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What causes acid reflux?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)

Acid reflux is a common health problem that is often caused by an irregular angle between the esophagus and stomach. To learn more about acid reflux, watch this video by Dr. Oz.


When you eat, food travels from your mouth to your stomach via your esophagus. Your esophagus connects to your stomach by a circular band of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When you swallow, the LES relaxes to let food and liquids drain down into your stomach. After it closes up, this stops the acid from flowing back into the esophagus. But sometimes your LES becomes weak or relaxes when it shouldn't. This allows acid from your stomach to flow back into your esophagus -- or even into your throat and mouth.

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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.