DOCTOR'S VIEWS ARCHIVE
Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), June 2000
A viewer wants to know why his acid reflux usually is worse at nighttime?
Acid reflux is worse at night for three reasons. First, the concentration of acid in the stomach is higher at night. Second, in the lying position, it is easier for acid to reflux and to remain in the esophagus., Gravity does not take the acid back down into the stomach. Third, while we are sleeping, we don't swallow. Swallowing is important because it carries the acid that has refluxed into the esophagus back into the stomach. When we swallow we also carry saliva through the esophagus and into the stomach. Saliva contains bicarbonate, which neutralizes and counters the acid in the esophagus.
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