Many patients who are overweight also suffer from heartburn, also known as GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease or GERD for short. GERD is caused by acid in your stomach travelling back up into your esophagus and irritating the sensitive lining. Being overweight increases the pressure in your abdomen and this increased pressure pushes the stomach upward, into your chest cavity. When the stomach is pushed up into your chest, this is referred to as a “hiatal hernia.” Hiatal hernias are present in around 50% of people who are significantly overweight. The valve that prevents GERD doesn’t work well if you have a hiatal hernia. Between a poorly functioning valve and increased pressure in your abdominal cavity, obesity is strongly associated with GERD.
However, there is also a strong dietary component to GERD and I’ve found that many people who suffer from GERD are able to find relief just by changing their diet toward a nutrient dense plan like the Pound of Cure. If you continuously suffer from severe GERD despite changing your diet, then you should strongly consider Gastric Bypass Surgery. Gastric Bypass surgery reroutes the majority of the acid in your stomach away from you esophagus, decreasing the severity of GERD significantly. I’ve found nearly a 100% resolution of GERD symptoms in my practice after Gastric Bypass surgery. The Sleeve Gastrectomy may improve your GERD symptoms, but it can also make it worse. If you suffer from daily symptoms of GERD that are making you miserable, then a Gastric Bypass represents your best surgical option.