Acid reflux may develop for various reasons and lots of different factors can increase the odds of a person developing acid reflux.
Smoking is a huge contributor with acid reflux and is thought to cause a number of unique issues that can cause GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease).
Smoking damages the mucous membranes that protect the stomach lining from the corrosive effect of stomach acid. The swallowing reflex in the throat may also be damaged by smoking which makes it tough to swallow and more probable that food and stomach contents will be regurgitated.
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The acid secretions of the body can increase in smokers worsening the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. In precisely the exact same way that smoking may weaken the swallowing reflex, it may also weaken the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter). This is the circle of muscle that closes off the top of your stomach helping to keep your stomach contents in.
When this becomes feeble stomach and food acid can be regurgitated more readily back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Smoking reduces saliva production that the body utilizes to help digestion and neutralize the acid in our stomach.
It may also increase the chances of particular kinds of throat cancer.
Long-term acid reflux may cause changes to the tissue that lines the esophagus. The liner changes to resemble the cells that comprise the lining of the gut, developing their own protective mucous coating.