What’s the Connection Between Anxiety and Acid Reflux? | Everyday Health
Stress does seem to trigger heartburn, but the relationship is trickier than you might think. Stress does not cause an off-the-charts surge in stomach acid production. What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux? What is esophagitis? Are heartburn at How does stress contribute to heartburn? What is heartburn?. Many people believe that heartburn is related to anxiety. see anxiety listed as a usual risk factor for acid reflux, research suggests that a connection exists, Learn the best ways to manage stress and negativity in your life.
Heartburn occurs when stomach acids reflux, or flow up, into the esophagus. If you think you may have any of the symptoms described below, please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider.
What is the difference between heartburn and frequent heartburn?
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Frequent heartburn is defined as heartburn occurring two or more days a week. Prilosec OTC is formulated for frequent heartburn. Why do stomach juices irritate the esophagus?
These juices, which are produced by the stomach to help the body break down food, contain a powerful acid called hydrochloric acid.
While the stomach is naturally protected from this potent acid, the esophagus does not share the same protective qualities as the stomach. Heartburn is caused when stomach acid enters the esophagus. When functioning normally, the LES [Lower Esophageal Sphincter] opens like a one-way valve that allows food into the stomach, but does not let it out the same way. However, at times the LES relaxes and allows stomach juices to flow upward into the esophagus. This relaxation exposes the esophagus to harsh acid from the stomach.
Physicians refer to this as gastroesophageal reflux. GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is chronic, persistent heartburn, and results from the improper working of the ring of muscle that normally keeps food and acids inside the stomach.
When this muscle doesn't work correctly, it allows acids to back up into the esophagus. Other signs of GERD include: In some instances, these ailments surface even when heartburn's usual symptoms are absent.Can anxiety and stress cause heartburn?
This can lead patients to misunderstand these conditions because people with ear, nose, and throat ENT complaints often do not have heartburn symptoms. Prilosec OTC is only indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn. If you think you may have GERD, please talk to your doctor or healthcare provider about having a diagnostic screening test.
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux? Heartburn is the result of this action, but heartburn may also be a sign that some other trigger is at work.
Just because you have heartburn, it does not necessarily mean that you have acid reflux. Acid reflux is a chronic condition characterized by irritation or inflammation of the esophagus.
But with some effective coping techniques, you can calm your stomach even during the most trying times.
What’s the Connection Between Anxiety and Acid Reflux?
The connection Lifestyle factors can play a role in how a disease affects an individual. A study looked at health surveys of over 40, Norwegians and found that people who reported work-related stress were significantly more at risk for GERD symptoms. People who said they had low job satisfaction were twice as likely to have GERD compared with those who reported high job satisfaction. A more recent studypublished in Internal Medicine, interviewed 12, people with GERD and found that nearly half reported stress as the biggest factor that worsened symptoms, even when on medication.
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Does stress really make it worse? Inresearchers published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology that people with acid reflux who were anxious and stressed reported having more painful symptoms related to acid reflux, but no one showed an increase in gastric acid.
Another study from added further support to this idea. When researchers exposed people with GERD to a stressful noise, they also found that it increased their symptoms by making them more sensitive to acid exposure. Is it all in your head? Does this mean that the symptoms are all in your head? Researchers theorize that stress may cause changes in the brain that turn up pain receptors, making you physically more sensitive to slight increases in acid levels.
Stress can also deplete the production of substances called prostaglandins, which normally protect the stomach from the effects of acid. This could increase your perception of discomfort.
Stress, coupled with exhaustion, may present even more body changes that lead to increased acid reflux. Regardless of what exactly happens in the brain and the body, those who experience symptoms of acid reflux know that stress can make them feel uncomfortable, and treating lifestyle factors is important.