According to WebMD, one of the most common causes of acid reflux is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter and the upper part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in the stomach, but in this case, the acid is able to leak through.
Other causes of acid reflux disease, according to WebMD, are being overweight, eating a large meal and then lying down, eating certain foods, smoking, and being pregnant. Some foods known to trigger acid reflux are garlic, onions, chocolate, carbonated beverages, coffee, tea, fatty foods and spicy foods. Symptoms usually include a burning pain that moves from the stomach to the abdomen, called heartburn, or a sour or bitter taste in the throat or mouth. However, acid reflux caused by a hiatal hernia may not result in any symptoms. If a person has acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week, WebMD suggests visiting a doctor. Over time, symptoms can lead to a narrowing of the esophagus, according to the Mayo Clinic. They may also lead to esophageal ulcers and an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Early diagnosis is important; early treatment can prevent many complications associated with acid reflux.