What Triggers Acid Reflux?

Are you living with acid reflux? Dr. Stephen Buto of Honolulu, HI is dedicated to helping you find relief from your suffering.

Guide to Acid Reflux Triggers

Acid reflux is no one’s friend. Fortunately, you can avoid many acid reflux flare-ups by understanding what it is and how it’s triggered. This guide shares some of the most common triggers to help you determine yours.

What Is Acid Reflux? 

In between the stomach and the esophagus sits a valve or muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, which food and drink flow through. When the valve shuts properly, food and stomach acid stay in the stomach. When the valve does not shut properly, both food and acid flow back up into the esophagus, which is known as acid reflux.

The question, then, becomes, What keeps the LES from closing properly? Below, Dr. Buto of Honolulu, HI shares some common culprits.

Common Triggers of Acid Reflux

Causes can vary greatly among sufferers, which is why it’s important to seek help. However, the following are the most typical triggers.

Food and Drinks 

Everyone responds to foods differently, but some types of food and drinks tend to be at the center of acid reflux flare-ups. These include carbonated drinks, chocolate, fatty foods, and citrus fruits. Some of these foods actually relax the LES, while others tend to create a higher production of stomach acid. With either of these results, it can be difficult for the LES to hold back acid and food.

Being Pregnant, Overweight, or Obese

When you carry more weight around the abdomen, it can put too much pressure on the LES and the stomach in general. This often leads to a malfunctioning LES and more acid being forced upward. Even dropping a few pounds can decrease these effects. If you’re pregnant and suffering from acid reflux, changing your position when you eat can be very helpful.

Smoking and Drinking 

Smoking can do a great deal of damage to the body. In addition to other complications, it can also cause the LES to relax, allowing acid to flow back to the esophagus. Alcohol can have much of the same effect.

The above triggers are just a few common ones, but many people also experience acid reflux due to:

  • Stress and/or anxiety
  • Medications – both OTC and prescription
  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Hiatal hernias
  • Lying down after meals

Generally, lifestyle changes, such as dietary and exercise changes and quitting smoking can reduce or even eliminate acid reflux. In some cases, though, additional medication may be required.

Don’t just let acid reflux control your life. Call (808) 524-7676 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Buto in Honolulu, HI today.

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Stephen K. Buto, M.D.


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9:00 am-12:00 pm

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9:00 am-12:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

2:00 pm-4:30 pm





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