A hiatal hernia, or other anatomical abnormalities, may contribute to GERD.
A hiatal hernia occurs if the upper part of your stomach and your LES, (a valve between the esophagus and stomach), move above the diaphragm. Your diaphragm is the muscle wall that separates your stomach from your chest, and helps the LES keep acid from rising up into the esophagus.
When you have a hiatal hernia, acid reflux can occur more easily.
A hiatal hernia can occur in otherwise healthy people, usually over age 50. Most of the time this hernia produces no symptoms.
Find out more about GERD, such as causes, symptoms and what you can do.