Changes in Body Weight and GERD
According to a study reported in the New England Journal of Medicine, small changes in a person’s weight can impact the severity of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as well as its related complications. Being overweight and obese has already been linked to GERD, but this study demonstrates a correlation between the presence of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms and a person’s body mass index, or BMI.
The study indicated that overweight individuals (BMI of 25 to 30) and obese individuals (BMI over 30) were two and three times as likely, respectively, to develop symptoms of GERD. Those that were overweight showed an acid reflux correlation while those that were obese showed a triple risk of having GERD symptoms, such as acid regurgitation, heartburn, difficulty swallowing and chest pain. Even individuals with a BMI of 21 to 25, who endured small gains in weight, showed increased likelihood of developing gastroesophageal reflux disease.
It seems as though abdominal obesity is one culprit causing heartburn. Too much fat in the abdomen can compress the stomach and raise its pressure, which may lead to acid reflux. Further, overweight and obese people tend to eat foods that are higher in fat, which can also increase heartburn symptoms.
The good news is that you can substantially improve your gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms by losing just 10 percent of your body weight. If you’re unable to lose the weight on your own, then your Albany, GA weight loss clinic can help. Additionally, if you notice that whenever you gain a few pounds that you develop increased acid reflux symptoms, then losing those few extra pounds may help alleviate your symptoms.