If you suffer from this disease, you are more than likely familiar with the term ‘acid reflux’. For those who aren’t in the clear about its meaning, it is a condition of which the acid contained in your stomach for ease of digestion is sent back up your esophagus, which results in some health-threatening issues. The most common annoyance arising from acid reflux is heartburn, where the sufferer feels a burning inside their chest. Most people tend to get frightened about the cause of their heartburn, suspecting lung cancer or heart disease to be the perpetrators. Since the acid needs to be robust enough to dissolve anything we swallow, it can be quite destructive to the parts of our body that aren’t protected by the inner stomach layer.

Consequently, those who suffer from acid reflux often experience involuntary regurgitation, where some of the acid is unwillingly returned into their mouth. Not only does this leave a disgusting taste on the tongue, it also damages the tongue tissue and makes it painful to use your mouth regularly. If untreated, acid reflux can lead to severe illnesses, such as intestinal cancer, stomach ulcers, esophageal ulcers, strictures, and tumor-inducing esophageal tissue alterations. Acid reflux isn’t necessarily hard to treat, but it’s important to know when you have it. More than often, it goes by unnoticed by the sufferer until later complications appear. Here’s what you need to look out for.

1. Obesity

Science cannot yet explain how obesity contributes to the appearance of acid reflux, but it is commonly recognized that this is one of the leading causes of the disease. Common sense suggests that all the extra fat is pressuring the body more than it’s supposed to, which results in the digestive tract being squeezed to its limits. Since GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is known to be the result of improper functioning of the esophagus, the excessive food intake and weight issues are most likely forcing it open unnaturally, which in turn leads to the acid leaking out of the stomach.