• Risk Factors for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)/Heartburn

    A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
    It is possible to develop GERD with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing GERD. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your healthcare provider what you can do to reduce your risk.
    GERD or heartburn can occur in men, women, and children of all ages, including infants.
    Risk factors include:
    The following habits can increase the risk of heartburn or GERD:
    • Obesity
    • Exercising immediately after eating (especially jogging or strenuous activity)
    • Smoking
    • Lying down soon after meals
    • Bending over or straining, especially soon after meals
    • Alcohol (especially excess) use
    • Eating chocolate
    • Drinking carbonated beverages, caffeinated beverages, and decaffeinated coffee
    • Eating spicy foods or acidic foods like citrus or tomatoes
    The following medical conditions may increase the risk of developing GERD:
    The use of certain medications and supplements can increase the risk of GERD. These medications include:
    • Aspirin and other NSAIDs (may irritate the stomach, which contributes to GERD)
    • Anticholinergics
    • Calcium channel blockers
    • Theophylline, bronchial inhalers, and other asthma medications
    • Quinidine
    • Tetracycline
    • Potassium and iron supplements
    • Nitrates
    • Sildenafil (Viagra)
    • Alpha-adrenergic agents
    • Meperidine (Demerol)
    • Sedatives such as diazepam (Valium)
    • Hormone replacement therapy

    References

    American Gastroenterological Association website. Available at: http://www.gastro.org/ . Accessed March 6, 2006.

    The Merck Manual of Medical Information . 17th edition. Simon and Schuster, Inc.; 2000.

    National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/ . Accessed March 7, 2006.

    The Society of Thoracic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.ctsnet.org/ . Accessed March 7, 2006.

    9/30/2008 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed/what.php : Jacobson BC, Moy B, Colditz GA, Fuchs CS. Postmenopausal hormone use and symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168:1798-1804.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    HeartSHAPE® Test Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.