How Can I Stop Stress Related Acid Reflux? For Good
Does stress is the cause of your chronic acid reflux and frequent heartburn symptoms?
Studies suggest that stress can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux. In a study, patients with acid reflux were given a psychological stress test. Those who scored high on stress levels in the test were more likely to experience symptoms of acid reflux, than those who scored low on the test.
Acid reflux, also called gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), is a condition that happens when gastric acid contents from your stomach flows back up into your food pipe or esophagus. It causes heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation.
Acid reflux is common and generally not serious. However, GERD can be a chronic (long-term) condition.
GERD occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a ring of muscle between the esophagus and stomach, does not close properly. The LES is supposed to open to let acidic food contents into the stomach and close to keep food in the stomach. When the LES does not work properly, gastric acid can flow back up into the esophagus. This flowing back is called "reflux.
✅ GERD Symptoms
Much acid reflux is a painful and uncomfortable situation.
There are many different symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux. It can be hard to know if you have acid reflux, because it is a common condition.
Here are 8 signs that you may have acid reflux:
📍Heartburn is one of the most common symptom of acid reflux triggers. Heartburn triggers are a burning sensation in your chest that can extend to your neck and throat. It usually happens after you eat or drink.
📍Acid regurgitation is when stomach acid comes back up into your throat. You may taste sourness or bitterness in the back of your throat due to high acid.
📍 Dyspepsia is a general term for discomfort or pain in your upper abdomen. You can also experience bloating, and belching.
📍Indigestion after eating or you have trouble swallowing or feel like food is stuck in your throat.
📍A sour taste in your mouth or notice that your breath smells different.
📍Coughing or wheezing regularly, especially at night.
📍Trouble sleeping because of discomfort or pain in your chest or throat.
📍You experience nausea, vomiting, or stomach pain.
✅ Causes of GERD
According to gastroenterology, symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and acid reflux is caused by a variety of factors.
📍The most common cause of acid reflux is a weakened or relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
📍Medical conditions, such as hiatal hernia and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can also cause acid reflux.
📍Certain counter medications, such as antacids, proton pump inhibitors, and H2 blockers, can also contribute to persistent acid reflux disease.
📍Eating large meals or eating too quickly. When you eat a large meal, your stomach expands and puts pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). It causes the LES to relax and allow stomach acid to escape into your esophagus, leading to heartburn. Eating too quickly can also trigger acid reflux symptoms, because it gives your stomach less time to digest food properly.
📍Obesity and excess weight gain can put extra pressure on your stomach and LES, which can lead to acid reflux symptoms.
📍Pregnancy. The growing fetus puts extra pressure on the stomach, which can cause acid to back up into the esophagus.
📍Chronic stress and stressful situation can cause the muscles in your esophagus to tighten, which can lead to production of stomach acid.
📍Anxiety can also cause the muscles in your esophagus to tighten, which escalate acid reflux.
📍Certain foods can trigger acid reflux, such as spicy foods, fatty foods, and citrus fruits. Consuming certain foods or beverages that trigger heartburn.
📍Smoking cigarettes can irritate the lining of your stomach, which is the major risk of acid reflux.
✅ How Stress Can Lead to Acid Reflux?
The relationship between stress and and digestive health is that when we are stressed, our body goes into "fight or flight" mode. It means that our body is preparing to either fight the perceived threat or run away from it. This response is meant to protect you, but it can also lead to some unwanted side effects, like increase in gastric acid and acid reflux occurs.
Acid reflux happens when the contents of our stomach come back up into our esophagus, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes and opens up. The LES is a muscle that helps keep stomach contents down in your stomach where they belong. When this muscle relaxes, it allows food and acid to come back up into your esophagus, which can lead to heartburn and indigestion.
Stressful events can cause the LES to relax in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease, which can lead to acid reflux. Stress also leads to peptic ulcer disease and esophageal cancer.
Can stress cause ulcers? Read how you can treat them.
✅ How to Prevent GERD and Anxiety?
Acid reflux is a painful and uncomfortable condition caused by a number of things, including diet, lifestyle, and high stress. There are some simple things people with acid reflux and anxiety can do to prevent acid reflux from occurring, or at least to reduce the symptoms.
📍One of the best things you can do for acid reflux is to exercise regularly. It helps to keep your digestive system functioning properly and also helps to reduce stress levels.
📍Eating small meals more often throughout the day is also helpful, as this prevents your stomach from becoming too full and puts less pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
📍Avoiding trigger foods is also important – common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, spicy foods, and acidic fruits. Finally, quitting smoking is essential for preventing acid reflux, as nicotine relaxes the LES and increases stomach acid production. Avoid drinking beverages that can trigger acid reflux, such as coffee, tea, and soda.
📍After eating, take a walk or do some other form of light exercise to help digestion and prevent acid build-up.
📍Sleep with your head slightly elevated to avoid stressing your stomach and causing acid reflux.
Use pressure points for stress and treating anxiety.
✅ Medications against Acid Reflux and Heartburn
There are a variety of medications available to treat acid reflux, and they fall into two main categories: antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
- Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid, which helps to relieve heartburn. Most antacids are available over-the-counter, and they are typically taken as needed. Some examples of antacids include Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, and Mylanta.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are more potent than antacids and work by reducing the amount of stomach acid produced. PPIs are available by prescription or over-the-counter, and they are usually taken once or twice daily.
✅ Lifestyle Changes to Get Rid of Stress
Occasional stress is a common issue that affects people of all ages. While there are many causes of stress, there are also many ways to get rid of it. Here are three effective ways to get rid of stress:
📍Exercise: Exercise is a great way to reduce stress. Physical activity helps to release endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key to reducing stress.
📍Relaxation techniques: There are many different relaxation techniques that can help to reduce stress. Some popular techniques include yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises.
📍Laughter: Laughter is another great way of stress reducer. It has been shown to lower blood pressure, increase endorphins, and reduce cortisol levels (the hormone associated with stress).
Crystals for anxiety and stress can help prevent anxiety or depression.
✅ Medications Against Stress
Too much stress can have negative effects on our health, but there are medications that can help. Here are a few of the most popular options.
- Beta-Blockers: Beta-blockers work by blocking the effects of the hormone adrenaline, which can help to reduce anxiety and control physical symptoms of stress such as a rapid heart rate.
- Anti-anxiety medication: These medications help to reduce feelings of anxiety and make it easier to cope with stressful situations. They work by affecting the brain chemicals that are involved in stress and anxiety.
- SSRIs: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are a type of antidepressant that can be effective for treating stress and anxiety. They work by increasing levels of the chemical serotonin in the brain, which can help to improve mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety.
✅ Bottom Line
Acid reflux episodes and stress are interconnected. When a person experiences acid reflux, they may also experience anxiety and stress. Stress can worsen acid reflux symptoms and make them more difficult to manage. There are a variety of ways to manage both acid reflux and stress. Some people find relief with lifestyle changes, such as avoiding trigger foods and managing stress with relaxation techniques. Others may need medication to control their symptoms. If you are struggling to control your acid reflux, talk to your gastroenterologist about treatment options.
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