphincter (esophageal sphincter) in healthy makes for a pressure barrier between the stomach and esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter resting pressure is higher than the internal pressure in the stomach. Only when swallowing reflex from the lower esophageal sphincter schlafft short and opens then he pulls himself together, he contracted and thus stops the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus.

Together with a self-cleaning function of the esophagus (oesophageal clearance) is the lower esophageal sphincter is thus responsible for a further transport of the chyme in the stomach, as well as at the same time it provides a locking mechanism provides the lower esophagus.

Dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter

Different conditions can be summarized under the term “gastroesophageal reflux disease”. They are as different disease manifestations, either with or without damage to the esophageal mucosa and the surrounding tissue. Cause of gastroesophageal reflux disease is a disorder of the closing ability of the lower esophageal sphincter.

As a result, a painful, burning feeling of pressure in the stomach and chest area is usually triggered: the so-called heartburn.