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Can Smell Affect Acid Reflux?



Smell does not affect acid reflux.

Acid Reflux Producing Smells

The only real link between smell and acid reflux is not of a causal nature, but rather something that comes after a sufferer has been diagnosed and is trying to overcome the ailment. As such, one of the more common olfactory symptoms for an acid reflux patient is bad breath.

One of the most common forms of treatment for acid reflux is proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication. A study at a university in Brazil in 2006 found that of those acid reflux patients suffering from bad breath, PPI was found to be a factor in 75% of the cases. It’s of course not unusual for medication to have strong or noticeable side effects such as this one.

Acid Reflux Causes

Acid reflux can be caused by: a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter, which maintains a pressure barrier against the contents of a person’s stomach; some sort of impaired stomach function; a hiatal hernia, which is a small hole in the diaphragm; abnormalities in the esophagus; genetic factors; and asthma.


The clinical name for acid reflux is gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Unlike common heartburn, which may quickly pass and be something that afflicts a person only rarely, GERD refers to heartburn that is both chronic and not necessarily brought on by rich, fatty or greasy food consumption. The most common causes of GERD have nothing to do with smell. In many cases, it’s physiological.

Other factors associated with GERD include the intake of a broad range of very common medications. A study found for example that people that took regular, consistent dosages of Motrin, Advil, and Aleve were twice as likely to develop acid reflux. Research has also indicated that GERD can be triggered by medications used to treat everything from osteoporosis and Parkinson’s disease to high blood pressure and urinary tract disorders. Even sedatives, antibiotics, and iron pills can potentially up the risk of someone developing GERD.



Health Gazette – New Study Links Bad Breath to Heartburn, Acid Reflux Treatment, Retrieved October 3, 2010 from – Acid Reflux Causes, Retrieved October 3, 2010 from

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