Research: Overweight and Acid Reflux

A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine contends that even slight weight gain can cause gastrointestinal problems. The research most directly points to the development of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Amanda Gardner of Healthday News reports:

"This sheds some light that any excess weight over ideal body weight may have a detrimental effect," said study author Dr. Brian Jacobson, an assistant professor of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine.


"Even if you were of normal weight and experienced a gain, you are more prone to reflux," added Dr. Anthony A. Starpoli, a gastroenterologist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

GERD occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus fails to close properly. As a result, the contents in the stomach, including stomach acid, can spill up into the esophagus, leading to erosion of the esophagus and, in some cases, esophageal cancer.

Researchers have already established that overweight and obese people are at an increased risk for GERD, but there have been questions about the link between body-mass index (BMI) and GERD.

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Comments (3) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
julie - September 18, 2011 7:37 PM

what if your are not overweight and still have gerd. I had this for over a year and I feel like it not going to get any better. Is there anything I can do.

Phyllis Lazenby - May 10, 2012 11:03 AM

I, too suffer from acid reflux. Actually it has gotten worse since I went nutritarian. I am on a medication for it and have been for years.......but, now that is not working most days. I have started taking DHA as Dr. Fuhrman recommends in his book. Any connection?

Debbie Kostroun - September 19, 2012 12:51 PM

I too experienced an increase of acid reflux after becoming a nutritarian. But in my case, I can link it to when I go off a strict version of the diet to drink a lot of coffee or eat out at a restaurant. I am frustrated, though, because sometimes I do want to just go out to the Indian buffet and eat the Saag Paneer along with the rest of my friends! I'm not on any medication but I might look into it because the GERD is causing me to get headaches now, which is a new development.

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