What Causes GERD?
GERD is actually caused by two mechanisms:
The first mechanism involves a failure to prevent acidic stomach juices from getting into the esophagus due to inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES is a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that contracts to keep stomach juices in the stomach. When this muscle relaxes at the wrong time, acidic juices can reflux into the esophagus and contribute to GERD.
The second mechanism involves a failure to remove acidic stomach juices from the esophagus. Delayed motility of the stomach and esophagus allows excess stomach juices to build up which then leak into the esophagus and contribute to GERD.