With all the problems that secondhand smoke has been linked to as well as proven to cause, it would be no wonder if it also can cause acid reflux.
If you’re exposed to secondhand smoke and seem to think this is triggering episodes of heartburn or acid reflux, you’re in for a surprise:
“There is no sufficient evidence that smoking [and secondhand smoke] causes heartburn or acid reflux, although it may relax the lower esophageal sphincter pressure in some patients,” says Lauren Gerson, MD, board certified gastroenterologist formerly with California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
She is a nationally recognized researcher in the specialty of general gastroenterology including management and treatment of GERD.
Dr. Gerson adds, “However, there have been studies showing that smoking and secondhand smoke cessation does not alleviate acid reflux.”
Avoid secondhand smoke as much as possible. It doesn’t cause heartburn, but if you’re around it enough, it will raise the risk of lung cancer.
It will also make your clothes, hair and skin stink.
Meanwhile, if you’re suffering from the symptoms of acid reflux, see a gastroenterologist if you already haven’t.
A doctor can recommend the right treatment that will help alleviate your acid reflux symptoms, which by the way, can actually make their way to the throat and cause a condition known as LPR: laryngopharyngeal reflux disease.
This can cause unnerving symptoms that mimic serious diseases.
Dr. Gerson passed away in July 2017 after a valiant battle against metastatic melanoma. Dr. Gerson devoted herself to solving her patients’ most difficult and longstanding health challenges.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.