Bariatric Surgery for Acid Reflux

In studies as early as 1966, researchers identified a link between gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), commonly referred to as acid reflux, and obesity. This link is an important step in understanding what further-reaching effects weight loss can have on overall health and has led to increasing recommendations of bariatric surgery for acid reflux disease.

"[Acid reflux] is very common, but previous studies have not been successful at pinpointing risk factors for the condition," wrote Douglas Corley, author of a 2006 study in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. "Because we reviewed the results of 20 studies on the subject, we were able to better identify and understand the association between obesity and acid reflux."

While the link has been confirmed, a direct relationship between GERD and more serious conditions, such as esophageal ulcers and cancer, hasn’t. So far, researchers only have theories, such as the idea that excess body fat may compress the stomach, or that obese subjects were consuming more fatty foods than the standard population. As with many obesity-related conditions, the cause of acid reflux may also go back to the simple principle that once your body reaches a certain threshold of body fat, its ability to regulate normal functions is compromised; such as when a patient’s obesity is coupled with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure.

Whether the link between GERD and obesity is causal or correlative, researchers and physicians agree on one thing – when obese patients take control of their weight, their acid reflux problems are eliminated.

If you are suffering from acid reflux disease, you may be spending money on costly prescriptions to manage your condition, or even on emergency room visits because when the pain caused by GERD is indistinguishable from a heart attack. You can reduce or end the prescription and pain by getting your weight under control. That first step to managing your weight – and overall health — may be weight loss surgery. For more information on these life-changing procedures, email us at info@drscottstowers.com or call us at (940) 539–9105.