There is no identified sole cause of GERD. It usually occurs when the muscular valve between the stomach and the oesophagus, known as the lower oesophageal sphincter, is weak or faulty. This allows the stomach acid to flow back into the oesophagus.
There are various risk factors that contribute to the onset of GERD, and these include:
- Certain diseases (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, scleroderma)
- Increased production of gastrin, a hormone that controls the release of stomach acid
- Use of certain medications