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How do cigarette smoking and alcohol cause gastric reflux?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Cigarette smoking can cause acid to linger and decrease pressure in the esophageal sphincter while smokers' cough increases belly pressure by forcing acid upward. Alcohol consumption may bring on gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) by increasing the hormone responsible for stimulating gastric juices as well as lowering sphincter pressure and relaxing the stomach muscle so it slows emptying. 

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.