What Causes GORD?

GORD is the acronym for Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease. It refers to a common health condition, when acid from the patient’s stomach leaks into the gullet or oesophagus. This problem usually takes place because of the weakening of a ring which consists of muscles at the below region of oesophagus.

GORD problem further leads to various other symptoms, which include unpleasant taste in the back portion of one’s mouth and the heartburn problem. Some people experience this type of problem occasionally, while for others, the problem is both severe and lifelong.

What Causes GORD?

What Causes GORD?

GORD problem usually takes place whenever muscular ring present at the bottom portion of one’s oesophagus (also called as gullet) becomes weak. In case of normal individuals, muscular ring opens to allow entering of food in the stomach, while closes to stop leakage back the acid from the stomach towards the oesophagus.

However, in case of GORD patients, stomach acid passes backward in to one’s oesophagus and result in GORD symptoms, which will further include acid reflux and heartburn. Until now, doctors have failed to find out the exact reason behind weakening of the muscular ring present in the gullet of a person. However, there are certain things, which may boost the risk related to the respective problem.

Doctors have identified the following factors responsible for increasing the cause related to the development of GORD:

  1. Overweight or Obesity

    Obesity or overweight problem may place increased pressure on the stomach of individuals and make the muscles present at the bottom portion of the gullet very weak and cause GORD.

  2. Consuming Fatty Foods in Large Amounts

    Stomach requires relatively long time to overcome the stomach acid after it digests a fatty food and the resulting excessive acid may leak within the oesophagus leading to GORD.

  3. Coffee/Chocolate, Alcohol and Cigarettes

    Too much intake of any of these items may cause relaxation of the muscles present at the below part of the patients’ oesophagus and cause GORD.

  4. Pregnancy

    Temporary changes in the levels of hormones present in the body of women and increase in pressure on the stomach at the time of pregnancy may cause the problem of GORD.

  5. Hiatus Hernia

    GORD problem may also take place when a particular part of one’s stomach pushed at the upward direction via diaphragm, i.e. thin muscular sheet that remains present in between one’s stomach and the chest.

  6. Gastroparesis

    Whenever the stomach of a person takes relatively long time to overcome the acid present in his stomach, it indicates excessive acid may leak up within the oesophagus and cause GORD.

  7. Specific Medicines

    Some of the medicines may cause the problem of GORD in people or worse the respective symptoms. These include various calcium channel brokers, which are helpful in the treatment of high blood pressure in patients, nitrate to deal with the problem of angina and varieties of NSAIDs i.e. Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs.

  8. Stress

    Stress in professional or in personal life, especially the negative form of stress may sometimes cause the problem of GORD in patients.

    GORD may sometimes affect large numbers of members belonging to the same family and hence, doctors always report that the genes inherit from parents affect the chances related to the development of the same condition.


Patients may come across different complications because of the GORD or gastro oesophageal reflux problem for a relatively long time. Particularly, most of the patients often deal with the problem of Oesophageal ulcers.

Oesophageal Ulcers: Acid of the stomach leaking into the oesophagus among GORD patients may cause damage to the oesophagitis or oesophagus linings. This may result in ulcers and in severe cases; ulcers may bleed creating pain and swallowing difficulties.

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:April 4, 2018

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