Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and obesity coexist in many patients in the Western population. The association is not coincidental, since GERD pathophysiology is, in part, linked to obesity. Visceral adipose tissue secretes hormones, which increase the risk of GERD. Obesity increases esophageal motor disorders and higher number of transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations. Central obesity increases abdominal-thoracic pressure gradient and disrupts the gastroesophageal junction by inducing hiatal hernia formation. Obese patients benefit from weight loss by diet to decrease GERD symptoms; however, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery is associated with a higher weight loss and a decrease in GERD symptoms, and is considered the best way to treat both diseases at the same time.
Keywords: gastroesophageal reflux disease; obesity; pathophysiology.