The Two Reasons for GERD or Acid Reflux

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 03/15/2024

GERD Causes and Solutions: Unveiling Key Factors and Remedies

Grasping the primary sources of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) is essential to obtaining effective treatments.

This complex condition involves various physiological factors, such as the lower esophageal sphincter's function, stomach acid production, and vitamin D levels, since vitamin D plays an integral role in muscle functionality, including the esophageal sphincter.

Learn about symptoms, causes, and possible solutions for GERD and acid reflux.

Understanding GERD and its Underlying Causes

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux, can be very painful for anyone who experiences it. The two primary sources of GERD are a lack of Vitamin D and inadequate amounts of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.

The Role of Vitamin D in controlling muscle function

Vitamin D helps regulate calcium levels and ensures our digestion muscles are healthy and functioning properly. So, when there's a shortage of vitamin D, it can throw off the digestive tract and lead to GERD.

How low levels of hydrochloric acid affect digestion

Hydrochloric acid is the component of your esophagus that is responsible for breaking down food. But when there's not enough of this acid in the stomach, digestion can no longer be performed well by the body, causing bloating, belching, and heartburn.

Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can deplete vitamin D absorption and stomach acidity, making GERD symptoms worse.

Vitamin D deficiency diagnosis with empty medical form.

The Impact of Vitamin D Deficiency on GERD

Low vitamin D levels can wreak havoc on your digestive system, causing problems with the valve that keeps stomach acid from damaging the esophagus. It messes with the valve that keeps stomach acids from wreaking havoc on your esophagus.

Why sufficient calcium absorption is crucial for contractibility

Vitamin D helps your system absorb calcium, which is indispensable for muscle contractility. This includes the muscles that control the opening and closing of the esophagus and stomach.

If there's insufficient calcium due to a lack of vitamin D, that valve won't close properly, increasing the risk of GERD.

Prolonged Exposure to Stomach Acids

If your stomach cannot control the acids throughout the esophagus for an extended period of time, you may develop inflammation in your digestive tract or even stomach ulcers. Because of this, it is important to act quickly and seek medical care when you experience GERD symptoms.

The Impact of Vitamin D Deficiency on GERD

Without enough vitamin D, the valve that keeps stomach acid from wreaking havoc on your esophagus doesn't close properly.

The Role of Vitamin D in Muscle Control

Vitamin D isn't just for strong bones, it also helps regulate the smooth muscles in our digestive system, including the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When there's a deficiency, these muscles might weaken, leading to GERD symptoms.

The vitamin also plays a role in aiding calcium absorption, essential for the proper functioning of muscle contractions and the prevention of acid reflux.

Without enough calcium, the LES might not close properly, leaving you vulnerable to acid reflux.

Potential Health Risks of Acidic Exposure

If you ignore GERD for too long, it can lead to some severe complications. One potential danger of disregarding GERD for an extended period is the development of Barrett's Esophagus.

This condition causes changes in the esophageal lining, which may result in a heightened risk of cancer. The constant irritation from stomach acid can cause painful inflammation called erosive esophagitis.

This can lead to open sores or ulcers in your esophagus, making swallowing challenging and increasing the risk of infection or bleeding.

Hydrochloric Acid Shortage - Another Culprit behind GERD

As if vitamin deficiencies weren't enough, GERD can also be caused by a shortage of hydrochloric acid.

As we age or consume antacids, our stomach's hydrochloric acid levels can decrease, leading to incomplete digestion.

Digestive Problems Linked with Insufficient Hydrochloric Acid

When your stomach doesn't have enough hydrochloric acid, it can't break down proteins properly. This means undigested food particles enter your small intestine, promoting bacterial growth and causing bloating.

Over time, these conditions can worsen the severity and frequency of reflux episodes, making life even more miserable.

Hydrochloric Acid Shortage - Another Culprit behind GERD

A deficiency of hydrochloric acid in the stomach can cause GERD.

Antacids: The Silent Acid Reducers

You might reach for those trusty antacids when you feel the burn in your chest. But did you know these little tablets can lower stomach acid levels over time? In the long run, this can severly worsen symptoms of GERD and acid reflux.

A study found that long-term use of proton pump inhibitors, the go-to meds for GERD, could cause kidney diseases and esophageal stricture.

Insufficient Acid, Insufficient Digestion

When you don't have enough hydrochloric acid, your digestion suffers. Protein doesn't get broken down properly, leading to gas and discomfort.

And speaking of acid, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which keeps stomach acid where it belongs, gets weaker when there's insufficient acidity. This can lead to reflux and even the possibility of esophageal cancer.

Practical Solutions for Managing GERD

If you're looking for a natural way to treat GERD, betaine HCL supplements might be your new best friend. They help restore typical gastric acidity, improve digestion, and prevent those pesky heartburn episodes.

Before trying any new supplement, it's essential to consult your healthcare provider for advice.=

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is a home remedy is commonly used to soothe GERD symptoms. Diluting it with water and drinking ACV before meals can help significantly reduce GERD symptoms.

Betaine Hydrochloride Supplement

Betaine hydrochloride (HCL) boosts stomach acid production, easing heartburn and indigestion. Always check with your doctor before starting any new supplement routine.


Understanding the causes of GERD and acid reflux is crucial for finding solutions.

Vitamin D deficiency can mess with muscle function and calcium absorption, making GERD more likely.

To manage GERD, consider adding a betaine hydrochloride supplement or apple cider vinegar to support digestion and increase stomach acidity.

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