I was fine until I noticed constipation and now I am having acid reflux, I noticed that my acid reflux is worse when I suffer from severe constipation. Is there a relationship between Constipation and worsening of my acid reflux?
Mr MD, Chicago, IL

Dr Khurana Replies: As you are aware body has many backup plans which control its functioning. One of such plans is called Gastro-Colic Brake (Chapter 2). Briefly when colon is filled with stool it sends a signal to the stomach not to send food forward. If it can not send the food forward where will it go? You guessed it right, it will reflux back into the food pipe making the reflux worse and difficult to mange with acid suppression medicines. Constipation is one of the most common missed cause of worsening acid reflux symptoms despite increasing the dose of acid suppression medicines. Many of these patients will be able to control their acid reflux symptoms if their constipation is corrected.
Interesting still is the fact that many people will not notice constipation at all and will be completely focused on the acid reflux. When was the last time you were taught what is constipation? We just guess or assume what we have is normal.