Acid reflux is common in all adults, but people who are overweight have double or triple the risk of developing reflux and about 59-79% of those who are extremely obese have acid reflux. Losing weight is first-line treatment for acid reflux. The team at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas are available to help with professional and individualized diet plans, weight loss medications, and bariatric surgery. If you need help losing weight, call one of their offices in Denton, Frisco, or Flower Mound, Texas, or schedule an appointment online.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid reflux, occurs when stomach contents move out of the stomach and up into the esophagus. A muscle located where the esophagus meets the stomach, the lower esophageal sphincter, opens to allow food into the stomach, then closes to keep stomach acid inside the stomach.
If the muscle weakens or relaxes, stomach acid and partly-digested contents can flow backwards and get into the esophagus. This backward movement of stomach contents is acid reflux. It’s often called heartburn, because it causes a burning sensation near your heart.
Being overweight triggers the onset of acid reflux. Obesity-related hormones and the pressure of extra weight weaken the esophageal muscle. A gain of 10-15 pounds in a person who was at a healthy weight increases the risk of having frequent acid reflux by about 40%.
People with a BMI of 25 to 30 have nearly double the risk of developing acid reflux. If your BMI is greater than 30, you may have triple the risk of acid reflux symptoms, including chest pain and difficulty swallowing.
There’s no doubt that losing weight alleviates acid reflux. Improvement in reflux symptoms increases in direct proportion to the amount of weight lost, but even losing 10-15 pounds lowers symptom occurrence by 40%.
Losing weight is often effective enough to eliminate the need for further medical therapy. If you’re obese and struggle to lose weight, bariatric surgery is an effective treatment for acid reflux.
The team at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas have extensive experience in bariatric surgery, but you can also count on them to help you lose weight using more conservative options. Their registered dietitian is available to develop individualized diet plans and to support your weight loss journey. You may also get prescription weight loss medications.
Your physician at Weight Loss Specialists of North Texas works with you to determine your weight loss goals and whether bariatric surgery is an option. The following types of bariatric surgeries are available: