2. Hiatal Hernia
Having a hiatal hernia—otherwise known as a diaphragmatic hernia—can also increase a person’s likelihood of developing GERD. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, this condition occurs when “part of the stomach moves above the diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities.”
When the diaphragm is functioning the way it should, WebMD says it “helps keep acid from rising into your esophagus.” But in those with a hiatal hernia the source indicates that it is easier for stomach acid to backflow into the esophagus.